Pre And Post Natal Fitness

Feb 21, 2012 4 Comments by

While you’re pregnant….

During pregnancy, when you feel sick, tired and hormonal, exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing, but in fact, it’s highly beneficial for both you and your baby.
‘Regular exercise helps keep your weight under control, lifts mood, keeps your heart healthy and blood pressure normal – all important during pregnancy,’ says Prima Baby’s fitness expert Melinda Nicci. ‘As long as you’re having a normal pregnancy, it’s safe to exercise.’ The American College of Sports Medicine advises pregnant women to aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. And the fitter you stay, the easier it will be to get back in shape.’

prenatal exercise

The First Trimester

‘If you’ve always been to stop,’ says Melinda. ‘But if you’ve never exercised before, this isn’t the time to start a high-impact routine.’ Melinda’s top tip for the first trimester is simple-get walking! ‘Brisk walking is a fantastic form of exercise in the first trimester,’ she says. ‘Aim for 30 to 40 minutes, three to four times a week, and don’t forget to take a bottle of water with you.’

The Second Trimester

‘Listen to your body,’ says Melinda. ‘It’s very good at letting you know how much you can or cannot do. swimming is a great exercise at this stage. If you can afford classes such as aqua aerobics, yoga or Pilates, let your teacher know you’re pregnant and she will advise you on exercise that are safe for you to do. Exercise little and often – even 10 minutes a day is beneficial.

The Third Trimester

‘Now’s the time to ease up on high-impact exercise, such as aerobics or running,’ says Melinda. ‘Even hardened athletes take things a bit easier at this stage. Keep walking and swimming, but if you have any doubts about how far you can push yourself, ask your GP for advice.’

Can I do stomach exercises?

Avoid lying on your back in the second and third trimester, as this puts the full weight of your weight of your baby on the vena cava, the vein that takes the blood to your heart. Sit-ups and abdominal exercise are fine during the first trimester, but ask your GP or midwife about how to strengthen stomach muscles after that. Strong abs will support your baby, help protect your back and make it easier to lose the ‘mummy tummy’.
These simple moves will help you stay strong: You can work stomach muscles simple by sitting correctly. sit up straight and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Hold for a count of five and release. Repeat at least five times, working up to 15 repetitions.
To strengthen your core and legs, get down on all fours, knees apart and arms straight. Slowly lift your left arm and right leg straight up behind you. Try not to arch your back or lift your leg higher than your hips. Hold this position for the count of 5 and slowly lower and repeat with your right arm and left leg. Continue alternating untill you’ve done at least 10 reps on each arm/leg.

Don’t forget that pelvic floor!

The pelvic floor is a sling of muscles that sits between the legs, from the pelvic bone at the front to the base of the spine at the back. It holds your bladder, womb and bowel in place.
However, during pregnancy, the pelvic floor can be weakened by the weight of your growing baby. That’s why you may ‘leak’ a little when you laugh, sneeze or cough, which is known as stress incontinence.
Keeping your pelvic floor toned means that you’re less likely to suffer from this – and sex will better, too. Here’s how to exercise your pelvic floor muscles:

  • Engage the muscles of the vagina as if you were stooping a wee mid-flow.
  • Pull up slowly imagine a lift rising up through the body.
  • Release slowly, counting to three. Take a break and repeat 10 times.

After the birth…

While it’s tempting to want to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans, go easy on yourself and don’t be in a rush to shift the baby weight.
Keep you energy up with healthy snacks and small frequent meals, and start off with some gentle exercise once you’ve got the OK from your GP. It’s generally safe to exercise after your six-week, post-birth check-up,’ says Melinda.’ Although it may be eight to 10 weeks if you’ve had a C-section.’

postnatal exercise

Your New-Mum Exercise Plan

Walking is free, safe, and, most importantly,gets results! You’re also more likely to stick at it than if you opt for a more a challenging routine.
‘I put on four stone with my first baby and literally walked the weight off`,’ says Emma Redding.’ Combine an hour-long walk with the exercises here [right] and you’ll start seeing a difference in no time. Best of all, your baby can come with you, and pushing the buggy adds extra resistance to your workout.’

  • LOWER BODY

Squats: Great for firm legs and bottom
Stand behind your buggy, feel hip width apart. Rest your hands lightly on the handles. Sit back into a squat so your knees are above your ankles not your toes. Return to standing. Repeat, building up to three sets of 15 repetitions. To push yourself further, ‘pulse’ by standing up halfway – this keeps the muscles contracted longer.
Lunges: For buns os steel!
Start in an ‘over-stride’ position, feet facing forward. Keeping your torso central, hands on waist bend both knees so your back knee is just 2 inches from the floor. Don’t let the front knee go over the toe. Straighten and repeat. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions on each leg, changing legs after each 15.

  • UPPER BODY

Tricep Dips: Banish bingo wings
Use a static, level object such as a park bench. Sit on the bench with your hands by the sides of your hips and your fingers curled over the edge of the seat. Move your bottom and feet away from the bench (ideally, rest on your heels). This is your starting position. Keeping your torso close to the bench, dip down creating a 90 degree angle with your elbows, and return to the starting point. Repeat, building up to three sets of 15 repetitions. The futher your feet are from the bench, the harder you will find it is to do.

  • ABDOMINAL EXERCISE.

Always get your GP’s go-ahead before starting stomach exercises to ensure your abdominal muscles have closed up enough. Sit-Ups: Great for a flat stomach
In a sit-up position, rest your hands on your upper thighs, or hold your fingers to your temples. Bring your head and shoulders up as high as you can, keeping your chin angled to the ceiling. Breathe out as you come in the position, and in as you go down. Build up to three sets of 15.
Plank: Strengthens your core
To start with, try a half plank. Place your knees and forearms (bent at the elbows) on the floor. Keep your back straight, pull your belly button in towards your spine, and hold for 30 seconds. As you get stronger , try a full plank. Come up off your knees and balance on your toes to form a bridge. Hold for 30 seconds at first, and increase over time.

Shape Up Fast With These Experts Tips

  1. ‘The key to successful exercising is to pick something that makes you happy. If you dread your workout, you’re not going to keep it up. Zumba, a dance-based workout, is the hottest new trend and fabulous fun. Give it a try.’
  2. Use a pedometer and count your steps daily. Wear it all the time – you’ll be amazed at how many steps you clock up running around after your baby! Aim to increase your steps by 20% each week. Your ideal goal is to achieve around 10,000 steps a day.’
  3. Watch your food intake. You don’t need to embrace a draconian regime, but do be aware of oversized portions and endless snacking – two of a new mum’s worse waistline enemies. try to separate food from your emotions; make conscious attempt not to eat because you’re bored or fed up.’
  4. Breaststroke is the perfect swimming stroke for strengthening the muscles – back, abdomen and pelvis-stressed during birth. for a cardio boost and to burn calories fast, try holding a float and just kicking your legs – be sure to hold in your stomach while doing so.’

Q. Will breastfeeding help me lose weight?
A. ‘Your body burns about 500 calories a day producing breastfeeding helps post-pregnancy weight loss. Dieting is not advised while breastfeeding because limiting food may mean you and your baby miss out on vital nutrients. Instead, try to eat a healthy, balanced diet-lots of fruits, veg, wholemeal carbs, learn meat and pulses.’


Exercise During Pregnancy, From Conception To Delivery

4 Responses to “Pre And Post Natal Fitness”

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  3. roomie says:

    Exercising is really good for any age people,whether it is a 2 year old too.Right after my pregnancy ,I was fat on the lower part of my body, just gyming never helped. I started using Adira slimming tights while gyming and also during the rest of the day. My body has toned down a lot. These tights are washable and the elastic doesn’t go off that easily.Worth it!

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