Exercise before, during and after pregnancy is highly recommended for holistic healthcare and lifestyle. As I have discussed in a previous article (Too much exercise or not enough…how do we know and find the balance for preconception?) Finding the balance to your regime can sometimes be tricky.
Even though exercise during pregnancy is a must, as there are many benefits as spoken about previously (Benefits and guidelines to Pregnancy fitness!), there are some exercises that involve positions and movements that can be uncomfortable or harmful for pregnant Mummas. Always be guided by your healthcare practitioner. Some general cautions include:
- Avoid raising your body temperature too high. No hot spas, heated workout rooms or exercising to the point of heavy sweating. Decrease your pace on really hot days if outside and keep well hydrated. TIP: Putting Himalayan sea salts in your water can help boost your hydration, as salts are electrolytes.
- Don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion. Listen to your body not your mind that can push us past the safe limits. Rather then using your target heart rate, monitor your intensity/duration by how your body feels. Rate of perceived exertion. To around a 7/8 out of 10.
- If weight training (which I recommend in your pregnancy fitness plan), choose lower weights and increase your repetitions. Avoid lifting heavy weights altogether. This only then will redirect the blood to the worked muscles during recovery rather then to the baby where its priority needs to flow.
- Perform controlled stretches and avoid overextending. The relaxin hormone is wonderful in helping our pelvis to open and be flexible for growth and delivery of baby, however it can also affect the joints and ligaments elsewhere in the body. So be mindful of this in your workouts and stretches.
- Avoid exercising if you are ill or feverish as again the energy is needed to heal the body and for baby’s growth rather than extra strain and stress of a workout during this time. Rest with lots of water to allow the body to heal. Start back with some light walking then add in other forms of exercise to regain your strength.
- If you don’t feel like exercising on a particular day due to really low energy or aching body, don’t! Listen to your body and take this time to rest. It’s important not to unnecessarily deplete your energy reserves just like on days your unwell. The body has a great way of telling us what it needs, if we just tune in and listen.
- If an illness or complication during pregnancy arises, be sure to check in and talk with your doctor or midwife before continuing or restarting your exercise plan.
- During pregnancy avoid sports and activities with increased risk of, or characterised by abdominal trauma or pressure, contact or collision, hard projectile/striking objects, falling, extreme balance or agility, heavy lifting, high altitude training, supine exercise position (lying flat on your back from second trimester) , wide squats or lunges, jumping and pressure on pelvic floor muscles.
To ensure you are following the safest forms of exercise during your pregnancy journey I would recommend following a pregnancy exercise plan or attending pregnancy classes, which are tailored for your needs during this time.
We at FIT FAB MUM are always here to guide and support your healthiest self during, and for this amazing journey into motherhood.
Written by Jade Geyser 30 Nov 2018