Sports during your pregnancy, what should you pay attention to?
A new era has dawned. Where in the past the GP gave the advise to take it easy and quit sports for a while, pregnant women of this time like to be active and because of that the advise of the GP has been adjusted. But what do you have to think about ? All those changes in your body are not nothing. We are happy to help you on your way!
First things first ..
First of all, it is important to consult your midwife or gynecologist about exactly what your sports plans are. Of course, every person is different and what works for one person may not work for you. As soon as you have received a medical approval, it is a good idea to ask help of your sports instructor. They can provide the right guidance. When you have arranged all of this, we will help you on your way with some tips!
Why do you want to exercise during pregnancy?
Because it brings a great deal of benefits which you of course don't want to miss out on when you have a baby growing inside you for nine months. It provides a lot of energy, contributes to your sleep and may reduce the risk of complications. If these reasons aren't enough, we have a few more for you here:
- By strengthening your muscles and improving your stamina, you will keep moving more easily when your baby starts to increase in size.
- Regular exercise during your pregnancy can help you recover faster after giving birth and you are more likely to get back in shape.
- The muscle strength of the pelvic floor muscles decreases during pregnancy and can lead to pelvic instability. By training these muscles you can reduce the chance of these complaints. In addition to the well-known exercises for your pelvic floor muscles, called kegel exercises, you can also do exercises that train your legs and buttocks such as squats and lunges. You also tighten your pelvic floor muscles with these exercises.
- During your pregnancy it can sometimes happen that you will retain excess fluid, this often results in swollen ankles. By exercising regularly during your pregnancy, you stimulate the removal of excess fluid and reduce the risk of this.
You want to start right away, but where do you have to pay attention to?
Before you are already on your way to the nearest gym, we would like to give you some advise.
- Provide sufficient cooling to prevent overheating. This means you have to drink water regularly and wear light clothing. Also consider your heart rate, you should still be able to have a conversation during the exercise. For example a heart rate monitor can help you with keeping an eye on this. This advise is especially important during the first months of your pregnancy, when your baby is most vulnerable.
- Avoid certain sports that put you at higher risk of falling or tripping, such as gymnastics and running. Sports where a ball or fist can hit your stomach are also not recommended, think of sports such as; horse riding, football or boxing. On the other hand, sports such as fitness or yoga are good during pregnancy.
- It is best to avoid straight abdominal exercises during your pregnancy. On the midline of your straight abdominal muscles there is a tendon plate that can stretch during your pregnancy, this is called a diastasis and repairs itself after delivery. Too much tension, for example due to strong abdominal muscles, can cause a tear that makes it difficult or impossible to recover. The oblique abdominal muscles, on the other hand, are good for training, because they support your expanding stomach.
- As soon as the size of your stomach increases, after about four months, avoid exercises that involve lying on your back. This can cut off the blood supply due to the pressure that is created and therefore cause low blood pressure.
- Around the fourth month the hormone 'relaxin' also increases, this hormone causes the ligaments around your joints to relax. To prevent injuries, take take account of impact load and training with (too) heavy weights. By impact load we mean workouts with sudden and rapid strength exercises. Think of running, trampolining or lifting weights. Also make sure that the steps of your lunges are not too big.
Do you have an off-day, or do you feel tired, nauseous or dizzy? Then skip exercising. Listen carefully to your body and don't ignore pain or signals. Tomorrow is a new day!