Weight Training During Pregnancy
Carrying a baby is one of the most physically demanding things your body will ever have to do. With this is mind, you want to be prepared right?!
So why is it, so many women ditch the gym sessions the moment they find out they're expecting?
I think the real reason is lack of knowledge. Not that this is anyone's fault in particular â€“ I mean why would you know about whether or not it's safe to exercise whilst pregnant unless you have been pregnant before or actively read into it?
Never fear â€“ I am here to give you the low down on what's safe and what's not.
Firstly, look at it this way â€“ You wouldn't run a marathon without going for a few practice runs beforehand. And it's exactly the same when it comes to preparing for giving birth. Labour is an endurance event in itself, therefore, you should look to keep up your stamina throughout pregnancy and work on muscle tone to help you spring back afterwards!
As a general rule of thumb, you can continue to keep doing what you were before considering there are no contraindications however you should listen to your body and exercise accordingly. If you're having a day where you just can't quite make it out of bed, then don't!
Sleep if you need to and ensure you stay hydrated throughout your workout to prevent overheating and feeling feint from dehydration
Ensure you warm up thoroughly, at least 10-15 minutes then make sure you are resting adequately between sets 30-45 secs, when weight training.
You should aim to complete 8-10 different exercises, performing 2 sets of 15 reps on each
If you're fairly new to the gym stick to resistance machines as these will support your spine and ensure correct technique as baby continues to grow
Never exercise to exhaustion
Stop at any signs of sudden pain or bleeding
You should be exercising to maintain your fitness, not to achieve a personal best! When increasing your physical activity ensure you are eating sufficiently. Remember a calorie deficit will result in losing weight which is not what you are looking for when carrying a baby.
Take it at your own pace and if you have any questions or are worried seek further advice from your GP.
Sarah Philp is a Level 3 qualified Personal Trainer as well as Pre & Post-Natal Fitness instructor and proud mummy of one to her son Isaac. After having her first child, Sarah was keen to bounce back to her fitness lifestyle and through discovering barriers to exercise first-hand, decided that she wanted to develop the concept of fitness for new mums, inspiring them with tricks and tips on how to bond with baby whilst regaining that pre-pregnancy body! Launching the new online pre & post-natal blog, housed on the main Xercise4Less website, providing a platform to show new mums you can still be fit, have a career and enjoy baby too, Sarah shows how you can ‘have it all!’
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