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Pregnant women, it's time to manage your workout

For the health of the child and yours, it is important to maintain activity throughout your pregnancy while adapting your sessions.

Take your time and take care of yourself

Indeed, your body will change during and after, you will not have all the same physical consequences, do not try to control your weight but rather your workouts, for the rest leave it to Mother Nature.

You have to do pregnant sports, but not just anyhow. During all your sessions, be attentive to all sensations. You have to listen to your body and your feelings.

Accept periods of change

You are pregnant and you have to manage your body, this involves accepting the changes that will take place during your pregnancy. The changes are multiple and some easier to accept than others. Rest assured, the weight gain is completely normal, you will gain on average 11 to 16 pounds. And you will lose them with childbirth and little by little with fitness, resumption of physical activity and an adapted diet.

Eating slightly more is normal, you are not going to eat for two but your body needs more calories to provide the energy necessary for the development of the baby.

Remove these bad things for both of you

For the good of your baby and for yours it is strongly recommended to avoid:

Tobacco: it could smoke its environment and contribute to malformations, developmental delays or even childhood illnesses and could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Alcohol: part of it also passes into your child's blood, just like tobacco, it can have consequences on his development.

Caffeine: too stimulating for the baby who already has a high heart rate (150-180 Beats Per Minute), it may increase the beating of his heart even more. It can increase the risk of mortality in infants and also contribute to cardiovascular disturbances. For him, it has no benefit, so do without caffeine.

Overly intensive sports sessions: Avoid shortness of breath during your workouts so as not to create oxygen debt for your baby and not to exhaust yourself, your body is already in full action with your pregnancy.

With all these potential bad things for your baby and your health, it would be better to do without it, right?

Exercises not to do for pregnant women

Before making any decisions about a sports program, consult your doctor's advice.

The first two or three months are often harmless and do not generally present a sports contraindication.

  • Up to 3 months, you can continue your classic exercises by gradually moderating your efforts (no interval training, no endurance training session at the threshold, nor above 75/80% of your VMA). Also avoid weight training sessions with very heavy loads, stay below 80% of your Maximum Repetition (max load).
  • From the 4th month, stop doing elongated exercises (all types of crunch, obliques, sit-ups, leg raises, etc.) as this is complicated for venous return and can put pressure on the vena cava. Prefer exercises in a seated position and on assisted machines, while keeping the load but in a reduced way.

Prefer exercises like the squat (avoid full amplitude, do semi-squats if necessary), the hip trust with your back supported and with a low number of repetitions per series (3 repetitions are enough).

So what can we do?

Work on your cardio and continue weight training by adjusting the loads

Continuing the endurance sessions is very important to avoid cardiovascular risks or gestational diabetes for example. Maintain your heart by practicing at a light pace without oxygen debt, that is, you can speak while making this light effort.

Do not get tired, it is not a specific work session but rather basic endurance, maintenance of the body and especially your heart.

The best exercise when you are pregnant is brisk walking (with a regular frequency: 2 to 3 times a week minimum for 20 to 30 minutes) that you can perform throughout your pregnancy by always adjusting your speed according to your feelings.

Regarding bodybuilding, up to the 4th month (subject to medical advice) you can continue the exercises with load, however, do not get tired on your sets.
Here is an example of a training program suitable for pregnant women up to 4 months.

Adapt all parameters according to your level

From the 6th month, standing movements without load and gestures of mobility are to be preferred. Indeed, your body arrives at the end of pregnancy and must take care of itself, the weight training sessions with load must strongly decrease, you will have all your time to resume after childbirth. Choose bodyweight exercises with rubber bands or a Swiss ball.

To replace your training, we recommend Stretching, Yoga or Qi-Gong.
These training methods will allow you to regain proper posture, fluid gestures, deep breathing and a boost of energy.
Caution: Mention that you are pregnant with the instructor because certain positions could be dangerous, in particular the upside down and inverted positions.

And what about diet?

Currently our plates no longer contain all the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body. This is why during pregnancy, we recommend certain dietary supplements.

As with many pregnant women, you should consult the advice of your doctor before committing to work. There are many vitamin supplements that provide the baby with everything he needs. First there is folic acid which is very useful for the development of the child's brain and for its immune and hormonal systems.

Remember that protein intake is increased in pregnant women, so you need a few grams of additional protein (prefer animal proteins because they are more readily available, in large quantities, and with the necessary amino acids). For the quantity, on average pregnant women need 60 grams of protein per day, this varies depending on the person and some dietitians nutritionists recommend up to 100 g.

Here are some examples of protein: egg, fish, poultry, red meat, milk, almond, lentils, cheese.

You can also supplement with fish oil, or cod liver oil for example for omega 3.

For bones, calcium is also recommended. It is found in abundance in broccoli, parsley, sprouted seeds, nuts and dairy products.

Rest assured if you eat more, it is also the principle of a pregnancy, because eating well (in quality and in sufficient quantity) is above all the good health of your baby.

In conclusion

You must continue physical activity to facilitate your pregnancy and the development of the baby. Whatever the week of pregnancy, never try to beat your personal bests, progress on an exercise or even get tired. It will work throughout the maintenance process for your body.

The first trimester: be vigilant without limiting yourself too much to your sessions, listen to your feelings and never go to muscle failure.

The second trimester: give priority to bodyweight exercises, avoid lying down, and go to a sitting position if there is a light load.

The last trimester: Prioritize health, use accessories such as the swiss ball and elastics rather than loads.

Also, practice brisk walking while complementing weight training.