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5 Things about prenatal and postnatal fitness every pregnant woman should know

5 Things about prenatal and postnatal fitness every pregnant woman should know
P

renatal fitness boosts your cardiovascular and muscular strength, improves your circulation, reduces lower back pain (hello, growing tummy!) and improves postpartum recovery. It also has positive effects on the baby’s development and delivery. The transfer of positive health effects of training from mother to child can be explained with the logic of myokines.

All pretty convincing reasons for getting that bump moving! Here are 5 things to consider during and after pregnancy:

1. Can I start working out while pregnant?

First and foremost: pregnancy is not injury :-). It goes without saying, but ensure you check with your doctor before starting any workout while pregnant. Although research has shown that exercise is usually extremely beneficial for all pregnant women, including those who were previously sedentary or are overweight, it's not right for all pregnancies. As long as you are not a high risk pregnancy, you can keep on doing your regular workout. 

2. What kind of exercise can I do during pregnancy?

If you’re used to doing vigorous-intensity exercises or your fitness level is high, you can continue these activities during pregnancy — with your doctor’s clearance, of course.

Workouts in the first trimester of pregnancy

The foundation of a well-rounded prenatal fitness routine includes at least 150 minutes of activity each week and 2-3 strength trainings that target the major muscle groups. If you tried AURUM, you know that 20 minutes once a week are enough and the rest of the time is to enjoy walking, swimming or stationary cycling for cardio. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise. Don’t overheat.

Workout in the second trimester of pregnancy

Activities to avoid include any high impact exercise that involves jumping, running or total exhaustion. You also want to avoid any exercise that has you lying on your back for extended periods of time. Good news: You can still do the AURUM HIT strength training!

Workout in the third trimester of pregnancy

As your body begins to prepare for childbirth, this is a great time to focus on cardio activities. Keep up your mobility and abdominal strength with walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, pilates, pelvic floor exercises and bodyweight moves. Unfortunately no AURUM anymore.

3. How much can you exercise while pregnant?

Aim for at least 30 mins of activity per day. This can include swimming or brisk walking. If you have not exercised routinely up to that point, start with 3x 15-minute sessions a week, increasing gradually to daily 30-minute sessions. Keep in mind that exercising whilst you are pregnant is a time to maintain your fitness levels, not to make any fitness gains.

4. Can I do AURUM HIT workout during pregnancy?

You can do AURUM training until the 6th month of pregnancy, unless stated otherwise by your doctor. Short range of motion ensures you are not overstretching. Slow protocol and adaptive resistance ensures there is no impact. Because your center of gravity is changing daily, it’s smart to avoid exercises that would lead to a loss of balance. At AURUM, you perform all exercises in a seated position, which makes it the safest strength training up until 2-3 months to baby delivery. Read about Christelle, a mom of two, who shares her prenatal and postnatal weight loss journey with AURUM.

5. How soon postpartum can I exercise?

The baby is here, yay! You’ve just developed a new appreciation for a four-hour night sleep and got no time for postnatal workouts. Fortunately, you can start the 6 minute HIT strength training 6-8 weeks after giving birth. Your body is considered “back to normal,” (i.e. back to pre-pregnancy state) 6 weeks after your baby is born. Wait until after your postnatal check before you start strength training.

Whether childbirth was through vaginal delivery or C-section, exercise should be resumed gradually. The best postnatal fitness routine will involve your core, strength and endurance.

Postnatal core workout

The core muscles are most affected by pregnancy. Crunches won’t do as they work the superficial layer of your stomach, the rectus abdominis. You need to work the inner core, the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis. If you do the AURUM HIT workout, you engage all these muscles and get strength and functional core exercise in one go.

Postnatal strength training

You need strength to keep up with your family! HIT strength training boosts your metabolism, activates muscle tissue growth and gives the strength you need to carry your baby! For new moms, short training is best for time constraints. In fact, studies in the past decade show women had a significantly greater fat loss doing HIT workouts compared to continuous training regardless of the shorter time spent.

Postnatal endurance training

Your body is tired, so you need to gradually increase your endurance. Endurance can be as easy as walking. Simply increase your time or your speed. Make sure to listen to your body and stop if you feel any discomfort or pain. And as always, talk with your doctor.

Staying physically active during pregnancy is beneficial for both mom and baby. Including strength training and easy daily activity can help keep your core strong, your muscles fit and your cardiovascular system in top shape. Plus it can do wonders for your mental health (yay for endorphins!). The added benefit? Combined with the right diat it will make you look back to pre pregnancy shape or better in no time!

Resources

The Best Pregnancy-Safe Exercises at Home and the Gym by Healthline

Muskel Revolution by Marco Toigo

These Postpartum Exercises are the Best Way for New Moms to Restart Working Out by Lindsay Brin for BeFit

Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

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