Exercise During Pregnancy

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 10.39.09 AMShould you or shouldn’t you exercise during your pregnancy?  This is the question.  I have been supporting women through their pregnancy for many years now, watching how they handle the changes and challenges of their growing belly.  I have come to know that exercise is an important part of staying healthy during this unique time with some guidelines:

-low impact exercise is better than high especially later in the pregnancy; like walking, swimming or stationary cycling.
– It may not be the time to start a new exercise especially a strenuous one that requires balance and skill.  It is better to stick with activities that your body is familiar with except if you are working with an instructor or personal trainer.
-Only working out to 75% capacity is better than really demanding exercise.  Doing a little exercise every day is better than one day of hard exercise.
– Listening to your body as is very important during pregnancy.

I recommend this article for more info:


Exercise and eating well is the cornerstone of health and especially vital while building a baby.  I highly recommend the following teachers and classes who all specialize in pregnancy exercise.  Being fit supports labour, delivery and motherhood in very deep ways.

Here are some resources across Vancouver:

Prenatal Yoga:
Lori Lucas, http://yogawithlorilucas.com/ Round House Community Center, Tuesday/Thursday 5:45pm-7:15pmNurture yourself and your growing baby with gentle Hatha Yoga. Learn yoga poses and relaxation techniques to alleviate the common discomforts of pregnancy and to prepare for your labour and delivery.

Teresa Campbell, Semperviva, Saturday 12pmTeresa has honoured her calling in teaching powerful prenatal yoga, joyful mom and baby (and dad) yoga and inspiring yoga workshops for expectant couples that empower, validate and celebrate couples on their journey. Guided by her experiences, education and sincere love of people, Teresa creates warm and sacred space for others to discover the transformational power of yoga.

Prenatal Pilates:
Diana VanderVeen,  Round House Community Center, Monday 6-6:45pm
This class will leave you feeling more toned and graceful in all trimesters of your pregnancy. Improve posture through core strength, stability and proper alignment. Learn breathing exercises that will help prepare you and baby for labour.

Prenatal Fitness:

Fit4Two, www.firfor2.ca  Many locations in Vancouver

Connect with other moms-to-be in your community while reducing prenatal discomforts like lower back ache and swelling. Your certified pre and postnatal fitness specialist will lead you through pregnancy-safe cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility exercises. All trimesters welcome to participate.

Barefit and Pregnant, 3668 West Broadway (at Alma), Monday, Wednesday 4pm, 7pm. Friday 4pm, 5:30 pm

For a healthy pregnancy, exercise is important. Join us 3 times a week for a fitness program designed specifically for pregnant women. Our one hour sessions cover: The do’s and don’ts of exercising while pregnant, Appropriate exercises for each trimester of pregnancy, Aerobics classes, Strength training, Safe abdominal exercises, a chance to meet other moms-to-be. All fitness levels welcome.

Christina Longo, personal trainer, www.premiertraining.ca

Premier Personal Training specializes in applying scientifically proven pre-natal exercise principals developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, one of the leading athletic educational bodies in North America, to the pregnant client. We can help you exercise safely and effectively at any stage of your pregnancy.


Why should I choose a personal trainer who specializes in Pre-Natal Training?
Due to the physiological changes that occur in a pregnant woman during her different trimesters, strict exercise selection guidelines must be adhered to, since the wrong choice with a pregnant client can cause an exaggerated injury, not only to the client, but to the fetus, as well. Thus, our expertise ensures a margin of safety while still optimizing your progress and results.

Why should I exercise during my pregnancy?
Research has shown that women who actively engage in exercise have a more comfortable pregnancy and may have a shorter labor and less need for medical interventions.  Other studies have shown that women who exercise regularly, prior to and during the first and second trimesters, feel better in the third trimester and perceive less exertion during labor. Furthermore, regular exercise during pregnancy will help to prevent lower back pain, keep your weight at a safe level and speed your weight loss after the pregnancy.


-Lori Johnson, RMT

One Comment

  1. Informtive article Soma and thank you for the mention!
    We LOVE you and I tell my mom’s ALL about you all the time.

    Massage is a big part of a good self care plan during pregnancy (and all stages of our lives imo). THank you again and happy holidays!

Post A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.