So if you feel up to a bit of exercise what are the do’s and don’ts? I went along to Goldstone Fitness in the Six Cross Roads business park and spoke to instructor Danielle Bohill, she had some good advice for expectant mums who want to either maintain their fitness level or to take up exercise for the health of the baby.
“First up, don’t exercise to lose weight while you are pregnant” she says. “Some women get pregnant and they are worried that they are going to gain a lot of weight so they take up exercise, which is fine if done so correctly and safely. However, if you didn’t have a very active lifestyle before pregnancy and you suddenly decided to uptake running, this higher impact and intense cardio would be deemed too excessive as a starting point of exercise for that pregnancy. Don’t take up any impact sports, maybe take up light strength training & non- impact exercise, but we would strongly advise against beginning anything physically intensive in the fear that you are going to gain weight.”
Danielle says if someone comes to her and tells her that they are pregnant she can adapt that fitness plan to suit their new condition.
“Most women know their own limitations and they know what they can and can’t do, especially if it is not their first pregnancy. But there are certain do’s and don’ts. For example it is very important to warm up and cool down properly. Pregnant women have to make sure they are gradually increasing their body temperature. Also avoid doing mostly abdominal exercises. There are things that you can do for example pregnancy yoga and pilates which would be perfectly safe but avoid sit-ups for example.
It’s very important that you don’t bead sweat. By that I mean if there are beads of sweat running down your face you have most likely pushed yourself too far. In the first trimester the baby is forming its vital organs. If you become overheated that means your baby’s body core temperature is too high and could cause potential risks to your baby if over a sustained period of time. So if your body is trying to cool down by means of sweating your internal temperature has raised quite high therefore so has your baby’s core temperature. Again emphasising gentle safe training methods for both you and baby”
If members find out they are pregnant and wish to stop exercising they can put a freeze on their account if they so wish. Danielle says the best thing to do is to talk to them about any fears you might have.
“Sometimes women freeze their account in fear that they are going to do something wrong and they shouldn’t be going to the gym and people will be telling them they need to be resting. But exercise is good for you, it gets your endorphins going and increases energy which is always a good thing.”
Danielle's List of DO's & DON'Ts During Pregnancy
Always warm up and cool down
Stretch before and after each workout
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Avoid overheating in the first trimester. This is an important piece of advice for the summer months. Avoid working out outside on very hot or humid days.
Do strength train consistently but keep the weights light.
Do continue to run if you have made a habit of it and if your doctor says it is ok.
Listen to your body, if you need to rest do so.
Eat before exercise to avoid a drop in blood glucose level.
Always exercise at a comfortable intensity, reduce exercise intensity to a level 25%-30% lower than pre pregnancy
Exercise to a point of exhaustion.
Don’t do exercises that require you to lie on your back like crunches, especially during second and third trimester.
Don’t start running if you haven’t made a habit of it before pregnancy.
Don’t bead sweat (over training)
Don’t ignore warning signs. Stop exercising if you notice dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain etc.
Don’t exercise to lose weight during pregnancy.
Don’t exercise in hot or humid conditions.
Don’t perform fast movements or changes of direction.
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