Howdy CAMP’ers! What a great day it is to talk about…babies! Well not exactly babies, but more pregnancy. It’s not uncommon that we, as well as many others, have clients that take a break from their normal training routine because of pregnancy. This isn’t a bad thing, but stopping exercise all together is not the right move. There are many changes that occur during pregnancy that may affect your routine, such as hormone production, extra weight, uneven weight distribution, shifts in your center of gravity, and increased stress on joints, but please don’t let this keep you from continuing to exercise. Having a regular exercise routine will not only help with some of the discomforts of pregnancy, but can also help with the birth, and post-pregnancy life.
The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends about 30 min of exercise 5-7 times per week, unless you have medical complications and your doctor has advised you to not. Some great exercises that can be done up until birth are walking, swimming, biking (stationary), elliptical machines, low-impact aerobics, and weight lifting. As you progress through your pregnancy some exercises may need to be modified or stopped, but there is always something you can do. Because you are not just eating for two, but exercising for two, stay away from exercises that may cause you to hold your breath, where there is a chance of falling or sustaining impact, bouncing, deep bends, and extreme twisting motions. Because everyone is different, please run your exercise program by your doctor for individual approval. Now you may be experienced with some of these exercises, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that because you did them before pregnancy, that you can do the same weight and motion while carrying a passenger(or two). Hormone production during pregnancy causes your ligaments to loosen and joints to stretch. If you try and push yourself with increased load and range of motion, you are likely putting yourself, and your child, at a greater risk for injury. Be sure to only do what your body is comfortably allowing you to do. If you feel short of breath, dizzy, experience irregular heartbeats, or begin to have pain, stop your program immediately and make changes that your body will be able to handle. Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits if done correctly, but can also be harmful if you are not careful.
Following pregnancy, recovery can be quite quick. Depending on the type of birth you may be able to begin exercising again within 2-5 weeks. Make sure you start out slow and work your way back into your normal routine, and always run your post-pregnancy program by your doctor. Remember you just had a baby, congratulations and good luck!Sean England General Manager / Performance Specialist CAMP, Building Better Athletes LLC