Pregnancy fitness? Yes, right. You are pregnant, your body is undergoing several changes, and a new life is developing inside of you; and depending on you. But you are not sick, you are not suffering from an illness, so there is no reason why not to stay fit.
In fact, if you are a healthy woman, your pregnancy is doing well, and showing no complications, the more fit and active you are, the better.
Fitness involves healthy eating and appropriately exercising, and if you take care of both aspects, your body will find it easier to adapt to your changing body shape, needs and gains. Fit pregnant women cope with labor with more ease. Furthermore, exercising during pregnancy has benefits, some of which are:
– Improved energy.
-Decreased risk of acquiring gestational diabetes.
-Reduced risk of acquiring long-term obesity.
-Improved posture and reduced backaches.
-Reduced risk of gestational diabetes, swelling and bloating.
-Improves your cardiovascular system, which also benefits the amount of oxygen your baby receives.
-Helps to reduce the stress and anxiety sometimes associated with pregnancy.
-Reduces the risk of acquiring urinary incontinence which is common in many pregnant women, especially at the latest stages.
That being said, you will need to bear in mind certain considerations. Although physical activities and sports are beneficial, you will need to restrict yourself in some aspects (such as not exhausting yourself till becoming breathless), or avoid certain sports for your baby´s sake.
When it comes to the nutritional aspect of pregnancy fitness, needless to say, that you have to keep a balanced diet, and follow the indications of your doctor. Depending on how much you exercise, you may need more of certain nutrients than other moms to be.
Getting straight to physical activity which is usually one of the first concerns pregnant women show. If you do physical activities or exercise (dancing, yoga, running, tennis, cycling, etc.) you can keep on with your regular routines, as long as you keep feeling comfortable, unless – for some reason- your doctor specifically prohibits you from exercising. Of course, even if you have been practicing a particular sport and are continuing doing so, don´t forget to tell your instructor right from the moment you discover you are pregnant. Being aware of that, your instructor will be able to give you particular recommendations or precautions if required.
Tips For Pregnancy Fitness
As we mentioned above, you can continue exercising unless otherwise prescribed by your physician.
There are yet a few precautions you need to take:
-Warm up before you start exercising.
– Don´t exercise up to exhaustion. If you can´t speak because you are breathless, you have then trained too hard.
-Avoid exercising strenuously in excessively hot weather.
-If exercising in heated swimming pools, beware, particularly if you have low blood pressure.
-Drink, drink and drink plenty of water during training.
-If you practice any martial arts, you can do all training and warm up, but you must avoid the sparring. Don´t risk getting an unwanted kick or punch in your womb!
-Avoid having to lie flat on your back mainly after the fourth month, and never do it for more than one minute. In such position, you are putting pressure on a vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to your baby.
-Never hold your breath, such in some weight lifting exercises, this could augment your blood pressure and reduce the oxygen your baby receives.
-Avoid much jumping. You could harm your pelvic tissues and your joints, which are already carrying extra weight.
-Forget about scuba diving; your baby could suffer from decompression sickness and gas bubbles in the blood.
-If you had not been practicing sports or exercising before getting pregnant, you could still enjoy the advantages of pregnancy fitness. Walking on a daily basis is a great option. You can also consider yoga, Pilates or aqua gym.
Usually, doctors recommend pregnant women doing about 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. The type of exercise will vary a lot from woman to woman. One of the main factors is how active the woman was before she got pregnant. Obviously, we are talking about healthy women and non-complicated pregnancies. It is known that highly competitive athletes can keep a quite elevated pace of training during their pregnancy without suffering any harm or cause any harm to their babies. Something similar happens with women who practice weightlifting and get pregnant. They can continue weight-lifting, but under strict supervision, adapting their routines to their new condition, and lowering the weight they lift.
Even though pregnancy is highly motivating for many women, those who weren´t used to exercising before getting pregnant should be very careful, and should avoid starting a strenuous training plan. So, don´t expect to find a pregnancy fitness program that fits all. We have given you some recommendations that any pregnant women willing to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and stay fit could benefit from. Again, there is not such thing as a standardized plan that fits all. Create yours based on your previous lifestyle, your health condition, your pregnancy stage, your doctor’s advice and the guidance of an experienced trainer or instructor. And, if while exercising you feel something that you are not used not, or have doubts it could be affecting you or your child, immediately suspend your physical activity and inform your trainer, and your gynecologist without delay!