Prenatal Exercises

Antenatal Classes As adults most young women interact with the health care system related to their unique issues of conception and pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very special event in every young couple’s life. Understanding the body changes in pregnancy and designing a customized antenatal programme is beneficial for an expecting mother. You must be eagerly looking forward to having your baby and we want to make this experience a healthy and pleasurable one.

Antenatal classes are time well invested and there is evidence to suggest that women cope better with pregnancy and labor if they have attended their antenatal classes. Along with your other skills, you will learn relaxation techniques, birthing skills and tips on how both parents can cope with pregnancy and childbirth.

Prenatal Exercises

As pregnancy progresses, the body begins to undergo a host of physical changes as a way to accommodate the growing baby. More specifically, as the uterus grows, a woman’s center of gravity begins to shift. Further, the pelvic floor takes on additional stress as the baby’s weight increases, and joints begin to loosen in response to hormones. All of these physiological changes make good posture, cardiovascular health, and strength crucial to a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.

Poor posture during pregnancy can weaken the muscles of the back and torso, causing back pain and discomfort during pregnancy. In addition to providing cardiovascular benefits, prenatal exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles, which are needed to support the torso and maintain digestion.

Prenatal fitness is an important component of a healthy pregnancy. Most doctors now recognize that staying physically active during pregnancy allows women to remain, low-risk patients, thereby allowing them a wide array of options for labor and delivery.

Prenatal exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. In fact, a 1992 study found that women who showed signs of gestational diabetes were able to lower their blood sugar levels to a normal range simply by doing aerobic exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week.

Further, another research study, conducted by the Family Practice Research Journal, found that mothers who exercised at least 20 minutes a day, at least three times a week for at least 20 weeks of their pregnancy had fewer complications and shorter labors than mothers who did not exercise.

Exercise has been shown to influence a woman’s emotional state during pregnancy, as well. A 2003 study revealed that mothers who exercised during pregnancy reported lower incidences of anxiety, depression, and pregnancy-specific stress while in their first and second trimesters.

Other obvious benefits of prenatal exercise include:

  • Back pain relief
  • Improved posture
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased energy and less fatigue
  • Decreased insomnia
  • Improved postnatal recovery

Types of Prenatal Exercises

Just like any personal training program, prenatal personal training programs are focused on whole body fitness, which includes cardiovascular/aerobic training, strength training, and flexibility training. And like traditional personal training programs, a number of things must be considered to ensure a safe and effective workout:

Cardiovascular Training: Cardiovascular prenatal training can be any type of rhythmic movement of the large muscle groups that increases heart rate, thereby burning calories, increasing endurance, improving stamina, and maintaining a healthy weight. Cardiovascular training for pregnant women is generally focused on low-impact exercises like walking and swimming, although some women may enjoy running, dancing, playing sports, and biking during pregnancy.

Strength Training: Strength training focuses on specific muscle groups. Prenatal strength training may involve the use of free weights, exercises bands, or body weight exercises, such as Pilates. Most prenatal strength training programs focus on light weights that do not require women to strain when lifting.

Flexibility Training: Prenatal flexibility training, which is done both before and after a personal training session, is designed to prevent muscle soreness, promote relaxation, and increase circulation.

Typical exercises aimed at pregnant women include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Low-impact aerobics