Expectant moms often worry that exercise during pregnancy could harm their health or that of their developing baby. However, if a pregnant woman is otherwise healthy, undergoes regular prenatal check-ups with her OBGYN and is not considered a high-risk pregnancy, then there is absolutely nothing harmful about working out according to Carlene Steenekamp -pre and postnatal exercise specialist.
Numerous studies clearly show that pre-natal exercise offers numerous health benefits for mom and baby. These include less weight gain during and more rapid weight loss once you’ve given birth. Women who train during pregnancy also tend to have easier pregnancies and fewer complications at birth. Being very fond of the weight rack myself, I was tentative to keep on hitting the weights room. After my first few sessions however I realised my body will set the pace as long as I moderated weight and intensity.
Having said that what are the prerequisites before diving into any exercise program?
At the moment in South Africa you won’t be going to the gym anytime soon so what should you consider before starting an at-home workout program?
First and Foremost, getting the all-clear from your OBGYN. Make sure you get adequate sleep before embarking on this voyage and that your diet is well balanced and devoid of harmful substances like alcohol. – see my blog; Dietary guidelines for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Do not exercise without strict medical supervision if you suffer from the following:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Heart disease
- Placenta previa (or other issues with your placenta)
- History of pre-term labour
If you have exercised regularly before pregnancy there is no reason to stop. You may need to alter your routine slightly to ensure your safety and the safety of your baby so be flexible and call in a professional😊. If you have not trained for a while you will need to be more cautious and would also benefit from an individualised program. Contact me for your personalised “Growing a baby and staying fit” program!
The importance of an exercise program during pregnancy is that it should keep at maintenance level. Nothing more and nothing less. We are working towards long-term health benefits for you and your unborn child and not looking to achieve weight or performance goals.
If you are in need of a workout plan during your pregnancy, please contact me.
Hope that helps!
Stay fit and active and – always remember “Don’t stop until you’re proud”
5 months pregnant – “Throughout my pregnancy I loved the weight room, I just made sure to adjust weight and intensity”