In the gym we train and coach people in all shapes and sizes with all of their own personal training goals. One of the most important things to take into account while making work-out and diet plans is the current state of the body: have there been any injuries in the past? Are we dealing with a healthy heart and set of lungs? Are there any rheumatic problems? etc.
-a proper work-out plan should build the body up, never tear it down.
Of course this is even more so in the case of pregnancy -and I keep in mind that I’m not only helping mom keeping fit and healthy, but also her baby. So when I welcomed a new pregnant client to our gym, I did my ‘homework’ to make sure I know all the ins and outs to be able to give her (and all my readers) trustworthy, safe advise.
Is exercise during pregnancy a good idea?
YES. Exercise helps your body go through all the physical changes (and relieves common problems like back pains, varicose veins, etc) before and after birth in numerous ways. It even helps you during labor. Why/and how? -I’ll explain this very soon in my next post.
How much exercise is good?
This is pretty straightforward; you keep on doing what you were doing before you were pregnant. In other words; if you did moderate exercise, keep on doing that. If you’re a daily gym-rat. Keep on ratting. Always been a couch potato? Well in that case, maybe now you should go for a 30 min walk every day to get you’re cardiovascular system running a bit 😉
Do not drastically change your lifestyle were sports is concerned. Key is, as usual, to let your body be your guide. You know you’re at a good intensity when you can talk normally and not become exhausted too fast.
-Don’t work out to the point of exhaustion. Make sure you can still carry on a conversation.
-Don’t do exercises where you have to lie on your back (after 1st trimester). This has to do with the changes is your cardiovascular system
-Don’t exercise if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
-Don’t play sports with increased risk of trauma or falling (sorry, this means no more icehockey, cagefighting and certainly no scubadiving). Keep to low-impact sports.
-Do squats. These are good cause they strengthen the pelvic muscles which makes it easier to carry the weight of your baby, but also helps through labor!
-Drink water before, during and after exercise. This is always important to replenish but you should give this extra attention while pregnant. Dehydration can lead to overheating, which is dangerous for the fetus.
-Do pay extra attention to a good warm-up and cool-down.
-Stretch before and after exercise. Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay flexible and strong. However, the body produces extra of the hormone Relaxin; which makes ligaments and tissues more elastic. This causes a false sense of flexibility.
These are all the important things to know. In part 2 I’ll talk more about the anatomical facts of gym and pregnancy.
Have a great Ishtar!