Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy’

Pregnant? Work it out!!

November 10, 2010

One of my clients just entered her third trimester of pregnancy.  She’s always been a runner and is still comfortable breaking into a jog during bouts of cardio.  I am amazed at how critical others react to this type of workout, claiming she shouldn’t be running, that she’s in a ‘fragile state’ or somehow she’s being selfish.  ACOG states that if you were a runner before you became pregnant, you can still run…although you may have to modify your routine.

See, the thing is, research shows that working out during pregnancy does wonders for both mother and baby.  Benefits include:

  • Boosts moods
  • Reduces aches & pains including low back pain
  • Improves sleep
  • Manages weight gain
  • Helps reduce bloating, constipation, swelling
  • Keeps mommy limber
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength & endurance

As long as the doctor gives clearance for her to work out, there are some smart guidelines a pregnant woman should follow:

  • If you did it before you were pregnant, it’s probably safe to still enjoy (except for activities like boxing or snowboarding)
  • Something that feels good yesterday might not feel so great doing today.  Listen to your body!
  • Do not exercise to lose weight (just sayin’)
  • Keeping your heart rate at a moderate level (some say 140 bpm):  as long as you can talk you’re probably ok

There are some warning signs to be aware of and a pregnant woman should call her doctor if she experiences any of these signs or symptoms:

  • bleeding, spotting or fluid leakage
  • dizziness, headaches or feeling faint
  • shortness of breath or chest pains
  • decreased fetal movement

In some instances, a doctor may restrict workouts — risk of preterm labor or high blood pressure may be two deciding factors.

I always have a snack on hand for my ladies, as workouts stimulate the appetite and nausea can occur if they’ve gone too long without something to eat.  Be sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks sitting down.  Fidget often.  Standing in one place too long can cause blood to pool in the lower extremities leading to lightheadedness.

Training for a healthy pregnancy

October 3, 2010

As a fitness trainer, I have trained many, many pregnant women. In an effort to understand the ins and outs of labor, I have been attending classes and am now a DONA International Trained Doula. It has been an amazing experience and I now realize that staying physically fit during pregnancy can make all the difference between a tired, draining birthing process and a strong, healthy and alert labor.

Imagine the work it takes to train for a marathon. Leading up to the big race, the athlete must improve her cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, flexibility and nutrition. Similarly, the pregnant woman trains for labor and delivery. In the weeks and months leading up to her due date, she can attain a higher rate of cardio, strengthen the muscles she’ll need for giving birth and toting around the new little person and do stretches to ease discomforts and open the body in preparation for delivery. Additionally, she needs proper nutrition to give her baby the best chance of a healthy life ahead.

On marathon day, the athlete fuels up, stretches and warms up before the race. Similarly, the laboring woman should fuel her body for the enduring task ahead. She can drink coconut water or gatorade to keep energy storage at optimum levels. She should warm her muscles up and stretch her legs for the hundreds of squats, long walks in the hallway and exhausting pushing sequences that lie in front of her.

With proper training, the delivering mother will feel empowered during one of the most challenging times of her life. She will have confidence knowing that she put the hours of training in to have a successful birth!

Morning Sickness

August 12, 2010

You feel extremely exhausted and your boobs hurt. Then, nausea kicks in.
The stick says you’re pregnant. Now what?!
Should you put a stop to your fitness routine?
Sit on the couch for the next 8-9 months eating bon-bons?

I have coached over 22 pregnancies, each one so different, so exciting — I get giddy when someone tells me their news! However, the first trimester can be a pretty harsh experience, even unbearable. Estimates reveal that 60-80 percent of women experience nausea and/or vomiting that usually subsides after the 12th-14th week of pregnancy. Over the years, I have come up with some ways to help alleviate symptoms of morning sickness.

  • Always have a bland snack (saltines, cheerios, a granola bar) in your purse.
  • Drink lots of water. Vomiting can dehydrate you and send you into the hospital.
  • Go for a walk. Several times a day.
  • Work out! The more you move, the more distracted you’ll be and the less nauseous you’ll feel.
  • Just say no to fatty, greasy foods. Even if you crave them. Packing on pounds too early will lead to regret later. It only takes 300 extra calories a day to make a baby! You’re not eating for 2, no matter if it’s twins!
  • Sleep!
  • Listen to your body — there’s a lot going on in there. You’ll feel your heart rate spike anytime you get off the couch. Allow yourself to take it a little easier than normal.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently. Nausea usually hits an empty or full stomach.
  • Snack on ginger chews, a homeopathic anti-nausea remedy. My favorite is spicy apple.
  • If your morning sickness is unbearable, try acupuncture
  • Know that morning sickness is temporary. Tomorrow is a better day. Stay optimistic.

And, remember: you’re not an invalid. You’re pregnant! People have had babies since day 1. Continue living your life…happy mommy, happy baby.