Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How to Stay Fit While Pregnant?

I get many questions regarding specific exercises and workouts to do while pregnant, and what is safe exercise depending on which trimester the woman is in. The truth is, there are so many exercises and routines that are great for any stage of pregnancy! The most important thing is to know appropriate modifications and to listen to your body!
Photography by Roughly Originals
Here are some tips!!
  • Listen to your body! Keeping active through cardio and toning has major benefits for you and baby throughout your pregnancy, in preparation for labour and delivery, and for recovery postpartum. However, if your body requires more rest some days, take it. An "active rest" day could be a nice walk to get some fresh air or a restorative-style yoga class. 
  • Aim to exercise 3-5 times per week. Combining cardiovascular routines, where you increase your heart rate, with musculoskeletal exercise, or toning, is a great way to make your workouts efficient. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), with modifications, is a great way to incorporate this technique. Find HIIT workouts here, some have modifications built into the post!
  • Monitor your intensity. Heart rate changes throughout pregnancy due to vasodilation caused by an increase in progesterone. Because of this, maximal heart rate is achieved more quickly during different points of your pregnancy; therefore, the "talk test" and rate of perceived exertion (or closely monitoring how you are feeling during the workout) are more effective ways of measuring your intensity level over target heart rate zones. 
  • Do not focus on abdominal exercises. Instead, engage your core throughout the day by drawing your belly button (and baby) in towards your spine, stand tall by engaging your shoulder blades behind you, and neutralize your pelvis. Most importantly, engage your entire core through every exercise you do to help strengthen the deep core and pelvic floor to help decrease pregnancy discomforts, minimize musculoskeletal injury, strengthen the muscles that will help push baby during delivery, and for a quicker recovery postpartum.

This was my go to workout throughout my pregnancy; the BOSU is great, because it works balance and stability by engaging the core without straining the abdominal wall:
These Fit Your Life HIIT workouts offer modifications for pregnancy:
At Home HIIT
Springtime HIIT

All pregnancy safe Fit Your Life Workouts can be found here:
Prenatal Fitness


Please always check with your healthcare provider if you are clear to exercise during your pregnancy. If you are advised to avoid physical activity while pregnant, please respect that. 

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