**Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription.*
Exercise has many benefits for women before and after pregnancy. Although the gym might feel like the last thing on your mind, it is important to keep active during all three trimesters of your pregnancy. Greenwood Athletic Club trainer Kelly Buresh has a passion for helping people find their happiest and healthiest self through exercise. “I was always taught that if I put my heart into something, not only could I achieve my goal but I would get immense satisfaction from it.” She believes that taking care of yourself physically improves your life in every facet. She shared with us four important reasons to keep moving before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Leading up to Pregnancy: If you are looking to get pregnant, maintaining a healthy regiment as far as physical exercise, diet and nutrition is key in prepping your body to even attain pregnancy! It can be a challenge to become pregnant if you are overweight or if you are not regularly meeting your nutritional needs. Furthermore, maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy diet makes it less likely to experience complications at any stage during pregnancy. While the gym is a great place to get your workout, the best place to start is with something you already enjoy doing, whether it be going on walks, running, taking a group fitness class, playing tennis, or any other form of physical activity. Getting out and moving is important.
Getting Started: During pregnancy, it is important to stay active because the exercise and nutrition decisions you make while pregnant can affect not only you and your baby during pregnancy, but it can affect your child long after their birth. Not only does regular exercise help to relieve unnecessary symptoms such as excessive weight gain, uncomfortable swelling, premature labor, low back pain, sciatica and other pregnancy discomforts. It also greatly reduces the likelihood of experiencing complications such as high blood pressure, hypertension or gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help your child avoid things like diabetes and excessive weight in their early childhood as well. Even if you don’t already exercise on a regular basis (and unless your doctor tells you otherwise), it is recommended that you can begin an exercise regimen while pregnant. The types of exercise you might do varies from each person, but going on short 10-15 minute walks are a great way to get in some movement. Also, body weight exercises such as squats will be helpful in building leg strength, your abdominals, and even your upper body if you want to add in some weights. These exercises help to maximize your time and energy.
Benefits of Exercise: Maintaining muscle tone and building your endurance are both factors in helping women deliver babies. By building up your muscles and maintaining active, it can help alleviate the physically exhaustive process of delivering a baby. A helpful exercise for maintaining muscle tone is to do lunges with weight on one side. This requires your upper body where you have to brace your abdominals during labor to be strengthened. Another exercise, the farmers carry, even with just one weight forces you to use your abdominals to keep upright, again strengthening an area that’s key to labor.
Getting Back After Pregnancy: During pregnancy, you might feel a bit of derailment not just with weight, but it might be that your muscle structures have changed as well. Returning to your pre-pregnancy body doesn’t happen quickly and its different for everyone, since each woman has a different labor and birth experience. The important thing is to have a plan and be sure to consult with a personal trainer who can help you get ideas for how to recover. The best thing you can do after labor is to make time for yourself.
It is important to mentally have some time each day for yourself, not to mention the many mental benefits you get from adding in physical exercise. After consulting with your doctor and a personal trainer, you might consider starting 2 to 3 days a week and then assessing how much you can physically handle. Not to mention, our GATC Kids Club is available for you to drop off infants ages 6 weeks to 6 months for 1 ½ hours per visit. Our infant area is completely enclosed offering your baby a quiet and peaceful environment.
Please be sure to reach out to our Kelly Buresh and our Personal Trainers if you are interested in learning more about personal training sessions, and making time to have Greenwood Athletic Club be the best part of your day!