This post is a continuation of our earlier post "Exercise In Pregnancy - The Do's and The Dont's - Part 1", which you can read here.
WHAT EXERCISE SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
So, obviously it is a good idea to exercise whilst your pregnant. But, what SHOULD you be doing to stay active?
The main aim of pregnancy should be to maintain or moderately improve your level of fitness. Ideally, you should be doing both aerobic and strength based work, and you should be exercising for at least half an hour, on most days of the week.
How hard can you push yourself?
You want to be able to talk, in full sentences, at all times, whilst you exercise. That is, you shouldn't be pushing yourself to the point that you are too puffed to finish your sentence.
WHAT SHOULD YOU AVOID DOING?
Activities that really challenge your balance, or activities that involve sudden and fast changes of direction (like skiing for example) are best avoided whilst pregnant - you certainly don't need to add falling over to your list of potential issues.
You also want to stay away from activities that really push excessive stretching or bouncy movements, as this can be harmful on joints that are already feeling a bit more 'loose' than usual. Low squats aren't a great idea for pregnant ladies, due to the pressure it puts on your pelvic joints, and shoulder bridge (also known as reverse planks, supine hip thrusts) shouldn't be done after about the fourth month. And finally, any contact or high impact sports can put both yourself and the baby at risk of trauma, and should be avoided until the postnatal period.
Pilates exercise has a strong focus on core muscles - in particular the deep abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, and the pelvic floor. All of these muscle groups are under additional load during pregnancy, and therefore benefit hugely from exercises that specifically target them.
At bodyBEgood, we offer group exercise classes specifically designed to meet the needs of the pregnant population. We use both the Pilates reformer machines, mat work, and other small Pilates equipment, to provide an exercise class that will challenge you, improve you, and make you more aware of your posture and movements.