Exercising through pregnancy has so many benefits, not just for the mother, but for the baby too. It will alleviate joint and muscle stiffness, alleviate additional weight gain and prevent gestational diabetes.
The advice is that if you are used to doing some regular exercise then this can most definitely be continued through pregnancy. It would not be a good idea to embarking on a completely brand new fitness regime of weight training and interval training, if you have never done anything like that before.
The postural muscles tend to get pulled out of alignment whilst being pregnant. The additional weight being carried at the front can mean the lower back can be compressed. So making sure you can engage your core muscles during pregnancy to protect the spine would be highly recommended.
In addition to this, the chest and shoulder muscles can become tighter with the increase in size of the breasts, so making sure the back muscles stay strong is also really important. Having strong trunk muscles is also great for the post pregnancy and getting back into shape. All new mums want to get rid of the “jelly” belly as soon as possible!
Taking aerobic exercise and doing weight training are both completely acceptable forms of exercise when you are pregnant. My best advice is to listen to your body and do not allow yourself to become overly fatigued, as this can have a negative effect on your energy levels and could cause pregnancy complications.
Ensuring you have enough rest and include low impact cardio work in between sessions will aid recovery and reduce stress levels. This can be going for a long walk or doing a yoga or a Pilates session once per week.
Bodyweight training is one of my preferred methods of ante-natal training as it can give you a great workout without causing too much muscle soreness and overall fatigue.
As a general rule, try not to exceed your pre pregnancy fitness level when pregnant. Listen to your body and take rest when it’s needed. Each individual is different and will be able to exercise at a different level.
During the second and third trimester some exercises need to be adapted to ensure your comfort and safety, but as long as you feel ok, its totally ok to carry on with exercise.
It is also worth mentioning that calorie restriction should not take place during pregnancy. Additional calories need to be eaten when exercising regularly to keep energy levels up and keep baby feeling full!
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Kelly - Limitless Life personal trainer and fully train pre- and post-natal fitness coach.