Exercising and training during pregnancy has so many benefits. However, there are so many ways to workout safely for both you and your baby bump.
The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will actually be for you to adapt to your changing shape. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into your shape post-birth!
There are a lot of misconceptions about what training should and shouldn’t be done during pregnancy, so we’re here to clear this up for you, along with stating the benefits and warning signs:
- Start off slowly and keep the workout low-impact, use slow and controlled movements while lifting weights as pregnancy hormones can cause joints to be loosened and thus can increase the risk of injury – which definitely should be avoided.
- Always warm-up before exercising, cool down afterwards, and drink plenty of fluids while exercising.
- There are certain strength exercises that pregnant women should focus on like Deadlifts, Squats and Rows. Strong upper legs, glutes and back muscles will really help support your bump.
- You can see and feel your body changing, and changing up your workout routine as your body changes is one of the most important things to do if you want to continue training safely. Not only is each pregnancy different, but your body can feel completely different from one day to the next!
- A strong pelvic floor is so important for all pregnant women. It is recommended to do daily pelvic floor squeezes to help prevent things like bladder leaks, bowel leaks, and pelvic organ prolapse. And as the pelvic floor is the most important part of your core, a strong pelvic floor means a strong core which means you’ll be able to lift weights more safely.
- Now is not the time for mad high-intensity workouts or smashing your PB’s! Instead allow yourself plenty of time to recover and rest, always work within your abilities and comfort during pregnancy. Remember that exercise does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
- Towards the final trimester of pregnancy, do avoid lifting weights overhead or picking them up directly from the floor. Your centre of gravity shifts as your baby is growing, and this change in balance can make you less stable and unfortunately more likely to be wobbly and fall over.
- You should watch out for the following warning signs during exercise, and if you do notice any of these signs, do stop and seek immediate medical help:
- -bleeding from the vagina
- -feeling dizzy or faint
- -shortness of breath before starting exercising
- -chest pain and headache
- -muscle weakness
- -calf pain or swelling
- -regular painful contractions of the uterus.