Why Incorporate Low Impact Exercise During Pregnancy?

If you do any kind of google search on workouts during pregnancy, you’re likely to see a whole host of videos touting that they are low-impact and safe for pregnancy. But does everyone have to do low-impact exercise? When is a good time to transition to low impact? How can you know if what you’re doing is too high impact? Let’s look at some of these questions today.

1. Why?

Contrary to what you may read online, the reason for low impact is not because running or jumping will hurt the baby. Your baby is safe inside you! The reason I often have clients transition to low impact exercise is because of the stress that impact can place on the pelvic floor – especially in the late stages of pregnancy. Your pelvic floor is already under a great amount of strain as baby grow, so, performing high impact type exercises on a regular basis isn’t always the best idea.

Of course, considerations vary from person to person. Someone who has been running for a long time or purposefully done a lot of pelvic floor work may be able to do higher impact movements for longer because their body is prepared for that. It depends.

2. When?

Again, it depends. (You’ll hear this phrase from me a lot!) But a good transition time is usually during the 2nd trimester. Usually, during the 1st trimester, you can continue most activity as normal. The 2nd trimester is when your belly really starts to grow and that stress will impact the pelvic floor. And the transition doesn’t always have to be abrupt. For my clients, I gradually scale things as we go along, so that we can keep doing things they want to for as long as possible.

3. How?

A good indication for knowing that what you’re doing is too high impact is how your pelvic floor feels. If you feel a heaviness in your pelvis or your vagina, you’re probably overdoing it. Same for if you are leaking during exercise – this is a sign that your pelvic floor can’t handle the pressure it’s under.

Many women who have worked out for a long time are scared of modifying or scaling – they associate that with being incapable – but this is so far from the truth! Your body is going through a lot of changes and those need to be taken into consideration during pregnancy. Transitioning to low impact exercises as your pregnancy progresses is just one way that you can listen to what your body needs.

Reach out to me if you’d like guidance on your pregnancy fitness journey!

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