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How you can Exercise while being Pregnant

How you can Exercise while being pregnant!

Today let’s discuss how you can exercise whilst pregnant!

I feel like we could separate woman who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant into two main categories here.

That is, their first thought around exercise when being pregnant would be either:

  1. Yes! I’m pregnant now I don’t have to exercise anymore or feel bad about not exercising
  2. NOOOO, I need to exercise.

Which stream do you fall into?

Either way both streams may not know exactly what is and what isn’t safe for themselves and bub during this exciting new time!

Today let’s breakdown how exercise can help, how much and what changes we need to make as we progress through the pregnancy.


Current Guidelines around pregnancy and exercise

All healthy pregnant women should be encouraged to participate in an accumulation of at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-high intensity exercise, as well as participate in 2 strength training sessions per week during pregnancy.


If you’re unsure how to reach these guidelines I’ve broken it down HERE.


The main point I want you to take away from these guidelines is that it is safe, in fact research has shown how it can positively benefit both you and the baby!


These benefits can range from:

  • Weight management for mother
  • Better birth weight for baby
  • Improved fitness & muscular condition
  • Improved fatigue and stress levels
  • Increased placental volume
  • Decrease in risk factors/medical concerns
  • Reduced labour time and complications
  • Faster recovery postpartum
  • More likely to continue exercise postpartum


Now while exercise is recommended during every stage of your pregnancy, it is essential that precautions are taken throughout depending on which trimester you are in.


Three Trimesters


First = 0-12 weeks


Second = 13-26 weeks


Third = 27-40 weeks



1st Trimester Recommendations:

 Eat small, more frequent meals to overcome nausea.

  • Try and get enough vitamins, minerals, nutrients – you will need to eat lots of fruit / vegetables and possibly basic nutrient supplement.
  • 2200 calories / day – this will need to be relative to each person however a good starting point.
  • Plenty of fibre
  • Maintain your hydration levels 2.5-3L
  • Exercise!


Now specifically when it comes to exercise it is a good idea to decrease the intensity by 10-20% from pre-pregnancy levels e.g. If you worked out at a 8/10 for your sessions in regards to difficulty try coming to a 6-7 / 10.

Some exercises that are frequently reported to induce dizziness can include:

  • Single leg deadlift
  • Bent over rows
  • Downward dog


These are likely due to changes in blood pressure from changing positions (upright to leaning over)

2nd Trimester Recommendations:

  • Your energy levels will be increasing after moving into the 2nd trimester (Woohoo!). The focus should be around hitting majority of our muscle groups such as squats, push ups, lunges and seated / standing rows.


  • Eat small, more frequent meals to overcome nausea.
  • Try and get enough vitamins, minerals, nutrients – you will need to eat lots of fruit / vegetables and possibly basic nutrient supplement.
  • 2500 calories / day – this will need to be relative to each person however a good starting point.
  • Plenty of fibre
  • Maintain your hydration levels 2.5-3L
  • Exercise!


Movements to start avoiding / reducing:

  • Avoid heavy lifting / carrying of weight / Jumping based activities
  • Avoid supine (laying on your back) exercises
  • Avoid contact sports
  • Avoid prolonged periods of motionless standing


3rd Trimester Recommendations:

  • 2500 calories / day
  • Small frequent feedings recommended to prevent heart burn / hernias
  • Exercise!
  • Still maintaining a whole-body approach with our exercise, you may be starting to get uncomfortable.
  • Cardio is still suitable throughout; it may however be a good idea to decrease cardio intensity by another 10-20% – This may look like a gentle walk instead of brisk.


Some exercises you may include during this trimester include:

  • Squats to a chair
  • Pelvic floor (such as kegel) exercises.
  • Arm Movements e.g. bicep curls, tricep extension, lat raises
  • Gentle abdominal exercises – Marching on the spot, toe touches
  • Balance exercises – staggering your stance or standing on one leg can be beneficial to maintaining your centre of gravity now your baby is getting big!


Movements to start avoiding.

  • Avoid heavy lifting / carrying of weight / Jumping based activities
  • Avoid supine (laying on your back) exercises
  • Avoid contact sports
  • Avoid prolonged periods of motionless standing


Overview of exercises:

 Combination of aerobic and strength exercise

  • Aerobic exercises: walking, cycling, rowing, jogging, swimming
  • Resistance training (RT): Should include pregnancy specific exercises e.g. pelvic floor training
  • RT: Aim to complete 8-10 exercises (major muscle groups) for roughly 12-15R – performed w/o fatigue / struggle – This would look like a 60% of your max effort.
  • Correct posture and neutral pelvic alignment should be emphasized


 Key things to avoid:


  • Laying in supine from 2nd trimester – 16 weeks after gestation
  • Exercises requiring a holding of breath (Valsalva manoeuvres) – Isometrics
  • Exercises that pose high risk e.g. Jumping, changing direction.


Precautions – Signs to Terminate exercise:

  • Excessive shortness of breath (SOB)
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness / syncope
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain particularly in back / pubic area
  • Calf pain / swelling


 Musculoskeletal considerations:

Laxity of ligaments

◦ Starts at 10-12 weeks

◦ May increase risk of injury

◦ Postural changes as your body prepares to get ready for the baby!


Muscle Groups that become tight

  • Hip flexors
  • Low back
  • Thighs
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Neck


Muscle Groups that can become weak:

  • Pelvic floor
  • Upper back
  • Shoulder ext rotators
  • Gluteals
  • Core (trunk)


Knowing the stages, what areas are likely to become tight / weak and knowing how to regulate exercise based on how you feel are key attribute’s for successfully exercising safely while being pregnant!

If you are unsure or need assistance in this, feel free to reach out!

Move Right. Live Right.

Move Right EP


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How we keep you accountable!


Do you struggle to keep yourself accountable? Is accountability something you even consider? Why is accountability even important?

Accountability is one of the crucial keys to success in any part of your life. If you set yourself a task of writing a book, yet you fail to write pages will this book ever be complete? No.

What’s missing is accountability. Accountability is the driving tool, the force that allows you to reach your goals. In my experience a lack of accountability is the most reliable predicative tool for failure.

Accountability provides structure, gives us deadlines and will lead to success if we are persistent.

Some of us have intrinsic accountability that is we push ourselves, set targets and endeavour to met them. Others have extrinsic accountability which requires an outside source such as a friend, coach, family member to prompt and push you along to assist you in reaching your goal.

So, let’s say you are the latter, someone requiring extrinsic accountability, how can Move Right EP help you?

Well, one of the amazing tools we utilise is the training app ‘Trainerize’. This affords us the ability to track you, provide you with individualised programs, nutritional advice, habits and we even communicate with you through here through a Facebook like messenger function.

This tool is something we provide to each of our clients, one of the key ways we ensure you reach your goals is by viewing numbers, seeing you hit your scheduled training sessions and work with you in finding solutions to the areas you are struggling with.

Some additional ways we may keep you accountable through:

  • Tracking your body weight
  • Looking at how many sessions you complete across the week
  • Ticking off habits such as drinking enough water, taking time to destress or even just go for a walk
  • How you are managing with specific nutritional information such as the foods you eat even down to the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats you consume on a daily / weekly basis
  • How many hours you sleep?
  • If you are hitting your steps targets

Now depending on your goal, we may focus on some areas more than others. Each person will require an individual level some needing more accountability, some less.

If you fell into the first category of being intrinsically accountability, Move Right EP can still help you! This may serve in the form of creating a program with a structured outline of what is expected and then letting you schedule in your workouts as you complete them yourself.

Either way when it comes to accountability, we have you covered.

If you find yourself struggling to reach success in your goals, I want you to ask yourself a few questions.

  • Have you completed the tasks set for your or by you for the week?


IF Yes:

  • Did you complete them to the best of your ability?


If No:

  • What road blocks came up along the way and how can we overcome them for the next week?
  • Are you struggling to keep yourself accountable or is it time to employ the help of someone else?


  • Is your goal achievable / appropriate in the first place?
  • We have written a few blogs to help you set goal which you can find HERE.


  • Do you use the right tools / metrics to keep you accountable?
  • Sometimes looking at the wrong area may leave us thinking we are staying on track with our accountability for example: you may have a goal of tracking your macros and you may measure all the food you consume but neglect how much calories you take in by liquids such as alcohol, oils, sauces, soft drinks and juices. This is a classic example of people thinking they are keeping themselves accountable only focusing on limited or missing the mark with the metrics they are observing.


  • Ask yourself how hitting or not hitting your goal made you or would make you feel
  • This may enable you to weigh up the pros and cons of hitting or not hitting your scheduled sessions.
  • There are benefits to both e.g., hitting your tasks for the day / week obviously will keep you on track towards your end goal.
  • Not hitting your tasks for example, going out and eating a few extra calories may assist you in the long-term goal still by reducing the psychological strain – lose the battle but win the war type scenario.

Have you found this helpful? Share it along!

Feel free to reach out directly and share your takeaways with me @ moverightep@gmail.com


How does Move Right EP measure success?



A very common question we get asked is how do we measure success?

The answer? It depends.

The reason for my ambiguous answer is simple, it depends on the individual, the goal at hand, the objective we are even trying to measure!

Simply saying a blanket statement of this is how we measure success takes away from the actual beauty of measuring success, in all its amazing shapes and forms.

Let me start by posing a question to you.


Which statement do you think is success?

  1. Hitting a 200kg personal best (PB) in the deadlift



  1. Completing 3 walks around the block that you set out to do at the start of the week

Hopefully you read both statements and found success in both of them!

That is the nature of success, we do not inherently need to measure success purely by the feat of the task.

Instead, when looking at success we must instead focus our attention to the task, not the size. While hitting a 200kg PB is impressive for the general gym goer, we cannot say that one is more or less successful than the other. Hitting a goal that you set out for yourself and achieving it is a feat in itself! All it takes is for us to shift our attention to this perspective.

This is our approach at Move Right EP, we place heavy value on giving success to all things! It all counts.

So, let’s go back to the answer ‘It depends’.

Within our process we start with your goal, the reason you started in the first place, the reason you are so motivated or willing to undergo a behavior change. Check out our blog on goal setting HERE.

Next, we take the time to work with you in realising what are achievable habits, behaviors to engage with.

We then recognise changes along the way, making adjustments as need be to keep you moving towards the overarching goal.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

While it is difficult to delve into exactly how to measure success specifically for YOU, I will instead provide a snapshot into some different ways around thinking about and viewing success.


Some quick ways you may choose to measure your success (based on general goals)

Weight Loss:

  • Photos
  • Body weight measurements
  • How you fit in your clothes
  • Friends / family members making comments about your appearance


  • Increasing your performance
  • Preventing injury
  • Recovering better physically and mentally
  • Trying new skills within the context of your sport

General Health:

  • Having more energy for your friends / family
  • Being more productive at work
  • Having better blood results
  • Sleeping better
  • Improving your mood in general

Muscle Growth:

  • Adherence in your training
  • Being able to tolerate more load / volume in your training
  • Girth Measurements increasing
  • Photos showing more definition
  • Adhering to your nutrition targets
  • Feeling more activation in certain muscles

Our little actions turn into big results! Reaching the Olympics doesn’t happen overnight, it’s years of hard work, consistent training day in and day out that get you to that end goal. Apply this model to your goal, what small actions are leading to your end goal?

  • Is it taking a 30 minute walk every day?
  • Is it decreasing your phone time to spend more time with your family?
  • Maybe it’s preparing your meals at the start of the week.

Whatever the case, once you achieve the small tasks, take the time to recognise it. Celebrate the wins along the journey, who knows you may find this even boosts your motivation, your drive to accomplish that end goal like the snowball effect.


Share your success’s with me @ moverightep@gmail.com

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Is it ok to be Selfish with your time?

Are you selfish? Do you value your time above everything else?

Selfish gets a bad wrap, people often associated being selfish as negative, a trait where you are focused primarily on yourself. The time we have is our most valuable commodity, the one thing we can never get back. So why are we demonized for wanting to spend it the way that makes us happy?

Today I want to talk about why it may be time to focus on yourself, take the time to be a little (key word) selfish and put yourself first.

Let’s start with a common scenario

“I have no time to exercise”

Is this truly the case? Very rarely will I see someone who is truly time poor. Yes, you have a family, a career, a lifestyle that is set up a certain way that leaves you very little time for yourself. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are time poor, rather you have just allocated your time more so to other priorities.

In this scenario I find using a system of allocating points quite helpful for people. That looks like getting people to grab a piece of paper and list your top 5 most important things in your life.

Example Scenario:

  1. Relationships
  2. Work / Money
  3. Health
  4. Hobbies
  5. Everyday tasks (chores)

Now, none of the tasks on your top 5 list can go without a point allocation or they will simply not get done. This may actually be the case for a lot of you where you may value or hold an aspect of your life in high regard yet cease to give it any of your time.

Now with each of your top 5 tasks, allocate points based on worth, until you have used up all 10!

This may look like the following:

  1. Work / Money – 3 points
  2. Relationships – 3 points
  3. Health – 2 points
  4. Hobbies – 1 point
  5. Everyday tasks – 1 point


Now that we have allocated our points, we can see where our priorities lie. Each person completing this will have different values and points allocated to each value.

Being an exercise physiologist and this being a health blog, let’s look at health (surprise, surprise).

If someone where to look at their list and say I want to improve my health, they would have to take away from somewhere else on their list. As I said earlier there is only so many hours in the day, so many ways you can allocate yourself.

So where does being selfish come into this?

Maybe you previously had work / money higher up on your list, in the example above 3 points were allocated. This may have looked like regularly staying back late at work to please your boss, take on extra roles, social events of a night time or weekends, the list is endless.

Now by taking a point away this may look like stripping back on ‘work’. Maybe you don’t put your hand up next time to take on an extra project, instead you keep your time free and allow yourself to spend this on improving your health!

Is this wrong? It is inherently a selfish act. I would say no.

Let me rephrase this and shine it in another light.

What if you were to allocate more points to one specific value on your top 5 list, let’s say you allocate 5 points to work and take away a point from relationship and health.

What could happen?

  • Burn out
  • Health deterioration
  • Relationships will be affected
  • Mental and physical fatigue
  • Unhappiness
  • Increase money
  • Potentially decrease job satisfaction
  • Decreased productivity


Now out of that list I see a lot of potential negatives, one positive (increasing money). You may have noticed that other variables on your value list suffered!

Take a moment now to write down what the best version of yourself looks like?

Is this someone who works to the bone but sacrifices their health? Someone that is no irritable, consumed by work and unable to spend time with their friends / family.


Would you rather be a version of yourself that values their health, takes time to be selfish and say no to tasks once in a while so they can look after themselves and therefore improve every aspect of their lives by being present, healthy, mentally refreshed and ultimately happier.

Selfishness is a tool, like anything in our life’s moderation is essential. Now of course, we can tip the scale of being selfish into an unhealthy area, think of the extreme narcissist or sociopath, where their world revolves only around themselves and everything is an object that will either assist them in their endeavours or simply be in their way.

The point of this blog is to show you that it is ok to look after yourself, to put yourself on your priority list. Regularly engaging with exercise has a range of benefits, click HERE to find out more!

Occasionally that may look like skipping an event because you are tired, it may look like saying no so you can exercise, meditate, read, perform a hobby.

Education and health promotion is one of the ways an Exercise physiologist can help you! Want to find out more ways? Click HERE.

Found this helpful? Share it along!

Have questions? Reach out at moverightep@gmail.com

Move Right EP


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