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Pregnancy & Exercise - The Latest Research

Pregnancy & Exercise

The role of thePersonal trainer is to:

  • Promote wellness through appropriate movement and mindfullness

  • Protect the skeleton - backache and SIJ issues occur frequently in the pre and post natal female

  • Prevent separation of the rectus abdominis - or minimise its effect

  • Protect the pelvic floor (incontinence is NOT NORMAL)

  • Provide appropriate advice and modifications to general exercises

  • Encourage weight management to reduce lifestyle complications of pregnancy

Things to know:

  1. Get Doctors clearance immediately.

  2. For most women exercise is recommended.

  3. You can commence both strength training and cardio exercise in pregnancy even if you have never exercised before.

  4. Intensity is best guided by mothers PRE - there is NO research that correlates high intensity with poor foetal outcomes.

  5. Stop impact pretty well immediately (relaxin is released as early as 8 weeks pregnant - to protect the mother when she is 50 - as many as 50% of women over 45 have stress incontinence issues).

  6. Do NOT EAT FOR TWO - high BMI related to HBP, Diabetes, large babies, difficult delivery and incontinence in later life.

  7. Do not lie on your front or back after 16 weeks.

  8. If you are already fit and healthy do not perform isolated core exercises in pregnancy (you can perform standing and kneeling pelvic tilts to remind rectus ab to work).

  9. For the none exerciser, core work is a good idea in the first 16 weeks - but then reduce to allow the abdominals to stretch.

  10. Do not overstretch the abdominals (yoga moves in extesnsion not recommended).

  11. Stretch gently, pregnancy is not the time to develop flexibility as relaxin destabilises the joints and muscular injury is higher in the pregnant woman.

  12. Pregnancy is a fluid state, and training requirements may change week to week.

  13. The goal of aerobic training is to energise the system and provide essential movement, the goal of strength training is to maintain muscle memory, correct postural concerns (APT), train the pelvic floor and teach transversus abdominis awareness and control.

  14. A pregnant woman does not train to improve fitness, strength or flexibility but rather maintain a healthy body and mind.

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