Pre-natal Excercise Programs
There are 3 primary goals most often mentioned by pregnant women who wish to get fit/stay fit during their pregnancy:
1 • Become as healthy as possible in order to have a healthy baby
2 • Develop the fitness level and skills to have an event-free labor and birth
3 • To have the quickest possible recovery and rapid return to
pre-pregnancy weight/body fat and shape
The list of general safety guidelines for exercising while pregnant include:
- Don’t work out so hard that you cant catch your breath or you feel you are burning up.
- Don’t exercise if you have a fever.
- If you experience bleeding or a large amount of discharge, see your care provider.
- If you are constantly light-headed, are seeing stars, or have an ongoing headache, see care provider.
- If you have swelling in your face and hands, see care provider.
- If you experience regular contractions or cramps that continue when you stop exercising, drink four glasses of water, void your bladder, and relax on your side; see care provider.
- Avoid lying on your back after the 3rd or 4th month; avoid standing still on your feet for more than 20 to 30 minutes; and do not suddenly change your position.
- Avoid fatigue, overtraining, and binge exercise.
- Avoid motions that produce discomfort or pain.
- Eat often in small amounts, and include proteins (eggs, milk, nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, meat, soy, and beans and rice together).
- Drink at least 8 cups of water a day and avoid hot, humid situations.
- Wear good shoes, dress in layers, and make sure any equipment you use is in good condition.
- Take a rest on your side during the day in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
- Professional or competitive athletes or dancers and their fetuses should be carefully monitored by their care providers.
The 4 Components of Fitness that have the greatest impact on helping you woman achieve your goals are:
- Aerobic Endurance
- Anaerobic Endurance
Strength, Anaerobic Endurance and Flexibility Exercise Prescription for pregnant women require knowledge, skills and abilities beyond the scope of this article; however, As a cautious, knowledgeable and experienced IFPA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Phil has the skill to prepare your exercise prescription for an active pregnancy (1st & 2nd trimester) who has doctors clearance to exercise. A sample exercise program might be:
Frequency: 3-7 days/week
Intensity: RPE 10-13
Time: 30-60 minutes
Type: Walking, stationary cycling, recreational swimming, water aerobics, prenatal aerobic/exercise class, low-impact/low intensity aerobics, beginning levels of modern dance, belly dancing, ballroom dancing, prenatal yoga, Tai Chi, and badminton (friendly, non-competitive game).