Getting in shape pre-pregnancy
If you have decided that the time is right to start trying for a baby, then getting in shape is now more important than ever! Simone Rank explains.
Pregnancy and delivery will be taking a lot out of your body so the healthier and stronger you are, the easier it will be for your body to heal and recover.
A strong body will be able to cope with your growing belly easier and reduce aches and pains. Cardiovascular fitness will help improve your energy levels and strengthen your heart and lungs.
Exercise during pregnancy is usually highly recommended by your LMC, and though any exercise you have done before conception can safely be continued at a moderate level, it is best not to start anything new during this time.
When considering taking up a new exercise routine prior to your pregnancy, there are three key areas to be considered:
1. Cardiovascular exercise to build energy and burn fat
Moderate to high intensity exercise will build your endurance and increase blood flow throughout your entire body by strengthening heart and lungs. It will also play a big part in any weight loss you might want to achieve before conception.
It is recommended to take up an exercise that can easily be transitioned into a suitable routine during pregnancy, though most types of exercise can be adjusted to a moderate intensity level.
Sports that are not recommended during pregnancy include: all contact sports, skiing and snowboarding, surfing and waterskiing.
Tennis, running and cycling can be continued at moderate level, if you have done these before pregnancy.
2. Strength training to build strong muscles
Once your belly is big enough to start popping out, your muscles will be under a lot more strain.
Strong core, back and leg muscles will help carry the extra pregnancy weight and will help when it comes to pushing during birth.
An all over body strengthening programme, performed 2-3 times per week prior to your pregnancy is the best way to build strength which can then be maintained during pregnancy by doing moderate level strength exercises, Pilates or yoga.
3. Walking and Yoga for relaxation
Though the thought of a possible pregnancy can bring a lot of happy changes, the stress of the occasion might still take its toll on your body.
Exercise such as yoga or walking can offer a great mix between a cardiovascular, strengthening, and relaxing workout, which will help clear your head and increase your fitness levels at the same time. Relaxation may also help you conceive.
Simone Rank is the founder, director, and head trainer of YummyMummy Fitness, Auckland's number one provider of all things health and fitness for mums and mums-to-be. Simone is a mum herself who gained 23kg during pregnancy and successfully lost all of it within 3 months of her son's birth in 2010. She has been a Personal Trainer for the past nine years, specialising in pre pregnancy, pre natal and post natal fitness. For more information please visit www.yummymummyfitness.co.nz
Published 2 July, 2012