It is important to keep fit and healthy during pregnancy, and if you are a regular exerciser you are probably wondering whether it is safe to continue with your current exercise regime. Your exercise priority’s change when you are pregnant and as you progress month by month your exercise needs will also need to change.
You undergo enormous emotional, physical and hormonal changes so any exercise you decide to undertake must take all these changes into account. Pregnancy is not the time to decide you want to get fit or loose weight, your priority will be to maintain the fitness that you have to benefit yourself and your growing baby.
You need something that prepares you for the extra weight you are going to carry, the physical and emotional changes that you are going to experience and the rigours of labour. This is where Pilates can help.
- It ensures your body’s systems i.e. lymphatic, circulatory, digestive and respiratory are functioning efficiently
- It can help make your pregnancy more comfortable with less pain
- It teaches you to relax which is invaluable throughout your pregnancy and during the birth itself
- It prepares you for labour
- By far the most important aspect, it lays foundations to help you get your figure back after the birth
Pilates trains the body and mind to move correctly with slow controlled movements. The exercises are non impact so will not stress the joints and it is very safe for the pregnant mother. Pilates is perfect for pregnancy as it emphasises correct alignment and posture and this is the time when your posture changes quite dramatically. For instance, there is increased strain on your neck and back as your breasts grow in size and weight. Pilates will teach you how to release tension, strengthen your mid back muscles to prevent you from becoming round shouldered and improve your awareness of upper body movement. It can also help relieve the lower back and joint aches and pains associated pregnancy.
So you see it is important to continue exercising through pregnancy with the knowledge that with each trimester your exercise regime will need to change to take into account the postural alterations. But you also need to be aware that should you be having any complications with your pregnancy you should always seek medical advice before undertaking any exercise.