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Extreme exercising during pregnancy - yay or nay?

You’ve probably seen the 2 ladies who have been in the news over the last year or so that have done extreme sports while pregnant - the lady lifting huge weights and the one-armed surfer. It’s a topic that seems to generate quite a lot of opinion, with many people saying how irresponsible it is of them.

So exercising during pregnancy as you know, is really beneficial, BUT there are limitations on what we should and shouldn’t do. Both of these ladies have done their respective sports for a long time pre-pregnancy and so carrying on with them isn’t as risky as someone taking them up for the first time. Our balance is a bit out when we’re pregnant so it’s not advisable to suddenly take up cycling for example, as the risk of falling is greater. If you’ve been doing it for years it’s slightly different as your body is used to doing it, although I would still exercise caution and know when a good time to stop is. That said, the likelihood of falling of a surf board (pro- or not) is quite high so I personally wouldn’t recommend this as a sensible sport during pregnancy. It also puts your hips in different directions to each other, which puts unnecessary strain on your pelvis, which is already unstable due to the increased amount of the hormone relaxin. The lady with the weights, as long as she has spotters helping her and she’s lifting less heavy weights than normal, this is less risky. As a pro she’ll know the right techniques and how to breathe properly, so will hopefully know which exercises to tone down/ modify.

So all in all, it really depends on the sport, the expertise in that sport prior to pregnancy and how you modify and adapt it to your changing body. I’d also say, don’t be too quick to chastise these ladies just because it looks like they’re doing something wrong - we don’t always know the full story.

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