Prenatal exercises are good for mom and baby. There are exceptions, but if you are having a normal and safe pregnancy, maternity exercises may be the best things you can do to ensure a healthy delivery and faster recovery time.
The general rule of thumb for prenatal fitness routines is to never start a new exercise routine while pregnant. If you are active and exercising regularly before becoming pregnant then continuing with your routine while pregnant is acceptable.
The most important points about prenatal exercises are to listen to your body and to speak with your health care provider before doing anything. There are certain health issues that require special attention and limited exertion.
The type of exercise you choose is as important as doing it. Even if you were previously sedentary, walking, swimming and gentle maternity exercises can almost always be done.
Pilates and pregnancy is an example of a winning combination.
Pilates works your whole body, but focuses on strengthening your core. The ?core? consists of abdominal muscles, pelvic floor muscles, inner thighs, gluteals, and lower back. Gentle exercising with a fitness ring along with an instructional dvd are excellent.
These are exactly the muscle groups you want to stay strong during pregnancy. Though not all Pilates prenatal exercises are appropriate at every stage of pregnancy, most can be done at any time.
The benefits of Pilates and pregnancy are numerous. In addition to strengthening your core, Pilates workouts strengthen your arms and upper back. This is important for carrying the extra weight gained during pregnancy and help in carrying the baby around after.
The gentle stretching Pilates offers is also a welcome benefit for overall wellbeing, but take care not to over-stretch as your joints become looser during the later stages of pregnancy. And invest in a quality mat, something that has the proper cushioning.
The pelvic floor muscles that are targeted during Pilates exercises are vastly important to keep strong. Incontinence is a common issue for some mothers after giving birth and keeping pelvic floor muscles strong may help to fend that off.
Keeping your balance becomes tricky when in the later stages of pregnancy. Pilates exercises assist in developing good balance and body awareness.
Now, there is a recommendation to never exercise lying down on your back after the second trimester and I won?t tell you any differently. But I will pass on that I saw one client through two of her pregnancies and she exercised lying on her back throughout both and her children are perfect. And she is a pediatrician!
So, I guess everyone has a different comfort level and will make up their mind about what precautions to take. But my suggestion is to always check in with your health care practitioner about your particular pregnancy and whether it is suitable for you to exercise.
Prenatal exercises are only beneficial if you pay attention to your body. Know the warning signs that you are working out too hard. Dizziness, bleeding, cramping, heart palpitations and shortness of breath are definite signs that the maternity exercises you?ve chosen are too rigorous.
Take it easy! This is not the time to run marathons!
Keeping yourself strong so you have an easier birth and shorter recovery time is the desired outcome of prenatal exercises.
Recovery time depends on many factors, but generally speaking; expect four to six weeks to a full return to exercise after a vaginal delivery with no complications and six to twelve weeks for a surgical birth.
Again, I can?t emphasize enough the importance of talking with your health care provider about Pilates and pregnancy or any prenatal exercise routine.
Now is the time to feel good and take care of yourself and your unborn child and Pilates can be a wonderful foundation for your prenatal fitness needs.
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