Pregnancy is an amazing experience. Your body goes through so many changes as you grow another human. That’s amazing guys. No matter where you look everyone has a different opinion on all things pregnancy and baby, including fitness.
I trained before I was pregnant, so why not during? Staying active has helped energize me, oxygenate my blood, and keep my weight gain within the guidelines which is around 30 lbs. A lot of women eat for two during pregnancy and shy away from exercise which won’t help the body bounce back postpartum.
It is important to maintain good fitness and diet now more than ever. Even if exercise is newer to you, don’t be afraid to find out how you can improve your fitness.
*please note, if you are starting a new exercise program that you check with your physician first.
If you were weight training before pregnancy, chances are it is safe for you to continue during pregnancy. In most cases, there are numerous benefits to weight training during pregnancy. Strengthening the core muscles will definitely help carry your extra baby weight, reducing the stress on the back. A strong core can also help during labour and postpartum. During any exercise remember to listen to your body, you’re training for maintenance now, not improvements. For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you weight train 2-3 days a week, with a reduced intensity of 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
*note, if you are new to weight training (3 months or less) please reduce intensity further to 2 days a week and 1-2 sessions/week. Please also seek the advice of your physician.
This one I have been struggling with a little as my cardio is usually done outside, but there are lots of benefits to cardio during pregnancy also! For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you engage in up to 30 minute sessions, 3-4 days a week. I like to stagger my walks/stairs/hikes with my weight training as my goal is to be active every day. Staggering these sessions gives the muscles a nice break too 🙂 Remember, if you experience any discomfort, stop what you are doing and seek the advice of a physician. If you are new to exercise, reduce the intensity to 15 minute sessions, fewer times each week. Please reach out to me for more information on progressions.
If you’ve trained with me, you know how important I believe stretching is for everyone. During pregnancy stretching helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise and also helps reduce any muscular discomfort from pregnancy.
During exercise, it is important to care for your body, and LISTEN to your body. If something doesn’t feel good or right, don’t do it. If you’re unsure of modifications, ask first. It is also important to stay within intensity ranges, this includes target heart rate zones (Ill get more into this another day). If you’re unsure, please ask 🙂 on average (fit 20-29 year old woman), the maximum heart rate is 160 bpm. This number decreases due to age and fitness level so be aware and honest of your abilities.