I have been coaching pregnant women on proper exercise, nutrition, and mindset for over 15 years. I know personally as well as the research I have read, exercising along with proper nutrition throughout your pregnancy will benefit you and your newborn in a plethora of ways. Women who exercise while pregnant will not only benefit, but their babies will benefit greatly as well. According to new research from East Carolina University they found that newborns whose moms exercised during pregnancy have improved heart health and reached other milestones earlier than those whose mothers did not exercise.
“Because physical activity is a modifiable risk factor of childhood obesity, these findings suggest that exercise during pregnancy may potentially reduce childhood risk of obesity,” the researchers wrote in a study done in the August issue of the journal “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise”. As far as you, the pregnant mother exercise during pregnancy helps with stress relief, a lower risk of gestational diabetes, fewer C-sections and a shorter labor.
After consulting with your doctor and assuming you are clear to exercise I encourage you to follow these guidelines:
- Exercise 120-180 minutes a week. Moderate-intensity and use the guidelines provided by your doctor with regards to your heart rate. Doctors may vary based on their guidelines and often times based on your current fitness level. Again, consult your doctor and follow his/her guidelines.
- Incorporate strength training with the main focus being on postural and hip opening movements. Choose exercises that will focus on your upper back, back, hips and overall mobility. I suggest you use weight that will allow you to get 12 reps or more with proper form. Be mindful to not hold your breath and do not lift too heavy.
- Stay away from exercises that put you in the supine (on your back) position. Lying on your back can affect the flow of oxygen to the fetus. Also, stay away from holding your breath as this too may affect oxygen flow.
- If you feel any type of pain, bleeding and/or any other complications STOP and contact your doctor immediately.
I decided to get certified in pre-post natal training when my wife was pregnant with our first child. I can not stress the importance of you consulting with your doctor first, then start exercising and eating foods that help you feel good and fuel you to ensure the healthiest pregnancy you can have.
Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.