Updated 07 October 2016

Keep fit while pregnant

To answer questions about safe exercise during pregnancy, Virgin Active has put together a few tips to help you enjoy your progression into motherhood.


Pregnancy is an exciting journey for moms-to-be but as your belly expands and those clothes get start getting tight, you may feel nervous about the impending weight gain. Too much weight gain during pregnancy is not good for you or your baby and regular but safe exercise will leave you feeling and looking healthy.

In a bid to educate women about safe exercise during pregnancy, Virgin Active, South Africa’s leading health club, has put together a few tips to help you enjoy your progression into motherhood.

Catherine Viljoen, Biokineticistat Virgin Active says the health of a mom-to-be and her unborn child are of vital importance, therefore a medical doctor or specialist should be consulted before starting an exercise programme. “Unless your doctor has advised against exercise for a particular reason, keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy is important for both you and baby. It also means that your body may be more prepared for the physical demands of labour and birth, and those early days with your newborn as you navigate your way around as a mom.”

Viljoen recommends the following exercises:

  • Walk or swim your way to a fit and healthy you. Try aqua aerobics, low intensity aerobics, stationary cycling or enrol the help of a personal trainer who can supervise special gym exercises. Remember that the focus of your training should be on strengthening the muscles that improve your posture, the upper body and the abdominal muscles.
  • Try kegal exercises. These involve contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles.  The added weight of your uterus may cause strain and stretch the pelvic floor muscles, these exercises will ensure that it remains firm.

Viljoen goes on to say that the following guidelines should be strictly adhered to as it could compromise the health and safety of the mom and her unborn baby.

  • Do not participate in weight bearing exercises in the last trimester. The extra weight may cause premature fatigue and breathlessness. At this stage of your pregnancy exercises such as antenatal aqua classes and swimming are recommended.
  • Do not participate in any contact sport or high intensity training.
  • Avoid any movement that involves potential threat of abdominal trauma.
  • Exercises in a well ventilated and cool environment, preferably with a non-slip floor.

Stop exercising the minute that you feel tired. Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion. Getting back into shape after baby’s arrival is now easier than before. Virgin Active has launched Fit Mamma classes. It’s a group exercise class exclusive to Virgin Active that will developed to help aid weight loss after pregnancy and slip back into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. The class allows you to spend time with baby while incorporating baby into your workout, shedding those kilos, improving fitness levels and getting healthy.

For more information on exercising while pregnant or Virgin Active’s other offerings, visit the website at or call 0860 900 211.


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