Pre-Natal Exercise In The UAE – How It Helps During Pregnancy

During your pregnancy it’s important to stay as fit and healthy as you can. Both for your sake and your baby. Many women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are still unsure whether they can exercise during pregnancy but it’s perfectly safe if you get the advice and support of a specialist pre and post natal personal trainer.
prenatal exercise and training in Dubai

Pre-Natal Exercise in UAE - A Quick Health Benefit Guide for Pregnant Training

Article Contributor: Andrew

Considering exercise during your pregnancy? Here’s a quick Q&A session with a professional pre-natal personal trainer in Dubai.
Pre-natal exercise is known to offer health benefits for both the expectant parent and baby. There are exercises suited for being pregnant and some that should be avoided.
We spoke with a personal trainer from Dubai, specializing in pre and post natal training, about common questions from expectant parents in the UAE.

Table Of Contents

Understanding the Safety of Prenatal Exercise

Question: Is it safe to engage in exercise during pregnancy (prenatal)?

Exercise, both before and after childbirth, is widely recognized for its numerous health benefits. It can contribute to overall wellness, enhance mood, improve sleep, reduce pregnancy discomfort, and even prepare your body for labor.

Engaging in moderate-intensity activities such as aerobic exercises and resistance training is generally considered safe and beneficial during pregnancy. If you maintained an active lifestyle prior to becoming pregnant, you should be able to continue with your regular workout routines. However, it’s important to note that due to the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, some adjustments may need to be made to your exercise regimen. This could include reducing the intensity or duration of workouts, or modifying specific exercises to ensure they are safe and comfortable.

On the other hand, if you led a sedentary lifestyle before pregnancy, it’s advisable to start exercising slowly and cautiously. Begin with low-impact activities and gradually increase the intensity and duration as your fitness level improves. Always remember to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program during pregnancy.

Question: What are the main benefits of exercising during pregnancy in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah?

Exercising during pregnancy offers numerous benefits, which can be further elaborated with examples:
  • Prevents Excess Weight Gain: Engaging in regular physical activity helps pregnant women maintain a healthy weight throughout their pregnancy. For example, activities like walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga can help prevent excessive weight gain.

  • Facilitates Easier and Shorter Labor: Regular exercise during pregnancy contributes to a good cardiovascular system and strong muscles, which can lead to easier and shorter labor. For instance, cardiovascular exercises such as cycling or using an elliptical machine can improve endurance and stamina, making labor less strenuous.

  • Reduces Pregnancy-Related Issues: Staying active while pregnant can lower the risks of various pregnancy-related issues. Examples include:

    • Leg Swelling: Gentle exercises like ankle rotations and leg stretches can help reduce swelling in the legs.
    • Gestational Diabetes: Regular physical activity can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
    • Constipation: Exercises that involve gentle movements of the abdomen, such as prenatal Pilates, can help alleviate constipation.
    • Low Back Pain: Strengthening exercises for the back and core, such as prenatal strength training, can provide relief from low back pain commonly experienced during pregnancy.
By incorporating regular exercise into their routine, pregnant women in the UAE can experience these benefits and promote a healthier pregnancy journey.
prenatal personal training - example programs for ladies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sharjah

Question: Which exercises (or types) benefit pregnant women in the UAE, and what benefits do these exercises provide?

General strength training helps to keep muscles strong and promotes good blood flow. It is especially important to strengthen pregnancy-specific muscles such as the pelvic floor and postural muscles. These exercises can aid in carrying the baby’s weight and contribute to a faster recovery after giving birth.
Water-based exercise programs, including swimming in the UAE (low to moderate intensity), are recommended as they may reduce the risks associated with land-based exercise. It is important to ensure that the water temperature is below 32 degrees Celsius.
In addition to strength training, relaxation, labor preparation, and flexibility training should also be included in a prenatal exercise routine. These exercises can help you focus and relax during delivery. Both Pilates and Yoga are beneficial for pregnant individuals.
A personal trainer in the UAE who specializes in pre-post natal training can create a specific exercise plan tailored to your needs. They can also track your progress throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period.

Prenatal Exercise Examples:


  1. Walking: Walking in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is a safe and low-impact exercise that can be done throughout pregnancy. It helps improve cardiovascular health, strengthens leg muscles, and promotes overall well-being.

  2. Prenatal YogaPrenatal yoga focuses on gentle stretching, breathing techniques, and relaxation. It helps improve flexibility, reduces stress, and prepares the body for childbirth.

  3. SwimmingSwimming is a great full-body workout that is gentle on the joints. It helps improve cardiovascular fitness, tones muscles, and provides relief from swelling and discomfort.

  4. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, help strengthen the muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and bowels. They can prevent urinary incontinence and prepare the body for labor.

  5. Modified Strength Training: With guidance from a qualified trainer, modified strength training exercises using light weights or resistance bands can help maintain muscle tone and strength during pregnancy. These exercises should focus on major muscle groups while avoiding excessive strain or pressure on the abdomen.

Question: What are some nutrition tips for expectant women in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah?

If you were not active before pregnancy, it is still possible to start exercising. However, it is important to approach it with caution and take certain factors into consideration.
During pregnancy, both you and your developing baby are more susceptible to complications that can arise from exercise due to the physiological changes happening in your body. Therefore, it is recommended to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. It is also crucial to closely monitor your progress and listen to your body. If you have any concerns or questions, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional.
To ensure a safe and effective exercise regime during pregnancy, it is advisable to seek guidance from a professional personal trainer who specializes in pre-natal training. They will be able to provide you with tailored exercises that are suitable for your specific needs and help you maintain a comfortable workout routine throughout your pregnancy.

Question: As someone who didn't exercise regularly before pregnancy, is it safe to start now? Will there be added stress on my body?

Postnatal personal training is specifically designed for new mothers, taking into account the significant physical changes that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. By working with a personal trainer, you can make sure you perform exercises safely and effectively, which is especially crucial during the postpartum period when the body is still healing.

Additionally, personalised training sessions can help you stay motivated and accountable as you work towards your health goals, ensuring that you become the best version of yourself while being the best mom possible.

Question: Can engaging in pre-natal exercise influence the course of labor and delivery?

While there’s no absolute guarantee, it is suggested that regular physical activity during pregnancy may have a significant impact on the process of labor and delivery. 

Research indicates a potential link between expectant women who maintain an active lifestyle throughout their pregnancy and those who subsequently experience a more manageable and shorter duration of labor and delivery. 

This suggests that prenatal exercise could potentially play a role in facilitating a smoother birthing process. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences can vary greatly, and many factors can influence the course of labor and delivery.

Question: Are there any exercises or equipment that should be avoided during pregnancy, either at the gym or home?

Expectant women should avoid high impact exercises, sudden changes of intensity and positions, standing for extended periods of time, and exercises that involve breath holding.
Examples of exercises to avoid during pregnancy include:
  • Crunches and planks: These exercises strain the abdominals and pelvic floor, which can be harmful during pregnancy.

  • Stretching beyond comfort: Overstretching can lead to injury or strain on the muscles and ligaments.

  • Contact sports: Participating in contact sports increases the risk of injury to both the mother and the baby.

  • Exercises that make you feel too hot or tired: It is important to listen to your body and avoid exercises that cause excessive fatigue or overheating.

  • Lying supine from 16 weeks onward: This position can restrict blood flow to the uterus and may be uncomfortable for the mother.
It is crucial to prioritize safety and consult with a healthcare professional before starting or continuing any exercise routine during pregnancy.

Question: As a Dubai personal trainer, do you believe that exercising during pregnancy can aid in faster postnatal recovery?

Absolutely, there is a significant correlation between expectant women who maintain an active lifestyle and those who experience a more rapid recovery following the process of childbirth.
This connection is not merely anecdotal but is backed by numerous studies and research. It’s been observed that staying physically active during pregnancy can lead to numerous health benefits, not just for the mother, but also for the baby. These benefits extend beyond the period of pregnancy and have a profound impact on postpartum recovery.
In fact, it’s quite interesting to note that some individuals actually kickstart their exercise routines during pregnancy itself. They don’t wait until after the baby is born to start working on their fitness. Instead, they incorporate suitable exercises into their daily routine while expecting. This proactive approach towards physical health helps them stay fit and active during pregnancy, making the process easier and less strenuous.
What’s even more impressive is that these individuals are often able to achieve their optimal physical condition following childbirth by diligently maintaining their workout routines. They understand the importance of consistency in exercise and make it a point to stick to their fitness regimen, even amidst the new challenges and responsibilities that come with parenthood.
So, in conclusion, staying active during pregnancy does not only contribute to a healthier pregnancy but also paves the way for a quicker and smoother recovery post-childbirth.

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