2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Exercise is always good for the body, heart and mind. But it is even more important if you are pregnant and want to be in good shape during this pregnancy!
Any doctor will tell you: exercise is beneficial for you during pregnancy. They will also make this warning: you must avoid learning to practice a new sport (you can be very clumsy when you don't know a sport, and you can overestimate your abilities for the same reasons) and avoid training that is too intensive.
The other warning is for expectant mothers who are already exercising regularly: your doctor should be aware of this to ensure that your program does not harm your pregnancy.
Those who practice a risky sport or activity (falls or loss of balance) will probably have to give it up until the baby is born: for example, cycling, downhill skiing, skating ice and in-line skating may be contraindicated during your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor, he can advise you.
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy
The world's leading medical associations, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend that women in normal pregnancies practice moderate-intensity exercises that promote better oxygenation of the placenta and reduce the risk of swelling and varicose veins.
Physical activity also leads to better sleep, better digestion, increased energy, reduced stress and improved blood circulation. And since pregnant, our lungs filter 40% more oxygen, cardiovascular exercise directly contributes to improving the delivery of oxygen to the lungs.
Experts recommend 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day, which can be broken down into 10-minute increments, three to four times a week.
Here are our suggestions for furnishing these fitness periods.
Prenatal Exercise Ball
The practice of the exercise ball can alleviate many discomforts of pregnancy. It effectively solicits the oblique muscles of the abdominal wall, it ensures good support and proper posture. It also facilitates the descent of the baby and relieves back pain.
The ball lets you do things you wouldn't otherwise be able to do.
You can even sit on your ball in front of the TV, talking on the phone, crafting, reading or typing on the keyboard of yourcomputer…!
However, you will need to choose a ball that is appropriate for your height and weight. The ball must also be anti-burst and able to withstand 300 kg of pressure. To find out which ball to choose, you can consult the site of Danielle Fournier, perinatal trainer.
Several municipal swimming pools and fitness centers offer aqua fitness classes; you can consult the recreation department of your municipality's site to find out if they are offered in your area. In some places, you can even sign up for classes with your baby, so you can continue even after the birth.
Once in the water, heaviness no longer exists… you float, literally and figuratively. The joints and the back are thus gently solicited by the aquatic environment. In addition, water allows you to move more freely and activates blood circulation.
Aquafitness is one of the recommended activities for less active women who want to get into shape. The swimming pool can also be a place to meet other mothers who will also be on maternity leave shortly…
Prenatal dance is a perfect moderate-intensity exercise for pregnant women. However, you should wait until you have reached 12 weeks of pregnancy to start this activity which requires all the muscles of your body and more.specifically those related to pregnancy and childbirth. You also need to get your doctor's approval.
- Strengthens abdominal muscles
- Improves posture
- Lengthens and strengthens back muscles
- Softens and strengthens the perineum
- Develops overall pelvic flexibility
- Improves cardio-respiratory capacity
- Develops body awareness and mental imagery
- Develops stamina
- Promotes exchanges between women living in a common situation
Baladi (belly dance, or oriental dance)
Bellydance has been taught from mother to daughter for several decades, as it was recognized as a method to facilitate pregnancy and childbirth.
The mother-to-be's center of gravity shifts as the baby grows. As the baladi comes in a wide variety of movements of the pelvis, the dance of the "belly" makes it easier to carry the child.
Pilates exercises allow you to exercise your abs and tone your pelvic floor, which improves your posture and allows you to be more comfortable during your pregnancy. Pilates sessions also help you release tension in the pelvic region. They are also very recommended after pregnancy.
Mothers-to-be who have already been training at the gym for a while can continue their activities, but they should notify the trainer on site that they are pregnant.
And of course, it's time to be reasonable, not to smash your personal records…
To learn more about getting in shape in the gym while carrying a baby, see our pregnancy fitness report.
Workout at home
This type of training is suitable for those who want to move and whose discipline is unwavering! It's that you have to be able to respect the schedule that you will have imposed on yourself, which is not always easy!
To help you succeed, you can use the DVD by Josée Lavigueur, Maternity Series - Prenatal Exercises / Maternity Series - Postpartum Fitness.
Walking can be practiced almost anywhere and at any time and is suitable for all women, active or less fit. The only condition: wear good walking shoes.
In one hour of walking at a fairly brisk pace, you can cover about 5 to 6 kilometers and burn 300 to 500 calories.
And if you don't like to walk alone, walking clubs are just the thing for you; contact your local recreation department to find out if there is one in your area.
It can replace walking in winter… and it could allow you to tame the cold season!
It is allowed only for women who are seasoned joggers; pregnancy is not the right time to start running!
Your doctor will tell you when to slow down or stop running. For my part, I ran until the 25e week of my two pregnancies, with the agreement of my gynecologist…
Prenatal Muscle Strengthening Exercises
Whether it's for back pain prevention, chest support, or abdominal control, these exercises can make your pregnancy more comfortable and your delivery easier. You can find exercise suggestions in this article.
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