Below is a list of benefits associated with exercise during and after pregnancy:
- Adherence to Strength, Cardiovascular and Flexibility Programs during Pregnancy can…
- Boost a mother’s immune-system which continues to benefit her baby after birth through breastfeeding.
- More efficiently deliver blood and oxygen to the heart and brain, enhancing concentration and energy-levels.
- Help to manage or prevent gestational diabetes.
- More effectively control weight gain, which – in addition to physical benefits – enhances body image, confidence, and self-awareness.
- Improve posture, resulting in fewer aches and pains.
- Aid in postpartum recovery.
- Decrease incidence of falls.
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia, leading to an overall improvement in sleeping patterns and mood balance.
- A larger placenta develops, which increases the capacity to exchange oxygen, CO2 and nutrients with the growing baby.
- Increase the cardiovascular capacity of the baby.
During Labor and Delivery, Fit Women Experience…
- An easier adaptation to the lower-intensity endurance component of early labor.
- Shorter first and second stages of labor.
- Enhanced pain tolerance.
- Increased stamina for labor and delivery, with less perceived exertion during labor.
- Lower incidences of intervention during labor.
- Good pelvic muscle tone – helpful for postpartum recovery and good continence health.
The following explains some of the important areas we focus on in our Fit Mums – Mums and Bubs Classes:
Core Strength: for pregnant women, strengthening their core muscles, including their pelvic floor, has become highly important in recent years. Back ache, postural problems, continence and general recovery after birth can all be made far more manageable by keeping both your core and pelvic floor strong. Attending group pregnancy exercise classes, taking pre-natal Pilates/Yoga classes, or hiring a personal trainer to guide you through the correct movements will all help with developing and maintaining a woman’s core strength throughout her pregnancy.
Lower Body Strength: during pregnancy a woman naturally gains weight – not only are they carrying a growing human being but they often retain more fluid due to increased blood flow within the body. This means their body will become heavier and by the end of the last trimester, on average, a healthy , pregnant woman will have gained 12.5-15kg. As a result a woman’s legs, lower back and buttockl muscles will all get more of a workout sitting down, standing up and just moving around on a day basis and so it is important to continue to stimulate and strengthen these muscles to ensure they cope with this increased load. Many women also find that during labor they prefer to be up, moving around, changing positions and sometimes even squatting. So to ensure their bodies can cope with these activities during labor, lower body strength should be a priority during pregnancy. Once the baby arrives, a mother will be doing lots of lifting from awkward angles, getting up and down from the floor and carrying a capsule around, so along with a strong core, they’ll need to learn to lift with their legs to protect their back. There are many versions of body weight squats, Fitball squats, and lunges a woman can do to increase strength their lower body during this time.
Upper Body Strength: adding to a woman’s weight gain during pregnancy is her growing bust and so does the pressure on their postural muscles in their mid back, neck and shoulders. Also once the baby arrives, holding, breastfeeding and lifting use a surprising amount of upper body strength. Women are encouraged to continue working on their upper body strength and posture to ensure they don’t develop neck and upper back pain once the baby arrives. Postural work with hand weights like press ups, bicep curls, seated rows, and challenging movements incorporating a Fitball can really help make you more able to cope.
Controlling Weight Gain: pregnant ladies are to remember weight gain is NORMAL during pregnancy, so don’t stress about every kilo! But keeping a healthy weight is important for their health and the baby’s and the less you put on the easier it is to lose post birth. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, riding a stationary bike, swimming and low impact aerobics can assist with controlling a woman’s weight gain and ensuring their heart and lung remain healthy throughout the pregnancy, which will benefit their babies health as well and assist them during labor.
Regular exercise and physical activity can help a woman feel more energetic, sleep better and cope with the many unexpected changes and emotions felt during pregnancy.
It’s recommended to seek professional guidance, either in a class situation, or one on one from a personal trainer trained in women’s health or a physiotherapist to help guide you in the right direction and make sure your technique is correct and safe.
At Moonee Valley Health and Fitness, Amy, a qualified physiotherapist, offers a great range of exercise and fitness classes and 1:1 sessions designed to meet the changing needs of women’s bodies during and after pregnancy.
Our small class sizes give you the opportunity to enjoy regular exercise with friends in a professional, fun and supportive environment.
During our Postnatal Fitness Classes, exercise with your baby to help aid recovery from childbirth and prepare for the physical demands of motherhood.
At MVFIT, we want congratulate all the pregnant women and new mums out there, this truly is such a special and exciting time in your life. We hope this has given you greater clarity when making healthy exercise choices.
MV Health & Fitness is the local experts in personal training, group fitness programs and corporate wellness initiatives. Whatever your health and fitness needs are MV Fitness has a suitable program for you that Guarantees Results!