Women are made for giving birth, but not in this sedentary world where we usually have to spend 8 hours a day sitting. Movement is fundamental for living. That is why it is so important during this period.
At the moment when we get pregnant, people consider us to be vulnerable and in case of doubt doctors recommend rest. How many times are we told: “Don’t carry weight, you are pregnant!” It seems as if we could lose our baby just because of some muscle activation or because our pulse rate has increased a little bit. Scientific researches prove that the sedentary lifestyle is more “dangerous” than physical activity.
What are the profits of exercising?
- It helps prevent diastasis recti.
- It helps control the weight gain.
- It reduces the risk of hypertension, pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetis.
- It improves constipation.
- It reduces urinary incontinence during and after pregnancy.
- It boosts endorphins preventing this way pre- and postpartum depression.
And the profits for the baby:
- It improves the maturation of the nervous system.
- It decreases the resting heart rate.
- It improves the viability of the placenta making the entry of nutrients and the output of rejection substances more efficient.
- It increases amoniotic fluid decreasing this way the risk of premature birth.
What kind of exercise is recommended?
Both pregnancy and postpartum are very important moments and we should find specialized professionals so that they recommend the best exercise for us. The exersice will depend if this is our first pregnancy or not, how much time has passed between pregnancies, what kind of previous labours we had, if we had circulation problems, varicose veins, diastasis recti, hypertension, the quality of our connective tissue, etc...
But to help us choose, keep in mind that exercise should:
- Include: working on posture and pelvic floor, strength training, cardiovascular exercise and preparation for labour.
- Avoid: conventional abdominals, valsalva maneuvers, impacts, traditional Pilates exercises, exercises that increase pressure in the linea alba (pushups, plates, etc.)
From when and until when?
From the first day and untill the end! Scientific studies highlight the importance of exercise 6 months before pregnancy.
All these considerations should be accompanied by a healthy lifestyle, such as good nutrition and stress reduction.
If labor is compared to a long distance race (like running 42km), who would be able to do it without training? Well, this is what we need during pregnancy!
Licenciada en Ciencias de la Actividad física y el Deporte