Here at Cre8 we thought we would share our thoughts on training and exercise when pregnant. During these 9 months the body goes through a lot of change so listen to your body and do what feels right. The main thing is to not introduce drastic new training regimes but stick to what your body knows. This is important in the first trimester and although there is rarely any direct link between exercise and miscarriage its best you air on the side of caution unless otherwise discuss with your doctors. Hopefully you have been active pre-pregnancy so the body is used to movement and strength training. You want to ideally stick to a conventional strength training methods, not too many reps but still using some resistance. You want to keep up your strength levels to help with birth and place you in a better position for recovery after birth. We suggest you stick with basic strength methods such as 5 set of 5 reps and take plenty of rest between sets so not to overheat. You goal is to maintain your strength and fitness levels not to improve so don’t be tempted to try and increase your 1 rep max or achieve some new personal bests.
Some of the benefits of training during pregnancy are:
· Boost in energy levels
· Helps the body prepare for a smooth labour
· Increased placenta size which improves the capacity to exchange oxygen, CO2 and nutrients.
· Reduced chances of a caesarean birth
· Decrease likelihood of varicose veins
· Good core strength which will reduce the risk of lower back pains
· Healthy mum’s to be, have healthy babies
· Lower risk of gestational diabetes
· More likely to have a lean baby with a greater cardiovascular capacity
Try to keep to these following rules.
1. Do not over heat! Remember your maintaining not improving so go a little easy. Aim for a 5/6 out of 10 for exertion level.
2. Keep your heart rate down. If your following point one then you shouldn’t have a problem but if you’re concerned invest in a heart rate monitor to keep an eye on your beats per minute. Another practical way to measure both points one and two is if you can hold a conversation while training the intensity is about right. If you can’t your pushing it too far.
3. Stick to what you know as mentioned above. If you have trained before pregnancy keep it up but don’t increase the intensity of your workouts.
4. Use exercises that you are familiar with and are unlikely to lose your balance and fall. Other than strength training try swimming and water walking.
5. Increase your rest periods to adhere to points one and two.
6. Never hold your breath while exercising. A general rule of thumb is breath out on the exertion part of the exercise.
7. Avoid exercise where you lay on your back as this can decrease blood flow to the uterus and therefore the baby.
We believe that exercise and especially weight training is of critical importance before, during and after pregnancy for the reasons above. Post pregnancy consider that the stronger and fitter you are the better you will cope with the demands of being a mother also moving and holding your baby.
This is just our opinions, thoughts and findings so please consult with your doctor before exercising whilst pregnant. This information is by no means the complete guide to exercising whilst you’re pregnant so we recommend you also research further and feel free do discuss this with any of the Cre8 Fitness team.