Exercise & Pregnancy

Exercise and pregnancy. Oh, I’m an expert on this one. Well,I guess having 4 pregnancies and delivering 4 healthy babies, plus exercising through all of those pregnancies would make me somewhat of an expert.  I’ve also trained a lot of pregnant women and taught Pilates and Yoga for pregnancy.

If your OB/GYN or midwife gives you the green light to workout while pregnant, definitely go for it.  I can tell you that it makes a big difference in how you feel, how much weight you gain and how quickly you bounce back into shape.  It also makes a big impact in delivering your baby.

In your first trimester, you can usuallyy keep up with the same workout you were already doing before you got pregnant. But a lot of times you can be too tired or feeling too queasy to want to workout. This is a good time to give Yoga a try.  It can be relaxing and help prep your body for labor later on.

During your second and third trimesters, you need to rethink your workouts.  You want to make sure what you’re doing is not going to challenge your balance too much or put too much stress on your rectus abdominal muscles (this can cause a more severe diastasis recti – separation of the abdominal wall).  You also want to make sure you do exercises that won’t keep you flat on your back for a long period of time. Spending a minute or two on your back shouldn’t be harmful, but any longer than that your uterus presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. Lying on your back for an extended period of time could interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your developing baby. This is potentially unsafe, particularly if you have a condition like high blood pressure that affects how much oxygen and nutrients the baby is getting.  But again, for most pregnant women, a minute or two here and there shouldn’t be harmful.

So what kinds of exercises did I do when pregnant? Well, I did a lot of walking on the treadmill and outdoors. This included inclines and hill climbs.  I danced and even taught a fitness ballet class and a pole dancing class. I also did some weight lifting (nothing too heavy that would cause me to strain). And of course I did Pilates and Yoga. I found myself leaning more towards Yoga at the end of my pregnancy.  Perhaps it was because it was relaxing, helped ease aches and pains and it just felt good.  Plus the breathing of Yoga is very useful when in the delivery room. Learning to calm yourself with your breath really helps.

Below is a video clip of YBB Baby on the Way. It incorporates dance, weight training, and yoga into a cool workout that’s designed to keep mom and baby safe.  You can only get this program through Beachbody or a Team Beachbody Coach like me. 

I’d love to hear your feedback and questions. You can leave a comment here or send me an email at fitwithjessica@live.com.

YBB Baby on the Way

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