For many women the thought of exercising during pregnancy can cause confusion; should we continue with what we were doing? Is it too much impact on my body? What if I haven’t done any exercise before? Can I lie on my back? Is it safe...? These are just a few examples of the many questions fitness professionals are asked by their clients when they become pregnant. In short the answer to this question is yes, you can exercise during pregnancy as long as you stick to some basic guidelines;
- Do not exhaust yourself
- Keep the body temperature and heart rate under control
- Keep hydrated
- Do not lay on your back after 16 weeks
- No contact Sport or activities that can risk falling over.
- Make sure you get the advice of a qualified professional.
So why is Pilates so good for pregnant women?
As previously stated Pilates is focused on building core strength and maintaining correct posture; during pregnancy the enlarged abdominal area shifts the load point on the body which can result in back pain, weak abdominal muscles, poor balance and poor spatial awareness. The Pilates method can counter all of these issues by allowing a pregnant woman to build strength in her deep abdominal muscles and lower back which allows the body to cope with the extra load. Maintain posture by strengthening weak muscles, stretching tight muscles and developing a greater overall awareness of the body; which in turn will improve balance, co-ordination and spatial awareness.
|Enlarged abdominal area creating a shift in load on the body|
Tiredness and fatigue is a common complaint during pregnancy, which is why it is so vital to keep fit and healthy throughout the gestation period to help combat the extra effort that is needed to carry an unborn child around whilst continuing daily life. Pilates offers a low impact, non exhaustive way of building strength for the whole body. It also involves a lot of guidance with breathing control that can actually help a pregnant women relax and sleep better. In fact the guidance given on breathing control can actually benefit a pregnant woman whilst in labour.
Pregnant women can suffer with swollen ankles, cramps and varicose veins. The Pilates method includes many dynamic exercises that not only move limbs, but also stretch tight muscles improving circulation of blood around the body, which can help prevent the for mentioned ailments becoming a problem.
After 16 weeks it is recommended that women do not exercise flat on their backs; this position may put pressure on the vena cava, which in turn reduces blood to your heart and possibly your brain causing dizziness and nausea. The Pilates method uses a variety of floor-work and reformer techniques that can safely work your core muscles and whole body without having to lie on your back.
|Exercising on a Pilates Reformer machine|
One of the greatest benefits of exercising whilst pregnant that is especially relevant to those participating in regular Pilates, is that recovery post pregnancy can come much easier if your core muscles have already been conditioned. It will also help with problems such as mild incontinence that can be an embarrassing issue to women post pregnancy as they will have greater control over their body.
What do we offer at All About You?
At All About You we have a team of highly qualified Pilates Instructors who can take you for Personal Pilates sessions; tailoring a programme that is suited for your specific stage of pregnancy, and guide you through safe effective exercise sessions. Post natal our instructors can either resume working 1 on 1 with you or guide you into semi-private or floor work sessions that are regularly held at our studio. Whichever form of Pilates you wish to participate in an All About You, we guarantee you will not be disappointed and experience the benefits that Pilates can offer.
For more information visit www.aayou.co.uk or contact James at the studio on 020 8348 9706.