May 15, 2012

Should You Exercise When Pregnant?

A lot of women ask the question when they fall pregnant, "Do I continue to train?". If there are no known complications, after speaking with your doctor you’re free to keep training, but some modifications need to be made.
As it is non-weight bearing and keeps the body's core temperature down, swimming is the preferred exercise modality for women and can be completed late into the pregnancy.

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Focus on technique and drills in swimming. This will maintain a reasonable level of fitness and, once you can push the training along a little more intensely, give you considerable performance benefits.
Ride indoors on the turbo trainer and have had a number of pregnant squad members participate in sessions with minimum safety concerns.

Out on the road can become a bit tricky particularly in the later months as the woman's centre of gravity shifts, lowering her stability and drastically increasing the potential for falls. The last thing mother and child need at 32 weeks into a pregnancy is to come off the bike! So doing some sessions indoors on the turbo-trainer is highly recommended. Cycling is only partially weight-bearing but as the pregnancy advances, even on a stationary bike it can start to get very uncomfortable.

There is no right and wrong way to approach this and all women consult their doctors to ensure that they have no confounding underlying concerns before running. Some women "race” right up till the day before giving birth. Others opt for a more conservative approach and replace their runs with brisk walks of a similar duration. Following a walk the baby can be more relaxed and content from the rhythmical movement.


Some key points to remember and avoid:
  • Don't allow your core temperature to rise excessively.
  • Avoid becoming lactic in training.
  • Avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • Realise that your balance and mobility won’t be the same throughout the pregnancy and make adjustments accordingly.
  • As the pregnancy advances and your body starts to circulate greater concentrations of the hormone relaxin there is an increased possibility of joint problems such as dislocations.
  • Don't restrict calories and try to keep you weight down during pregnancy. A healthy weight gain for a woman at full term pregnancy is between 10-14 kilograms for an average size woman (60kg), less if you're overweight, more if you're underweight.
  • Use your pregnancy as a period to "exercise" rather than "train".

In the final analysis you and your baby are the most important concerns. If your training has to suffer for a few months for the long term health of your bub then so be it, the rewards out-weigh the sacrifices a thousand fold

Source: Yahoo lifestyle
Images:  Getty Images