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Pregnancy and your response is a very personal thing, every one is different and what works for someone else may not work for you. At Xcite we have a range of low impact activities you can attend during your pregnancy. We advise anyone who is pregnant and partaking or wishing to partake in exercise to discuss this with their GP or Midwife first.

In the Gym

If you already train in the gym please arrange an 'Xcite Review' of your programme with your Gym Instructor. You can book your Xcite Review at reception or online (Xcite review - click here to book). Members can also book their review in the Gym. Let your Gym Instructor know your are pregnant and discuss any concerns you may have with exercising during your pregnancy. Your instructor will be able to adapt your programme suitable to your requirments, fitness level and stage of your pregnancy. As you pregnancy develops you may need to have your programme updated your Instructor will be able to modify your programme accordingly.

Fitness Classes

Xcite has a range of fab Fitness Classes that you can attend during your pregnancy from Body Vive, Aquafit, Body Balance, Easyline and Gentle Exercise. For mums-to-be that are used to exercising regularly, classes such as Body Pump, is a great way to maintain a healthy, strong, toned body during and after your pregnancy. Always make your Fitness Class Instructor aware of your pregnancy and how many weeks along you are before the class starts. This will enable them to give you alternatives, if nessassary, for certain exercises during the class and for your general health and safety.

LES MILLS has produced BODYPUMP® and BODYBALANCE® Pregnancy brochures that include these considerations - see below. In addition, BODYSTEP®, BODYATTACK® and BODYCOMBAT® offer lower impact options, which are advised for pregnant women, ask an instructor for more information.

Download a copy here:

Body Balance Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide Body Pump

Pregnancy Guide Body Vive

For information about Swimming during your pregnancy click here.

Important Advice

Some basic considerations are strongly advised:

  • Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • Exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, should be avoided
  • Don't overheat. Your body temperature should be less than 39.2 degrees C after exercising
  • Keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute (bpm)
  • Be careful not to overstretch your pelvic floor muscles by engaging in high impact activities
  • Avoid lying flat on your back (after 1st trimester) or standing in one place for long periods, as both can reduce your immediate blood pressure

If have any of the following conditions or develop them during pregnancy, whether they are linked to the pregnancy or not, you should NOT exercise.

  • Heart or circulation problems
  • New or uncontrolled diabetes
  • New or uncontrolled tachycardia (RHR >100)
  • Blood Pressure levels of over 180/100 (either figure)Ventricular or aortic aneurysm
  • Stroke or transient ishaemic attack
  • New or uncontrolled arrhythmias
  • Any acute infection or disease
  • An unexplained asthma attack or excessive shortness of breath on mild exertion
  • A flare up of arthritisVomiting or diarrhoea
  • Fever, flu, severe cold or a viral infection or feeling unusually unwell
  • Any injury or increased or new pain in any joint

Signs to stop exercise in pregnancy

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dyspnoea (breathing problems) before exertion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Preterm labour
  • Decreased foetal movement
  • Amniotic fluid leakage

Absolute contraindications to activity in pregnancy

  • Haemodynamically significant heart disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix/cerlage
  • Multiple gestation at risk for premature labour
  • Persistent 2nd or 3rd trimester bleeding
  • Placenta praevia after 26 weeks gestation
  • Premature labour during the current pregnancy
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia

Relative contraindications to activity in pregnancy

  • Severe anaemia
  • Unevaluated maternal cardiac arrhythmia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Poorly controlled type I diabetes
  • Extreme morbid obesity
  • Extreme underweight (BMI <12)
  • History of extremely sedentary lifestyle
  • Intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Orthopaedic limitations
  • Poorly controlled seizure disorder
  • Poorly controlled thyroid disease
  • Heavy smoker
  • Acute illness or infection

Post Natal Advice

When you're feeling tired, being active or participating in more exercise may seem like the last thing you need. But activity can relax you; it can help your body recover after childbirth, keep you fit or improve your fitness, and make you feel better and more energetic.

The following suggestions may help:

  • Wait until after your six-week postnatal check before you start to exercise regularly again.
  • If you exercised regularly before giving birth and you feel fit and well, you might be able to start earlier.
  • If you had a caesarean delivery your recovery time will be longer.
  • Talk to your midwife or GP. Keep up your postnatal exercises, they'll strengthen vital muscles and improve your shape.
  • Take special care of your back and avoid exercises that could damage it.
  • When your lochia (postnatal bleeding) has stopped, you can try swimming.
  • Your lower back and core abdominal muscles are weaker than they used to be.
  • Your ligaments and joints are also more supple and pliable, so it's easier to injure yourself by stretching or twisting too much.

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