When it comes to pregnancy fitness gyms like to play it safe. In fact, it’s likely if you’re in your first trimester, that they won’t even let you train for the first 12 weeks just in case something happens and it’s then down to their insurance and liability.
To be honest who can blame them? After all, unless the staff are specifically trained in pregnancy fitness, the last thing they want to do is risk any harm coming to you or your baby from unsupervised exercise within their facility.
However, when they do finally let you past the reception desk, most gym staff will encourage you to head towards the cardio equipment or the classes with an instructor who can keep an eye on what you’re doing. This is great for them as they can steer you away from the more “dangerous” forms of exercise and keep you happy in aerobic activity, but BAD NEWS for you!
Why? Well if you’re anything like the majority of pregnant women I speak to then there are just a few things you want from your pregnancy exercise plan:
1. To keep you in great shape and not end up covered in wobbly saggy fat
2. To be fit for pregnancy, i.e. avoid things like pregnancy back pain
3. To have an easy labor
4. To get your body back quickly after giving birth
5. To have a healthy happy baby
Well here’s the truth – YOU WON’T GET ANY OF THESE THINGS FROM AEROBIC CLASSES! (and yes that includes body pump – anything that requires you to complete 3000 repetitions over 60 minutes is aerobic – not weights!)
Pregnancy fitness needs resistance training. Here’s why:
1. Lean muscle burns fat. You can only build lean muscle through resistance training. If you want to stay in shape and not hold onto an extra 10kgs of ugly wobbly fat through your pregnancy then you need the muscle machinery to burn it off!
2. Your pregnancy means that you produce a lot of the hormones relaxin and progesterone which relax the ligaments in your body, reducing stability in your joints and leaving you much more prone to injuries and common complaints like pregnancy back pain. Proper pregnancy exercise should focus on strength training in these areas to keep you walking tall and feeling light on your feet!
3. You need to be strong for labor and a proper pregnancy fitness plan should take this into account with specific exercises to target strengthening the labor muscles.
4. Resistance training increases your metabolism. This means you become much more efficient at using up the fuel from your food and you are less likely to struggle with pregnancy pounds and losing your baby fat after giving birth. (It also means your baby is less likely to be fat later on in life)
5. Research shows that resistance training in pregnancy subjects the baby to controlled amounts of stress. This conditions the baby to deal with the stress of labor much better and results in a quicker and easier transition to life outside the womb. Babies born to mothers who train regularly are also much more content, happier and will self-comfort more easily.
Still not convinced? Consider this – A properly designed pregnancy fitness workout will take you half the time and get you twice the results! Now do I have your attention?
For Pregnancy Health & Fitness Made Simple (ie. no brainpower required on your part!), grab a free copy of Nisha’s latest ebook, POWER Pregnancy – The 5 Health Secrets Every Expectant Mother MUST Know! http;//www.the9monthclub.com [http://www.the9monthclub.com]