Exercise During Pregnancy

If like me you are stuck at home and pregnant during this isolation period, you may be looking for pregnancy-appropriate exercise to keep you busy, fit and healthy. Exercise during pregnancy can help with:

  • Promoting muscle strength, tone and endurance.
  • Back pain, constipation, bloating and swelling.
  • Improving mood and energy levels.
  • Improving sleep.
  • Prevention of excess weight.
  • Reduction of gestational diabetes risk.
  • Shortened labor and reduced C-section risk.

As a rule, research suggests that if you are pregnant and have no contraindications to exercise, you should be aiming to meet the general physical activity guidelines for adults aged 18-64 years, which are:

  • 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity per week, OR
  • 75-100 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week, OR
  • A combination of the two above.

If, however, you were previously inactive or you are in the higher BMI weight range, you should be starting with 15-20-minutes of moderate exercise 3-4 times per week and building up to 30-minutes as able.

It was previously thought that if you are pregnant you should not be exceeding a heart rate of 140 beats per minute, however specific heart rate limitations are no longer recommended.

When it comes to the type of exercise, there are plenty of great options, including:

  • Walking, swimming, or stationary cycling.
  • Pregnancy-specific yoga and Pilates.
  • Strength-based gym classes or home-based strength workouts.

If you were a regular runner or participated in impact sports pre-pregnancy, you can also continue this as comfort allows. However, running is not something I would recommend starting during pregnancy.

Specifically, it is also super important to work on lower abdominal and pelvic floor strengthening during and post-pregnancy. Exercises such as kegels and transversus abdominis strengthening are a fantastic start, and as physiotherapists we can prescribe a home-based program for you specific to your fitness level and needs.

There are also certain exercises that should be avoided, particularly after the first trimester, which include sit-ups or other abdominal exercises that compress the abdomen or stress the rectus diastisis. Further, if you are experiencing aches and pains resultant from your pregnancy, exercise is a fantastic tool to help increase strength and stability and reduce pain.

For specific assessment and prescription of appropriate home based exercises, get in touch with one of our physiotherapists on 07 576 1860 or email reception@buretaphysio.co.nz.

 

Core Strength and Back Pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles. These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace. They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body. The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable. When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off. Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem. This leads to recurrent low back pain. Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain. Improving posture may reduce pain immediately. Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again. This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist. Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further. These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly. We also offer pilates classes and strength classes which incorporate core strength. Call us now to book into our classes. New times and more classes coming 2015…………. New schedule up on website in Jan

Pregnancy Massage – Is it safe/ what are the benefits?

Debbie McNamee – Massage Therapist @ Bureta Physiotherapy explains the benefits of pregnancy massage

We all know that pregnancy is a beautiful but often trying time for expecting mothers. The changes to our bodies are not always pleasant. Luckily pregnancy massage is a proven safe and effective complementary therapy designed to help expecting mothers feel more comfortable while their bodies are going through all those pregnancy changes. It is generally performed from the second trimester onwards, right up until the birth for uncomplicated, low risk pregnancies. For women with higher risk pregnancies such as, cardiac, pulmonary or liver disorder; chronic hypertension and previous pregnancy problems, should consult with their doctor or mid-wife first.

Pregnancy massage uses long gentle effleuraging strokes to help relieve uncomfortable pregnancy side effects such as aches and pains, cramp, swollen hands and feet, stress and insomnia. Internally pregnancy massage helps to steady your pulse and blood pressure; help with regular blood flow to the uterus, placenta and foetus; reduce fear and anxiety and ease built up fluid in your lower limbs.

Muscular back aches and pain during pregnancy primarily occurs due to the weight gain on the front of the body. As the weight on your front grows, you naturally lean backwards to accommodate this new weight. This lean causes a change in your centre of gravity which places greater stress on your lower spine and can bring about achy lower backs.

Pregnancy massage can be performed sitting on a massage chair, side-lying on a massage table and in our case, lying on your stomach thanks the addition of our holo which accommodates and supports your stomach and lower back. Pregnant woman deserve to be massaged…so don’t be shy!

To book an appointment with Debbie call now

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