Tips for Pre Natal Exercising

The most recent research shows that exercise is beneficial for mother and baby during pregnancy. So long as there are no contraindications (ask your doctor), you should be able to work out, eat healthy and continue to maintain your fitness throughout the 9 months of your pregnancy.

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However the most important thing to realise is that the purpose of exercise changes at this time of your life. Instead of exercising to tighten up, you are now exercising to loosen up and prepare your body for childbirth.

I always tell my pre natal clients that exercise should be stress relieving, not stress producing. The exercises you choose should still get your heart rate up, stretch your body, and help you manage weight gain. It will also help prepare you for the "marathon" of labor and delivery. Your pregnancy and labor will be much easier if you're fit and your body is conditioned.

If you have already been working out, you can probably continue your current routine until you reach the end of your second/beginning of third trimester. Once a woman is in her third trimester certain overhead exercises or intense movements should be eliminated to avoid their heart rate from jumping too high.

If you are new to working out, you should start slow and gentle. Popular modes of exercise during pregnancy include walking, aqua aerobics, and prenatal yoga/pilates classes. The most important thing is to listen to your body: If the exercise doesn't feel right, don't do it. Also make sure when attending group classes that the trainers are fully qualified and experienced to prescribe the correct exercises for you.

With any workout during pregnancy the most important thing is to watch your intensity during the workout. This is not the time to go for the burn or work until exhaustion. A good indicator is a talk test: If you can talk through your exercise, you're probably at an appropriate intensity. If it feels too difficult to talk, you should definitely decrease the intensity.

I would avoid physical sports that could knock you off balance - such as skating or skiing - and of sports that could risk physical trauma such as GAA, Hockey or Rock climbing. Do not become overheated. Your baby does not have a way to cool themselves down therefore Wear light clothing and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.