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To Train or Not to Train? - Pregnancy

To Train or Not to Train? - Pregnancy

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As a Personal Trainer with Prenatal clients, I cannot stress enough how important it is to remain active or even BEGIN a fitness regime when you are pregnant. There are so many benefits to yourself AND the baby. It can be a bit scary to some who don't know, and it can also be a little confusing. It is all about understanding the changes that are going on in your body :)

So you've discovered that you're pregnant. Two things are most likely going to pop up in your mind (lets assume that this a women who cares about her physical health):

A. "Should I keep exercising? How much can I push without harming the baby?"

OR...

B. I want to "bounce back" quickly after I have the baby. Perhaps I should start some exercises, but what do I do?

First and foremost, before you begin ANY program during your pregancy, regardless if you were exercising before, you should check in with your physician. You need to make sure everything is a-ok before you lift ANYTHING. This is for your baby's protection as well as yours.

COMMON MYTHS ABOUT PREGNANCY AND EXERCISE

1. You Can't Begin an Exercise Regimen if You Were Not Active Before.

This is not true at all. If you haven't exercised your entire life, NOW would be the time to do it. Start slow and listen to your body. Take up some Yoga. It is important to be physically healthy while carrying that little one. If this is your first time jumping into the fitness world, always check in with your doctor about what you are doing.

2. You Can't Perform Abdominal Exercises Anymore.

Again, not true. During the 1st trimester, it is okay to do exercises on your back, however the 2nd and 3rd trimester you can still work your abdominals, but you must find a way to do them without laying down. When you are in your last two trimesters, laying on your back can restrict blood flow to the baby.

3. Your Heart Rate Should Never Go Above 140bpm.

Everyone is different. When you are pregnant, one of the changes that occurs is a change in heart rate and oxygen consumption. I have some clients who feel just fine at 140, and others who don't. The key is to listen to your body. It is very important to be in tune with the changes that are going on so you know if something "feels funny". Always exercise in a range that is easy to somewhat hard. NEVER STRENUOUS.


DANGER SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN EXERCISING

- vaginal bleeding
- Dyspnea (difficulty in breathing) before exertion
- dizziness
- headache
- chest pain
- muscle weakness
- calf pain or swelling
- preterm labor
- decreased fetal movement
- amniotic fluid leakage

GREAT EXERCISES TO BEGIN WITH OR INCORPORATE:

1. Kegels

Great for pregnant women. It can result in an easier birth by developing the ability to control your muscles during labor and delivery. Bladder leaks and hemorrhoids can also be prevented or minimized by performing kegels. Don't forget to do them AFTER you have the baby as well. It can promote bladder control, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, and overall healing after child-birth.

2. Walking

It's is low impact, so it is good for your body. You can start slow and work your way up to a faster pace. Be sure to wear good shoes.

3. Running

If you were already in a running or jogging routine prior to your pregnancy then it is okay to resume. If not, then you want to make sure you check with your physician first. Also make sure you wear good shoes and keep water handy to avoid overheating. NO SPRINTING

4. Swimming

One of the best exercises for anyone. It takes all the pressure off the body, and tones at the same time. When swimming you are raising your heart rate and enjoying a safe cardiovascular exercise that is not likely to cause overheating. Just make sure you don't Scuba Dive or go water skiing as they are hazardous to the pregnancy.

5. Biking

Biking is great because it takes a lot of the pressure off your lower body. As you progress in your pregnancy try to transition to a stationary bike if you were biking outdoors. During pregnancy, your center of balance is off, so you pose a risk of falling.

6. Yoga

Yoga is excellent for relieving stress, which is great during pregnancy. Avoid laying on your back and avoid classes such as Bikram Yoga aka "Hot Yoga", as you can easily over-heat. There are specialized prenatal yoga classes that can be attended.

7. Aerobics

Again, if you were doing this prior then it is fine to continue. Otherwise check with your physician. Remember to take it slow, listen to your body, and don't lay flat on your back after your 1st Trimester.

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So, have a fun fit pregnancy!!! Be sure to always were comfortable, loose clothing, drink lots of water, and listen to your body.

Author: Alphradezsa Lezama
musclemama87@aol.com

Member Comments

GREAT POST!!! Its imperative to stay active!! It also sets a fantastic example for your children and your partner. :)
--babycougar

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