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Tips for staying fit and active during pregnancy

having a fit pregnancyCongratulations, you just heard the news- you're expecting! But what does this mean for the new fitness habit you've been working on? Can you workout during pregnancy? Should you workout during pregnancy? Yes! In most cases, barring a medical condition, physical activity is recommended during pregnancy, and can even be beneficial to you and your baby. But there are definitely some factors to take into consideration. Here are reFORM Studios, we just celebrated new arrivals to 3 of our fabulous clients in the past couple weeks! We've worked with a number of expecting moms and know there's a lot of questions our there, so here's a short guide for you.

Things to know before working on fitness during pregnancy

First, your changing body has specific and unique needs! You will change more in 9 months than most who never get pregnant will change in their entire lives. (Yes, we're looking at you fellas!) So your fitness plan during pregnancy should look very different than fitness plans for non-pregnant people. Your joints will looses as a result of hormonal changes especially in the later part of your pregnancy, so your movements should be different to reduce risk of injury. (no P90X the final weeks!) You'll also gain weight, and the majority of this will be in your lower half, so as your weight distribution changes, you'll experience new challenges to your balance and stability. Your posture is also likely to change and you may have lower back or pelvic pain, which will need to be worked around and counteracted.

Why worry about fitness during pregnancy?

With all this going on, you may wonder why even bother trying to stay fit during pregnancy! But research shows your activity levels can affect the development of your baby positively on a cellular level. Not to mention, a proper fitness program designed for you can counteract many of challenges of pregnancy- reducing back pain, preventing dangerous falls, and also making it easier for you to get through labor and bounce back after delivery. Before even taking the next step though, discuss with your doctor and get the OK to workout.

What fitness plans during pregnancy should focus on

First and foremost, any fitness plan should be designed around your lifestyle, so that you can make it through the next 9 months! Are you on your feet all day? Do you already have little ones around to chase or pick up or care for? Or do you have a sedentary lifestyle now? A plan should work around what you already have going on so you can keep doing what you need to do! Beyond that, fitness plans for expecting moms should take into account both your changing body and the demands that will be placed on you during labor and in your new mommyhood! Have you considered that you could train for labor like an athlete trains for a competition? Think about it- you'll want to have general strength and endurance, practive controlling your breathing, and the ability to maintain intense muscle contractions and deal with pain. This is not all that different from the intensity some athletes go through! And then after your bundle of joy arrives, you'll be picking up the baby, putting it down, carrying it around, feeding, rocking, changing, etc. A lot of movement will require bending strength as well as upper body strength. You can train now for those new repetitive moves! Plus you'll usually be carrying your baby only on one side, so asymmetrical loading needs to be a consideration. Of special note- as your progress through the trimesters, there are very specifics modifications that need to be made to the body positioning and exercise selection to protect both you and your little one. For example, you shouldn't do any exercises laying on your back after you reach the second trimester. These differences are a great reason to make sure you get guidance from your doctor or a fitness professional as you continue to exercise during pregnancy.

Fit Pregnancy and You

Bottom line- you can do this! But there's a lot to consider. If you haven't been very active leading up to becoming pregnant, now it not the time to drastically add in a lot of activity.  And it's important to note- pregnancy is NOT the time to try and focus on losing weight or getting in amazing shape! But with the go ahead from your doctor, and we recommend guidance from a fitness professional, you can absolutely stay fit through pregnancy and experience the benefits of doing so.  You can start early with instilling the fitness habit in your family for your little one!

Still have questions? Come in for a free consultation with one of our expert personal trainers, and we can look at training programs to guide you through this process! We love working with moms-to-be!

reFORM Studios Personal Training, 1081-B East Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405 // 843-284-3340

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