A Tale of Two Workouts

As a personal trainer, I come across exercises that will push me and my clients to the limits, tent my fingers, and grin a sinister grin.

Not so when I’m planning a prenatal workout. There are several differences to take into consideration.

PT clients almost always want to go beyond where they are: get stronger, lose weight, increase cardio capacity . . .

An expectant exerciser, however, should look to maintain her level of fitness.

When a PT client says, “That hurts,” the question I ask is this: “Is it a good hurt or a bad hurt?” Muscles being pushed to the limit are going to object – though it is, of course, important to know your body well enough to know that you aren’t actually causing injury.

Relieving aches, pains, and stiffness is a key reason for pregnant moms to maintain a routine of regular exercise.

More reps; more weight; more cardio unless . . .

. . . there’s a baby on board. Then it’s time for walking, swimming, easing up a little.

With the nicer weather coming, it’s a great time to take up a new sport: baseball, soccer, running . . .

The sunshine also beckons expectant moms to head outside, but it’s best to avoid sports in which there is a risk of injury, including taking up running. The relaxin her body is producing loosens all the joints, and the risk of injury is greater.

Yes, there are differences, but some things are the same for all exercisers.

Get approval from a midwife or doctor before beginning an exercise program.

Try to find a physical activity you actually enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Find a workout buddy or join a class. Especially if you’re just beginning, accountability and companionship can make a huge difference.

Get sufficient sleep. Expectant mom, listen to your body. It’s working even harder than usual – even when you’re sleeping.

The importance of eating well can’t be overstated. There is a wide variety of thinking on exactly what that means, but it is our responsibility to do our research and be willing to make necessary changes – one or two at a time. Every step in the right direction is . . . well, it’s that: “a step in the right direction.”

Typically, those who exercise regularly have a more positive attitude, think more clearly, and work more efficiently. And these are only a few of the many benefits.

These are generalities. Everyone is unique. That is one of the main reasons it really is important to have clearance from a healthcare professional.

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