How to exercise during pregnancy doesn't need to be a complicated mystery, even though it can seem confusing to know what to and what not to do. The internet is rife with suggestions and many fitness instructors and trainers have not received adequate information on what to be aware of during the pre- and postnatal chapter. Check out The Lotus Method informational blog series!
Gone are the days where pregnant women were viewed as fragile. It has now become common knowledge that physical activity benefits both mama and baby (woohoo!) but there is still quite a bit of discussion on what exercise is most beneficial. As is true for many things, the answer here is "it depends!"
What is your objective?
A few great goals to strive for with exercise prenatally:
- Maintain function and fitness throughout the duration of pregnancy
- Prepare for labor/delivery
- Prepare for the impending challenges of motherhood.
At The Lotus Method, our focus is strength training. Here's why:
- Resistance training enables mamas-to-be to maintain strength throughout their bodies (including the ever-important inner core unit) to function optimally throughout the trimesters.
- Prepare for the hard work of labor
- Motherhood is repetitive, physical, and demanding. In order to be up for the challenge, we strength train!
1.) Keep it simple. Focus on major muscle groups, and basic human movements. Simple sessions with squats, hinges (deadlifts), pulls (rows), rotations (woodchops), etc. can yield great results! Stick to the basics.
2.) Prioritize great form and utilize a strategy that takes your core into consideration. For more information, please check out this program, created by renowned women's health PT, Julie Wiebe: http://www.juliewiebept.com/product/the-pelvic-floor-piston-foundation-for-fitness-2/
3.) Emphasize exercises that will support you through pregnancy, back off exercise that cause you to strain. Every pregnancy is different and so there are no hard and fast rules about what exercises will or won't be appropriate throughout the duration of one's pregnancy.
4.) Easy on the impact. During pregnancy, there's a significant load placed on the pelvic floor. when we add impact (from jumping, running, etc.), we're asking a lot from our bodies to be able to stabilize and receive that force from above.
5.) Stop if you feel any of the following symptoms: pain, pressure (especially in the vagina), bleeding, lightheadedness, fluid leakage (urine or otherwise), anything else that strikes you as odd or abnormal. Follow up with your doctor to verify that everything is still A-OK before continuing.
6.) Vary your workouts according to how you're feeling and where you are in your pregnancy.
Every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, every woman's pregnancy workouts should be different, too!
For more individualized information, reach out to us at The Lotus Method to schedule an assessment session!