Only 25% of women participate in the recommended physical activity levels during their pregnancy, according to the University of North Carolina. Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should aim for daily 30 minute workouts, yet so few do this as they fear that it will harm their baby’s health. But with multiple health benefits related to prenatal exercise, it’s down to professional fitness instructors to promote safe and effective workouts, just as they would do to postnatal women.
The benefits of prenatal workouts
Experts recommend that women exercise regularly during pregnancy to reduce the risk of health complaints and complications. However, all professional trainers must ensure that their pregnant clients seek the advice of a medical professional before embarking on an exercise regime. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that exercise can reduce pregnancy-related back pain and constipation and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes typically occurs when an unhealthy lifestyle is followed during pregnancy, including a high-sugar diet and lack of exercise. The good news is that exercises, including yoga, swimming, and aerobics are all recommended to control gestational diabetes and boost the health of pregnant clients.
Safe exercise regimes
Swimming, yoga, running, dance classes, walking, and elliptical training are all suitable workouts for pregnant women. Ideally, trainers should get their pregnant clients to alternate between these exercises for optimum health throughout their pregnancy. Yoga, in particular, is recommended as research shows that it can improve sleep and reduce stress. The one thing that all fitness professionals must remember with their pregnant clients is that some workouts need to be adapted, especially as the pregnancy progresses. For example, running can be substituted for brisk walking and squats can be used in place of jumping.
Workouts to avoid
High-impact exercises should be avoided during pregnancy as it increases the risk of dehydration and reduced uterine flow. Experts recommend that any exercise a pregnant client partakes in keeps their heart rate at no more than 90% of its maximum rate. Other exercises to avoid include those where there is a high possibility of falling, such as gymnastics, and contact sports, including football, rugby, and volleyball.
It’s crucial that women exercise throughout their pregnancies as it benefits both their and their baby’s health. This means that fitness professionals need to be educated on the dos and dont’s of prenatal exercise to ensure suitable workout plans are practiced at all times.