The benefits of pre and post natal fitness

Recently a certain celebrity trainer has been in the spotlight for her personal views on pregnancy. Apparently this individual feels that enduring the physical changes of pregnancy will permanently alter the physique that she has worked so hard for. As both a well-educated personal trainer and mom, I’m here to tell you that this very natural occurence can actually leave you more healthy and fit than before. The female body is designed for reproduction and much like most naturally occurring biological functions pregnancy has benefits for the mom as well as the baby. During pregnancy the mother’s blood volume increases in order to supply blood to the fetus, which following delivery actually helps to improve the mother’s cardiovascular fitness by supplying ample oxygen to her muscles. The body must also be prepared for physical endurance in order to get through the labor process. The labor process is made easier by maintaining fitness throughout pregnancy and the recovery is faster post delivery for fit women.

There are several changes that take place in the female body while pregnant, but as long as an individual is relatively fit upon conception they can remain that way throughout the forty weeks of pregnancy,barring any complications. Of course there are modifications to be made for a safe program design as the pregnancy progresses. I would strongly recommend seeking guidance from a fitness professional in order to maintain physical fitness while pregnant without jeopardizing the health of the mother or child. The following are some precautions that should be followed in order to avoid injury or complications during a fit pregnancy…

  • Pregnancy is not the time to set personal fitness goals beyond your prenatal fitness
  • Do not lie prone for any exercise after the end of the first trimester
  • Limit over head stretching and heavy pulling  during pregnancy, particularly after the end of the first trimester
  • Pay close attention to your perceived rate of exertion during cardiovascular exercise. You should be able to carry on a conversation while working out.
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