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EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY?

There are many health benefits that are related to exercise during pregnancy, including reduced risk of caesarean section and shorter delivery time. Women who exercise give birth to children with a bit lower body fat and birthweight, which facilitates childbirth and reduces the risk of complications. A well trained pelvic floor also reduces the risk of rupture associated with childbirth. A well trained pelvic floor also helps to a faster recovery and return to postpartum.

A combination of strength and cardio workout is recommended. Generally it is recommended to do two strength training workouts and three cardio workouts per week, it should be added that cardio can also be walking, just think ”motion”. The key is to do exercise based on your own condition. If you are well trained already then you can probably train harder than a non trained person.

During the first trimester you can train as normal if you are feeling good or adjust the training, for example, if you normally run three times a week then you can exchange a running session with an aqua workout. The changes that occur in the body are an increase in blood plasma and red blood cells to meet the needs of the fetus and the mother. While the body is adapting to the change, 50-80% of all pregnant women experience the typical discomfort, nausea and fatigue. Many have probably heard that most miscarriages happen during the first trimester and that is correct. There are some single studies that show that it could be due to “too heavy load” but – it is much more common for miscarriage due to chromosomal failure in the fetus.

Later during pregnancy, in the second and third trimesters, it is often more apparent that the stomach restricts one’s movement pattern. The posture may get worse when the stomach grows and it can cause some pain and discomfort with the lumbar spine. The womb’s size increase also affects the organs, for example, the lungs get smaller space and it may make the exercise feel heavier and heavier breathing. Early in the pregnancy relaxin is produced, relaxin is one of the increasing pregnancy hormones that affects the joints of the body, cartilage and ligaments. It is one of the contributing causes of Sacroliliac dysfunction  that some may experience.

About every other woman experiences lumbar and / or pelvic related discomfort. The center of gravity is shifted forward as the fetus grows. This affects the posture of most pregnant women, which can lead to lumbar- and pelvic related pain. Combined with the fact that pregnancy hormones make ligaments, connective tissues and fascia more elastic, stresses in these regions can increase. The pelvic floor will also be affected by both hormones and the increased weight. Exercise helps reduce the discomfort and symptoms in these regions and improve function and reduce pain.

What attitude should you have towards training during pregnancy?

Important to remember is that every pregnancy is individual. Generally speaking, if it feels good then it is good. If you do not feel any discomfort or pain, there are no restrictions on training that must be followed at all costs. Moderate exercise has been shown to be able to help with nausea and fatigue. For those who are well trained and have good body awareness, it can work well to perform their usual exercises with full control and adjusted weights.

How careful should you be?

Do not feel that you need to be too careful. The foetus is after all well protected in there. It is important to mention, today there are many women out there who do not dare to train because they think it’s harmful. Thinking that physical exercise would risk the child’s health when there is no evidence for this. Women who work out tend to be more sensitive to when something is wrong. To exercise in pregnancy is, overall, for everything we know today positively.

Select exercises focusing on the deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. Exercises for back, back shoulders, posture muscles and GLUTEUS muscles. All of these muscle groups are affected during a pregnancy.

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