Third Trimester Exercise

Dr. Karen Nordahl, family physician, discusses third trimester exercise.

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Dr. Karen Nordahl, family physician, discusses third trimester exercise.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Karen Nordahl, MD

Duration: 1 minute, 42 seconds

When you're in your third trimester, which means when you're after your 28th week, so you're in the home stretch, the exercise program actually becomes a little bit more difficult.

You're a little bit larger, you're a little bit shorter of breath, and quite frankly, you often don't feel like exercising at all. You're not sleeping and you're going to the bathroom all the time. So the thing to remember is whatever you can do is better than not doing anything at all.

If you were a runner, go back to your walking program, if you cycled on the trails, go back to the stationary bike or an ellipical. Try to make accommodation to keep you comfortable and allow you to continue on with your exercise program.

And if you're looking for something a little bit less intense, one of the things to suggest is potentially a swimming program, or use an elliptical trainer, because it can actually take gravity out of the equation, and make your exercise program a little easier on you.

If you want to continue on with your high-intensity exercise program, the suggestion is if you're a runner, maybe come off the trails and go on the treadmill. And if you're a trail bike rider, get off the trails and get onto a stationary bicycle.

What generally happens in your third trimester is your body actually tells you what you can and cannot do, so it's really important that you listen to your body.

There are some women that are able to exercise running, long distance running, right before they actually deliver, the day before, and other women who have to stop around week 28 or 29 just because they're feeling a little bit unsteady, and that's because your center of gravity has changed a little bit and your ligaments are becoming a little bit loose as the body is getting ready to deliver this baby.

So you don't quite feel like yourself. So just remember, listen to your body, and do exactly what it's guiding you to do.

Presenter: Dr. Karen Nordahl, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.