What type of exercise is best during pregnancy?
Pilates during pregnancy? Is it something you should consider?
Let’s face it, the thought of going to a busy gym during your pregnancy can be less than appealing. In addition to this, the list of do’s and don’ts during pregnancy become a lot longer, too. Now you have to consider what is best for your health and the unborn child’s health. It need not be intimidating though. Exercise during pregnancy can be fun and beneficial in the hands of a professional.
We take a closer look at how Pilates may benefit you.
Pilates during pregnancy – a safer kind of exercise
There are many ways in which you should restrict activities during pregnancy to ensure the good health of both you and your baby.
During pregnancy, the aerobic capacity becomes impaired due to profound respiratory changes. It is best not to undertake vigorous cardio exercise because it can cause overheating to both you and the fetus.
It is ok to elevate the heart rate, and if done within safe parameters it is a good way to stay fit. But it is important to check with an exercise specialist what the upper limit of your heart rate should be.
It is definitely worth investing in a heart rate monitor or Fitbit during pregnancy to monitor your heart rate.
Temperature regulation is highly dependent on hydration and environmental conditions. During exercise, you should stay well-hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing, and avoid high heat and humidity to protect against heat stress, particularly during the first trimester.
Joint laxity may also increase during pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes your body is undergoing.
Existing problems may be more of a problem and new joint pains and instability can arise. For this reason, it is better to avoid exercises that cause jolting to the joints. Therefore the safest option is to cut out jogging, running, and plyometrics altogether.
Another major impact of pregnancy is on balance. For obvious reasons, your center of gravity changes (especially in the latter stages) and balance becomes compromised. This by definition limits activities such as cycling outdoors or skiing.
Why Pilates is so beneficial during pregnancy
There are numerous benefits to exercising with Pilates during pregnancy. Above all, it is a very safe form of exercise. It is challenging but not too rigorous and it is non-weight bearing.
The movements that are performed in Pilates are smooth and controlled. This means that there is less of a risk of over-stretching or injuring joints.
Pilates is more challenging than you might imagine, so your heart rate will certainly become elevated, giving you aerobic benefits but without over-heating.
But most importantly of all, Pilates is excellent for targeting and strengthening back and pelvic floor muscles. Maintaining and conditioning both these areas is crucially important both during and after the pregnancy. And all this can be done without putting unnecessary strain on other joints.
As always, it is wise to consult with your GP if you think you have any medical conditions that you think may restrict you.
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