Can I Still Train During Pregnancy

Mar 28, 2022
Innerforce

Finding out that you have a little one on the way, that you are holding life within you, is one of the most significant moments in your life. It should be a time for rejoicing and revelling in the fact that you are bringing life into the world. But, does it mean that you need to stop training?


As long as you are healthy, and your pregnancy is normal, then there is no reason to stop training during pregnancy. In fact, research shows that mothers who exercised regularly during pregnancy had babies with stronger hearts. You may have to modify your training to accommodate anatomical changes, but you should get the nod from your health specialist to continue training.


Benefits Of Training During Pregnancy


If you were training regularly before your pregnancy then you absolutely can continue and are some major benefits to keeping up with your training regime while pregnant.


Promotes healthy weight gain – Gaining weight is an unavoidable part of pregnancy, but training while pregnant will help to ensure that this weight gain is healthy and can reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.


Reduced labour time – If this doesn’t make you want to continue training then nothing will! Studies have shown that a supervised training program through pregnancy can actually reduce labour times and that those women who trained regularly were less likely to use an epidural.


Better mental health – Training can give you a place to find solitude away from the stresses of life and it can also increase energy levels and release endorphins which help to relieve stress and improve your mood.


Tips For Running During Pregnancy

 


The advice is that pregnant women should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. However, there are some things to keep in mind when running while pregnant.


Drink plenty of fluids – Staying hydrated is always important when training, but even more so when pregnant.


Check your shoes fit properly – Your feet may actually ‘grow’ during pregnancy. The extra weight coupled with loosening ligaments mean that your shoe size can increase during pregnancy. Having poorly fitting shoes can lead to issues, so there’s a good excuse to get a new pair of runners.


Give your body support – It may be worth investing in an adjustable sports bra so that you can give your breasts the support they need as they get bigger. You can also look at getting a support band for your belly as you grow.


Adjust your route – Be aware that your centre of balance will be changing, and also that twisting and turning may become more challenging. This means that trail running over uneven ground is maybe not a wise choice. It may be worth adjusting your route to make sure you are safe, and as always you should carry your phone with you.


Tips For Cycling During Pregnancy


There are some quite heated discussions around cycling and pregnancy. There are obviously risks involved because a fall or accident on a bicycle now carries the risk of harming your unborn baby, as well as yourself. That said, if you have decided that you want to continue cycling then here are a few things to keep in mind.


Take it easy – Your body is putting a lot of energy into building an entire human being inside you. This is going to leave you more fatigued than normal, especially in the evening, so keep your sessions manageable.


Your balance will change – Some women will notice this more than others, but your balance will change throughout your pregnancy and this will be more noticeable on the bike. Pay extra attention, especially at low speeds when it’s easy to get a wobble on.


Use an indoor trainer – You can reduce the risks of a fall by using an indoor trainer. While they can be a bit boring, they do allow you to can catch up with your favorite TV show at the same time!


Adjust your bike – You may need to make some adjustments to allow for your changing body. Raising the handlebars is one way of creating a more upright posture which can be more comfortable.

Tips For Swimming During Pregnancy


Swimming while pregnant has a great reputation, and for good reason. The buoyancy takes a lot of the weight off your joints, providing great relief.

Swimming also increases circulation which in turn helps to reduce swelling in the feet and ankles.


Open-water swimming – You always need to pay extra attention to the elements when swimming in lakes or the ocean. It is best to have a buddy to swim with just in case you encounter issues. If there are strong currents then it would be wise to choose a different location so that you are not over-exerting yourself.


Cramp – This is annoying at the best of times, but when you have a big bump between you and your toes cramp can be much more difficult to deal with. Have a banana before training and keep a sports drink on the side of the pool where you can easily reach it and if you do start to cramp up then it’s probably time to stop.


Sunscreen – Pregnancy can make your skin more susceptible to burning, so if you are swimming outside then be sure to cover up and use sunscreen.


Adjust your style – Your body changes will mean that certain adjustments are going to have to be made at some point. Butterfly is unlikely to be something you can continue into your third trimester, and you might want to drop your tumble turns and just touch the wall and turn; this is not the time to be pushing for personal bests.


Final Thoughts

 


There is no reason why pregnancy should get in the way of your training, as long as you are having a healthy pregnancy. Always speak to your doctor first and let them know what your training plans are, if they sign it off then go for it. Training is going to be good for your body and your mind, and these benefits will be passed onto your child too.

 

Written for Innerforce by Stewart Spiessens

Photos. @anacdns4

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