So You’re Pregnant – Now what?! A Practical Guide to Exercising During Pregnancy.

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For me, the news that I was pregnant with my first baby at eight weeks was an absolute shock! We had only been married a year and I am not sure if we had even talked about kids yet when it happened. . . . Anywho, I was feeling pretty crap for the first two months. So crap in fact that before I took a pregnancy test I was absolutely positive that I was dying from a mystery virus. It was not until I went to a GP that the idea was brought up – lots of people were thinking it but no one thought to mention to us… they all seemed to think that we had ruled a baby out when I was trying to diagnose my condition. Ha. The GP basically laughed in our faces when I told her all my symptoms. And yes she was right. But I wont bore you with any more of that embarrassing story!
Around 10 weeks I started to feel normal again. This was mostly due to the fact that when I started feeling nauseous, I would eat, and the nausea went away. (Morning sickness is infact a craving for nutrients, so eating can really keep being sick at bay, even though it is the last thing you feel like doing).  I googled “pregnancy exercise classes” and found Preggi Bellies. Lucky for me they were looking for Sydney instructors and so I enrolled in the course and here I am today, a prenatal and post natal specialist with five years experience in instructing and being pregnant and post natal twice! 
The following guide is designed for anyone who is pregnant or seeking to become pregnant! Whether exercising or not. Pregnancy is a great time to start exercising and improving your lifestyle, but it all depends on a few key guidelines!  
  1. Before you start-ALWAYS seek medical clearance from you OB or Midwife.
  2. STOP exercising if you feel dizzy, faint, experience abdominal pains, lower back, hip or pelvic pain.
  3. Do not exercise in the heat. Wear cool clothes, and take frequent rest and water breaks.
  4. If you have had or currently have low back pain (especially during or just after exercise) consider seeing a women’s health physiotherapist or chiropractor before starting an exercise program. Pregnancy increases the risk of injury to low back, knees and hips so if there is something not functioning correctly before pregnancy the chance of it occuring (and becoming worse) during pregnancy is highly likely.
  5. If you have Diabetes seek medical advice first.
  6. If you have High or very low Blood pressure seek medical advice first.
  7. If you have any history of miscarriage, seek medical advice first.
  8. Do not do high impact exercise unless you are a trained athlete and under supervision from a coach.
  9. Be careful in Yoga and stretching classes not to overstretch joints.
  10. Cardio is Good! 1/2 hour or so no more than 5days per week. Obviously you are not going to start training for a marathon now but if you were used to a bit of cardio every day then keep it up! Do not start running if you were not used to running.
  11. Walking is okay. Swimming, biking or swiss ball cardio is the BEST.
  12. Whatever your body is used to doing it can usually keep doing as long as there are none of the above issues. 
  13. Weight Training is TOPS!! Keep up whatever you were doing!  If you were not weight training, you can still start now but the key is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. For me I felt amazing some days and could not get off the couch some other days.
  14. Get extra rest on the days you train, and extra water.
  15. Eat Extra protein at night to keep morning sickness away, and on the days you exercise.
  16. Be careful with one leg work when standing or weight bearing through the pelvis especially around 10 weeks and the third trimester.
  17. Learn to activate your deep core and pelvic floor muscles correctly.
  18. See a chiropractor regularly.
  19. Ease the intensity and frequency of your workouts in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, but do not stop exercising altogether.
  20. Be careful with heavy weights above your head.
  21. Avoid Lat pull downs, pushups, jumping or jerking. 
  22. Do NOT DO CRUNCHES, Sit ups, mountain climbers, push ups, front planks.
  23. Eat a healthy diet! I cannot emphasise this enough! Prenatal supplements & essential oils ​​are essential too,  I recommend the most natural ones  (as a pose to synthetic vitamins) here (make sure you choose USA products).
  24. Do not worry about gaining weight! if you eat healthy, (regularly and avoid sugar) and if you exercise your weight gain will be controlled, and you”ll most likely just gain weight due to the growing baby, placenta and amniotic fluid. Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat whatever you want. Infact, eating whatever you want can have detrimental affects, more so than when you are not pregnant! The key is to eat well and eat often!
You can discover in more detail everything I have mentioned here when you sign up for any of my Pregnancy Programs on my website www.fitlypt.com/shop/php . You receive a free healthy eating guide (valued at $25) when you sign up. I have programs available for regular gym goers who would like to include free weights, machines and gym equipment, or a Pregnancy Eguide with full images and descriptions for trimesters 1-3, or sold separately.
Oh and I’d love to blog more often, but with two babes 7x week and instructing classes and sharing doTERRA I really can’t find the time just yet! Feel free to email me at fitly.australia@gmail.com or contact via instagram @_fitly_pregnancyandpilates anytime if you have any questions or if I have forgotten anything here? (baby brain)….
Love to all you expecting and new mummas out there xxx 
ALI
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