Pregnant Training Advice
Research shows that training while pregnant has numerous benefits, including:
Many health clubs now offer both pre and post Natal classes. These can be a good way to learn correct exercise techniques from a qualified fitness instructor, and also meet other mums-to-be.
Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, aerobics, and steppers have a much better effect on easing pregnancy discomforts and complaints than non weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling.
Weight training for the upper body will help improve the muscle tone, but you should avoid exercises that place strain on your lower back, or those that involve lifting weights above head height. Concentrate on using good technique, reducing both the weight and reps to ensure that you avoid over-exertion. If you have no experience with weights, seek guidance from a qualified professional.
During pregnancy your heart rate, blood volume, and respiratory rate all increase. This enables a greater flow of nutrients and oxygen to be supplied to the developing foetus.
This can reduce the amount of oxygen and blood flow available during the initial phase of exercise, and can cause dizziness. Therefore any exercise should have a gradual increase in effort.
Know your limits, and don't get carried away with your workout, especially if you train regularly or have a competitive streak.
GETTING BACK INTO SHAPE AFTER BIRTH
It’s crucial to listen to your body. You will generally need 4 - 6 weeks postpartum for a vaginal birth, and 6 - 8 weeks for a surgical birth, before resuming exercise.
Getting back into shape or returning to your pre-pregnancy weight will depend greatly on the amount of exercise that you did both prior to and during your pregnancy.
Start back gradually at your own pace, stopping immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Look for clubs that offer post-natal classes – you’ll not only learn how to get back into shape, you’ll also meet other new mums.