Spring must be in the air because I have had a few questions from you ladies with regard to training through pregnancy.
Of course you should always get checked out with your doctor before starting any exercise programme.
If you have any previous history of high blood pressure, back problems, joint problems or miscarriages, you should take even more precautions.
After a consultation with your doctor you should also see a personal trainer, who can advise a more appropriate exercise routine, specifically designed with the problems in mind.
If you have had the all-clear and have already been exercising before your pregnancy, you can continue to do so.
I would recommend that you should keep your exercise regular rather than spasmodic.
If you have not exercised before, you need to be more careful and I would not recommend taking up exercise after 26 weeks.
Benefits of exercising while pregnant
You will decrease the risk of excess weight gain.
Build a stronger lower back.
Reduce the risk of varicose veins and have less leg cramps.
If you train through pregnancy you will have a greater ability to handle the discomforts of pregnancy and the birth.
You will find it a lot easier to regain your shape and back to your normal weight.
It is likely that you will be stronger and fitter, and therefore likely to have a faster and less painful labour.
You will have a better feeling of well being and generally be more positive and have a healthier pregnancy.
Tips on what to do when exercising
Drink lots of fluids, before, during and after your exercise as this will avoid you overheating.
Your body becomes warmer during exercise and therefore your baby will feel this warmth and can be uncomfortable, so drinking water is the way the baby can cool down. Remember as you get hotter your fluids are getting hotter.
Always warm up and cool down and if you don't already do stretching, add stretching and relaxation breathing into your cool down.
Monitor your heart rate regularly as you now have less oxygen available to you and therefore should lower the intensity of your workout. [25a0] If you feel too out of breath to carry out a conversation while working out, then slow down.
You should not do exercises flat on your back after the first trimester, as the weight of your uterus reduces the blood flow to your baby.
Stop exercising if you feel light headed, feel faint, have dizzy spells, feel nauseous or have any bleeding.
When pregnant your body produces Relaxin which softens ligaments and tendons to allow your bones to spread for the birth of your baby, therefore you should be very careful not to put stress on your joints, avoiding exercises like squats or any other knee bending exercises.
Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, stepping or low impact aerobics are generally better at easing pregnancy discomforts and complaints than non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling.
When walking it should be on flat even surfaces to avoid any possibility of tripping up. The safest is a treadmill in a gym environment. [25a0] Avoid exercises like basketball or football to avoid any chance of collision.
When doing resistance work (weights) use light weights with more repetitions.
Avoid lifting weights above your head (shoulder press) as this could place a strain on your lower back.
When exercising blood is transferred to the working muscles, therefore any over exertion can transfer the nutrients carried in the blood away from your developing baby.
Later on in your pregnancy it may be an idea to sit on an exercise ball to do your exercises and this will be more comfortable and will give you some stability.
Remember, be cautious, consult your doctor and stay fit, so you can have the energy to enjoy your baby when it comes along.