When asked to advise on fitness during pregnancy, often my response is: start a little sooner. So if you’re pregnant and a little bit delighted because it’s time for you to sit back and eat for two, please reconsider. The second person you’re considering is very tiny and requires little need of Chinese takeout and a pizza.
It is possible to put on too much weight in pregnancy and this can affect your health and your baby’s. Guidelines suggest an average of 300- 500 calories extra per day.
In most cases, once you have medical clearance from your doctor, it is perfectly healthy, advisable even, to continue exercising. Exercise at a controlled intensity has been proven to reduce the length of labor and decrease delivery complications. It also helps to prevent back pain and improves your energy levels.
All good news then, but safety is always your primary concern.
So here are a few tips to ensure you are exercising safely:
- Keep your intensity under control and stay hydrated.
- During pregnancy your posture changes which affects your balance. Try to avoid any exercise that involves any quick or sudden changes in direction.
- These postural changes can also be responsible for back and pelvic pain, so ideally the type of exercise you choose to do should address this. Pilates-based programs are specifically designed for analyzing and correcting body posture.
- The most important muscles to strengthen at this time are your pelvic floor and glute muscles, both helping to stabilize the pelvis.
With all this to think about it is worth considering bringing a qualified trainer on board.