Personal Trainer Discusses Benefits of Training During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of dramatic changes in a woman’s life, not only physically, but emotionally as well. Many women, especially first time mothers, are in the realm of the “unknown” and do not know what to expect during their 9 months of pregnancy. The idea of starting personal training at this point in their lives, even if they were previously physically active, probably does not cross many minds. In this article I’m going to cover some of the beneficial aspects that personal training and exercise can have during pregnancy and delivery. As with anything, before starting any type of exercise program, please be sure to confer with your OB/GYN first.
Exercising in the first trimester, of your pregnancy, is a great time to begin or regulate your routine. I know, I know, I hear all the mothers out there screaming, “between the overwhelming fatigue and morning sickness… exercise is the last thing that I want to think about during pregnancy. If you are a beginner, the key is to start up slowly. Even short, gentle sessions of exercise may improve your sleep, and release endorphins that will help you feel more happy and energetic. Obtaining a personal trainer to help you start towards your goal of being a fit and healthy momma, is a great idea during your first trimester. Your trainer will be able to guide you (along with the input of your doctor) through what is safe and most effective to having a healthy pregnancy.
Continuing a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy, as long as you are able, will also have other beneficial effects such as reduced swelling or backaches, and easier labor and delivery. Labor and delivery is one of the most physiologically challenging times of a woman’s life. About as long as an average marathon runners finish, the average labor and delivery for a first time pregnancy, is approximately 9 hours. Labor for who has had 2 or more children, approximately 7 hours (Murray and Huelsmann, 2009). One study indicates that exercise during pregnancy may result in a shorter labor and delivery for all women (Clapp, 1994). Also, some women have the notion that exercise during pregnancy may lead to pre-term labor, however, studies have shown that maternal physical activity is not associated with the occurrence or increased occurrence of preterm labor (Gavard and Artal, 2008).
Overall, exercising during pregnancy, with the consent of your doctor, can have many surprising benefits. Obtaining a personal trainer and getting your exercise routine started early on, can help you have an easier, happier, healthier pregnancy, as well as shorten time recover in post-partum. With so many “what if’s” with the welcoming of a new child, why not help ease your mind (and possibly your backaches!) and do everything in your power to have the healthiest pregnancy you possibly can.
Written By: Shannon Benedetto ACSM-cpt
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