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Exercise in Pregnancy

Written by Ingrid Garcia for Nest Integrative Wellness

Exercising in all phases of pregnancy is an excellent way to keep mom and baby healthy. Physical activity while pregnant can lead to a decreased risk of gestational diabetes, cesarean birth and preterm birth. It is also an excellent way to reduce hip and back pain, lower stress (thanks to those endorphins), decrease constipation, manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve postpartum recovery, and help with weight loss after giving birth.

Whether you’re just starting to work out or continuing your fitness regime while pregnant it is important to get clearance from your doctor to continue or start a new program.

My recommendation to my prenatal clients is to do cardiovascular exercises as well as resistance training throughout the three trimesters. Cardiovascular exercises such as spinning, jogging, swimming, or walking, are excellent choices. I personally love doing circuit training with my clients! Prior to becoming pregnant, if you were doing high intensity, cardiovascular exercise such as running, you can continue these activities during pregnancy if your doctor gives you the ok.

Resistance training exercise such as dumbbells, dyna bands, and cables are absolutely wonderful for your ever changing body. When I’m training prenatal clients, a big focus is to strengthen their back, glutes, hips and hamstrings to counter the fact that the front of the body is growing much bigger and at a rapid pace. This has really had a great impact on reducing hip and back pain throughout and after their pregnancy.  This also helps my clients after baby comes, their bodies can adapt to breastfeeding, carrying baby and standing over the change table much better.  Building muscle mass will also help to lose post pregnancy body fat much more efficiently.

I train my clients differently throughout the three trimesters but staying hydrated, making sure they listening to their body, stopping if they feel pain or discomfort and reassessing the workout program after each doctor’s visit are all essential training rules. Other important points are to avoid becoming overheated (especially during the first trimester), eliminating lying flat on their back, or standing on their feet for too long in the third trimester.

I recommend doing at least 40 minutes of cardiovascular exercises and resistance training four times a week. I have trained clients past their due dates but I have had some that stop early. Listen to your body (and your doctor) and do what’s right for you!

Hiring a personal trainer certified in pre and post natal exercise is a great way to make sure you are exercising in a safe and efficient manner throughout all the three trimesters and beyond.

Nest Integrative Wellness is equipped with several exercise equipment, and our Certified Personal Trainer Ingrid is available for individual, partner, and small group personal training. She works with all bodies and populations, including pregnant, postnatal, and seniors. Book an appointment with her through our booking page today.