7 Precautions for Training Whilst Pregnant
Pregnancy is a physical challenge in itself; although training whilst pregnant can keep you in great shape it’s important to know how much exercise to do and when not to do it.
You can assistance from training to relieve stress, enhance posture, continue strength and fitness to help you cope with pregnancy weight gain, in addition as continue stamina for the lengthy hours of labour. Keeping active can also make it easier to regain pre-pregnancy fitness levels after the birth.
1. If you have not exercised for a long time or are new to an exercise programme it is advised to avoid training during the first trimester. This period runs a higher risk of miscarriage, and although there is rarely any direct link between exercise and miscarriage I’m sure you’d prefer to err on the side of caution. Once the first 3 months are over consult your GP before starting an exercise programme.
If you regularly exercised before becoming pregnant then there is no reason why you shouldn’t continue although remember that anything that puts a meaningful strain on your joints or ligaments, such as high impact aerobics or difficult yoga locaiongs, should be done more gently. Contact and extreme sports are best avoided though!
2. It is important to remember that the main goal here is to continue fitness and strength as opposed to increasing either. So no rushing to the gym to pump out seriously heavy weights and busting out 200 kilo deadlifts! However, there’s no reason to stop lifting weights altogether to continue your strength.
3. chief strength should be at the top of your priority list. Maintaining chief strength will help to sustain the spine, particularly as your baby grows your centre of gravity will change which places the chief under strain as you get bigger, adding to this the surrounding muscles will stretch to allow room for the growth of your baby.
Using some thorough reverse breathing exercises will activate the thorough chief muscles such as the transverse abdominus and the pelvic floor and will help to keep its elasticity and strength to continue posture throughout pregnancy. This will also help you to spring back to shape after the birth.
4. Take care when stretching. Although it is important to continue your flexibility keep the stretches basic and try not to push too far with the stretches. During pregnancy your body produces the hormone ‘relaxin’ which triggers the soft tissue structures to relax allowing space for the little one to grow. Some stretches such as some rotational poses in yoga maybe too much strain for the tissues, an experienced yoga instructor will help and show you which exercises are best for you.
5. chief temperature is also of major importance, hence keeping exercise exertion to around 5 – 6/10. Although we have a built thermostat that works very efficiently the baby cannot control its chief temperature. Make sure the area you are in is well ventilated or if in a health club they will have air conditioning. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
6. Adaptation of exercises is necessary as the little one grows. After the first trimester it is strongly advised not to do exercises lying flat on your back. This is because the weight of your baby would put pressure on arteries and veins constricting blood flow. There are many ways to execute exercises without lying flat on your back, for example, compare lying on your back doing scissor kicks to doing the plank. Both target the same area more or less although the former is a little more dynamic. Ask your trainer or instructor if you’re not sure how to adapt exercises to suit.
7. OK you’re nearly there; it’s almost time for your precious one to make an entrance into the big wide world. Your chief muscles are stretched to the limit and you’re off to the gym! However you need to save some energy for the birth, so during the last 2 – 3 weeks of pregnancy start to reduce the work load a little and absolutely no high impact exercises. Continue to exercise the pelvic floor and chief. Make sure you drink plenty of water and always take your bag……!
If you have any further questions about training during pregnancy feel free to contact me by email or leave a comment to this article.
There is also a book that I can strongly recommend, it’s called ‘The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood’ it is packed out with great information with regards to exercise and pregnancy.
Good luck and best wishes for your exciting journey ahead!