FIT PREGNANCY

**Before exercising please check with your health professional that you have the green light to exercise during pregnancy and common sense is used whilst exercising at all times**

Prenatal Fitness

  • Want to have a fit pregnancy? Research suggest that healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies do not need to limit exercise for fear of adverse effects. However exercise is not advisable for some during pregnancy so please talk to a health professional first.  Activities that’s are overly vigorous and have a high potential for falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided. Exercises that require a high degree of balance and agility should be avoided especially in late stages of pregnancy

    For all healthy pregnant women wanting to exercise a few guidelines. (Experienced and new people new to exercise

    • You can workout 3-5 per week (no more than this mummy you need your rest) As you progress to late pregnancy you may want to reduce 3-4 sessions per week
    • Intensity should be light to somewhat hard (don’t go crazy ladies)
    • If you didn’t exercise before pregnancy please keep all exercises light
    • Always included warm up and cool downs with stretches to limber up joints at beginning and end.

    A few question I’ve been asked…

    What am I allowed to do?

    OK yummy mummies to be here’s the 411. If the doctor has given you a clean bill of health and the OK to exercise its absolutely fine go right ahead. Most pregnant women usually can continue most activities during pregnancy by using common sense and making appropriate modifications based on how you feel, symptoms you display and joint laxity. This does not mean take up a new sport or exercise you have never done before. If you did the activity before its fine to continue although bear in mind you will need to make modifications as you progress. If you haven’t really worked out before but you’re healthy and a doctor has given you the all clear, then start off with a basic light program. If you are in the 1st trimester it’s fine to do exercises on your back and crunches if you so wish. So it’s largely based on how you feel and common sense e.g if you’re a runner maybe try running on a treadmill or if you are a cyclist use a stationary bike to minimise the risk of falling and outside conditions beyond your control. Or a lifter would use seated leg extensions to work the quads instead of squats if that’s uncomfortable.

    A Mr & Mrs Life Fit Pregnancy

    Can I lift weights whilst pregnant?’

    The answer is…YES, now if you’re new to resistance training now is not the time to start practicing your best clean and jerk and making PB’s on squats and leg presses though.

    Here are some basics for the yummy mummies to be that want to start adding a resistance workout to their routine.

    • Think about training all the major muscle groups. Legs chest back shoulders etc maybe pick about 8-10 exercises. You can do this as full body session or split into lower body upper body etcWith full body sessions train each muscle group 2-3 time a week with sufficient rest days in between each workout to allow for recovery
    • 1-3 sets of each exercise allow enough rest between each set to recovery
    • Rep range 12-15
    • Try and keep your workout under an hour including warm up and cool down. For experienced lifters you probably already aware you can pretty much carry on as normal making modifications as you progress, decreasing the weight etc. When doing resistance training…

    ALWAYS use correct form and lift weight in a slow controlled manner

    NEVER Hold your breath when performing any exercise

    DON’T perform exercises to complete exhausting

    What are about squats or lunges??

    As you progress in your pregnancy squats are fine to continue with but be careful of the load. Lunges/squats etc can become difficult due to a loss in centre of gravity and joint flexibility etc.

    Here are a few examples of when to STOP exercising if you are working out whilst pregnant.

    • Severe headaches
    • Floaters-lights or floaters in front of your eyes
    • Shortness of breath prior to exertion
    • Palpitations- extreme fatigue or chest pain
    • If you aren’t gaining weight in your pregnancy
    • Unusual abdominal pain
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Persistent contractions
    • Sudden swelling
    • Inflamed calves

    These are just some of the signs where you should stop exercising. If at any time you don’t feel well/right or you feel something is wrong during exercise stop and talk to a health professional.

    A Mr & Mrs life Fit pregnancy

    Things to remember during a fit pregnancy….

    ALWAYS workout in a well-ventilated room keep well hydrated to prevent overheating of you and baby. Pay attention to your heart rate with a monitor or using talk test. That being said if you’re worried and you’re a new mummy to be don’t feel pressured to workout just because other expectant mothers are and it’s in fashion. Do what’s right for you take a healthy approach to pregnancy in general.

    FYI… Please note if you follow us on our fitness journey and seen some of my pregnancy workouts. I am an experienced exerciser and I know what I am doing. Any exercises you see me do that looks out of the ordinary please to do not try yourself unless you are experienced or have guidance of a fitness professional with you. I to would love to try new activities myself whilst pregnant but as I have never done them before this is not the time to start.

    So ladies what are you waiting for? Get active today!

    Check out Weight training during pregnancy post


    Postnatal Fitness

    A few question I’ve been asked during my fit pregnancy…

    ‘How soon after delivery can I start exercising?’

    The general advice for women to exercise is 6 weeks after birth after your postnatal check-up and all is clear with the doctor.

    However if you have had a normal and uncomplicated birth you don’t have to wait that long to start some light exercise.

    Suitable exercises you can start with as soon as 24 hours after if you feel well and comfortable to do so is abdominal and pelvic floor exercises. So get to them Kegal exercises and belly breathing ladies.

    Now by ab exercises I don’t mean start doing a whole bunch of crunches this will only exacerbate the issue and will only make the diastasis worse which is common in pregnancy.

    If you want to do a little more than just core exercises you can begin with gentle walking and increase the intensity from there.

    Don’t worry if you’re not up to it your body has just undergone a big transformation in your body for 9 months and put in some hard work during the birth. You will need mental time to recover and for you and baba to get into a routine.

    Personally in my first pregnancy, I had no desire to make it a fit one and didn’t feel ready to exercise until 8 months after. Everyone is different so take it easy and take your time and ease yourself back in at your own pace.

    If you have had C-section providing you feel well you can also perform these light exercises but if you’re unsure please check with your health professional first.

    ****note****The more difficult exercises like planks and should be left until a few weeks later when you’re feeling stronger waiting at least 6 weeks is advisable as your tummy is still adjusting issues may arise where the placenta was.

    ***Disclaimer: I am qualified to teach Pre/Post Natal fitness, Readers discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.**

     

How soon after having my baby can I exercise?

How soon after having my baby can I exercise well…….. the general advise is 6-8 weeks after your postnatal check up with your doctor but as the saying goes everyone is different. If you haven’t had a C-section or you had uncomplicated delivery its OK to return to light exercise if your feeling well.  The rule is if you exercised through your pregnancy you can start at the intensity you finished with at the end of your pregnancy if you didn’t exercise during pregnancy you need to keep it light and work your way up gradually.

Safe exercises you can start as soon as 24hrs after delivery are pelvic floor exercises and appropriate abdominal exercises focusing on transverse abdominal exercises first and suitable rectus abdominal exercises once the deep transverse has been worked on.

Core exercises you CAN DO

Transverse exercises e.g
ABDOMINAL HOLLOWING ( hollowing can be preformed standing, seated or lying. Focus on bringing your naval towards your spine.)
LEG SLIDES (Focus on bringing your naval towards your spine no doming of the stomach should occur)
KNEE RAISES ( Lying on your back and as above)

Rectus abdominal exercises e.g
PELVIC TILTS ( Lying on your back)
BRIDGE

Core exercises to AVOID  before  6-8 weeks

NO CRUNCHES (You don’t want to create any dooming this will further increase diastasis recti)
NO EXERCISES IN 4 POINT KNEELING POSITION( There is a small risk of air entering the raw placental site and causing illness)
NO PLANKS (As above, also as the core muscles are not yet that strong the increased weight from your organs can cause additional stress on you abdominals that are trying to repair it self)

Cardio

Light cardiovascular work such as walking can be undergone if your feeling well.  A good range to keep your heart rate is 50/70% MHR or light to somewhat heart and working up a sweat if you don’t have a heart rate monitor. Try and stay away from high intensity exercises that vigorous in the early weeks as the pelvic floor will still be very weak  also the effects of the hormone relaxin are still in your system so its much more easier to get an injury and pull something.
Don’t underestimate the power of walking it will get you at the house and you and baby can get some fresh air. If you like to use machines or do other activities to do your cardio, stick to machines/activities that are low impact. However if you do use machines such as the cross trainer for example be aware that this machine requires activation of the core muscles and  if you don’t have good control of it yet you can have some issues with over rotation movements with your core. With the cross trainer good form must be used as not to cause and joint injuries.

Resistance Training

Resistance training can be undergone once core muscles have been regained, as I said before everyone is different and depending on your core strength during pregnancy you may gain control quicker. Even though you may be eager to return to exercise please remember to exercise with caution and to select the exercises carefully. When resistance training you will almost certainly be using your core to help you during some part of the exercise that’s why its very important to make sure these are strong before starting formal exercise. You could be doing more damage than good if you don’t know what your doing and your not activating your core during each exercise.
Again the hormone relaxin will still be lingering in your body especially if your breast feeding so its much easier to gain injury as the ligaments and joints are loose. Therefore working in the higher rep range is beneficial to start with so your not working your muscles to complete failure.

Above all listen to your body, there is no race and you don’t have to be in competition with anyone. Every woman you come across will have different levels of fitness and will return to exercise at their own pace. If anything is hurting or doesn’t feel right stop, if you notice an increase in bleeding that’s a good sign to slow things down. If your eager to return to exercise why not visit the doctors earlier and see if they will give you a quick check up to go ahead.

Have a blessed day Fit mama’s
xx

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