Can You Continue This Rough Form Of Exercise?
I have been working hard at the gym for 3 months to get fit for myself and also in preparation for baby. Can you tell me, is it safe to continue with boxing circuit classes when I do become pregnant? Many thanks. - Rachael, Sydney, Australia
The expert answers
First of all, ask your caregiver about any exercise program you want to do during pregnancy. The rule of thumb is that you can usually continue doing anything you were doing prior to pregnancy, at least through the first trimester.
Assuming that your pregnancy won't be considered high risk, your boxing classes should be okay to continue with a few modifications. The first obvious modification is that you should not be doing any boxing against another person, only using a punching bag. You don't want to risk being punched or kicked in the abdomen.
Also, circuit classes tend to be very intense workouts, so you'll need to pay extra close attention to your body's signals as to when you've had enough. Drink LOTS of water before, during, and after each workout so that you stay well-hydrated -- this is especially important during the first trimester! Make sure that the workout space is well-ventilated so that you don't get overheated.
Be aware of your body's changing center of gravity as you get toward the end of your 2nd trimester. Loss of balance can become an issue at that point, so be very careful especially when performing kicks. Also, your joints and connective may become looser, so don't over-extend your knees and elbows during kicks and punches.
All that said, keep up the great work! Staying in shape throughout your pregnancy should help you have a shorter labor and quicker recovery after your baby's birth.