I was asked recently by a pregnant friend what my top 5 fitness tips were for pregnant women. That got me thinking and I tried my best to limit it to 5. Here they are in no particular order:
✔️ Move your body. Research shows how beneficial exercise is during pregnancy, birth, AND recovery postpartum. You can even become stronger DURING pregnancy. Add that to the fact that the average woman in labor expels 3x as much oxygen as an avid marathoner and training for birth is making a lot more sense, isn’t it? ✔️ Work with someone who has specific training in pre/postnatal exercise, whether you’re with them 1:1, in class format, or online. There’s a lot of info out there and very real things to be mindful of. It’s gotten quite popular to focus on the pre/postnatal crowd (👍🏼) but if your “guru” is getting her info from Instagram or one offs that her health provider told her, she is not going to have the knowledge base to work with you efficiently. ✔️ Eat like you mean it. You’re literally building a baby.This doesn’t mean you have to eat perfectly 💯 of the time ( Seriously, no one does...I know I don’t) but focus a majority of your meals on nourishment. Avoid things such as alcohol, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, soy, trans fat, and vegetable oils and instead focus on foods rich in choline, glycine, DHA, B vitamins, fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K), iodine ....ok you get the picture. Eat real food and build a healthy baby. ✔️ Relaxin is awesome but also something to be aware of. It’s a hormone that loosens ligaments preparing the body for birth ( the awesome part) but it also creates loosey goosey joints, as I call them ( what to be aware of). It’s easier to over stretch and sink into 🧘♀️ poses so instead, really focus on using your muscles to get into a pose rather than “sinking into it” ✔️ It’s all about the core. I often say in my classes that every exercise is a core exercise when done correctly. And when I say core, I mean your entire core canister; abdominals, pelvic floor, multifidus, and diaphragm. Learning to accurately engage and relax those muscles is going to be paramount throughout pregnancy, during birth, and recovering postpartum.