I wanted to share it very exciting news on the blog for a little over 6 months. Things are changing, FitnessOnToast is literally expanding; I'm pregnant (not just greedily greedy)! In the midst of COVID's lock-up and what can only be described as an "atypical but unforgettable year", I found myself wanting to escape the tension of this deeply nervous world (literally turning off the TV and escaping social society) in my hands) and instead, just focus on pouring all the best ingredients into the little miracle that grows inside me. Although I acquired a professional qualification in the prenatal and postnatal space ten years ago, I had never been the "baby person" who simply loves to take care of, hug, and care for babies. In fact, in my youth, they once seemed quite monotonous to me – eat, sleep, diaper, times. My outlook has changed a long time ago and during that time I have diligently read books on babies and it turns out that these are actually quite remarkable little configurations! (I will share some of my favorites from the reading list below). The purpose of this post is to share just a few of the main reasons why I think it pays to continue training during pregnancy and beyond, and it is relevant for both women who are considering starting a family and their partners – it is a team sport! For thoughts, click MORE below and feel free to ask questions in the comments if I can help you …
Before and after Natal
However, one topic that has always fascinated me is the way a woman's body carries a baby. It's not a trivial undertaking, the changes take place throughout the trimester, and the body's ability to return to "normal" after that is truly amazing. Having worked with dozens of women throughout my pregnancy as a personal trainer, it is clear that everyone I talk to experiences a different story and journey; pregnancy is far from a cookie cutter, a predictable process. Some get pregnant as soon as they start trying, while others move between long and difficult journeys. Some had planned it, others were insecure. One thing they all had is an overwhelming desire to do the best for their babies and offer the best; to optimize the pregnancy process! I have often been surprised when small women in general seem to know (or want to know) about the changes that growing life within you will bring both anatomically and emotionally as the different stages of trimesters develop. Often, some of the women I have seen are torn – on the one hand, they want to train, but they are afraid that training may harm their child. When I embarked on this journey, I wanted to share what I know with other women and help others in my workouts stay healthy and confident.. But this was the first time I could really relate to the fear I had described to me over the years …
Park this fear (at least for now), there are countless benefits to training during pregnancy – everything from mental health increases through the production of dopamine and serotonin in the gym, assistance in childbirth and, of course, together recovery. I would like to share how you can make this journey with confidence. To help you every step of knowing what is going on with your body. So this is the first small post that lists some of the benefits of training during pregnancy. We took some pregnancy shots on a long walk in Kenwood to commemorate this magical time for me …
The benefits of training during pregnancy?
People have often told me to take it easy during pregnancy, reduce exercise, or avoid it. However, there is now a significant body of research and strong evidence that exercise can be safe during pregnancy, but it can have a positive effect on both mother's and baby's health. But if you hear "take it easy," don't train people and it can be confusing. Ultimately, you need to listen to your body and act within your personal comfort; If you produce a lot of cortisol throughout the day, worrying if you have harmed your baby due to a slight side lift, adjust your activity to a comfortable but useful level. a long aerobic walk still brings serious benefits. So why train for the prenatal stage?
Antenatal benefits include
1) INSURANCE LEVELS: Exercise during pregnancy maintains overall fitness levels and improves cardiovascular performance, while innumerable changes take place in the body (for example, the mother's and baby's circulatory systems mix through the placenta). Blood volume through your system will increase by up to about 30% in the near future, as well as stroke volume and heart rate – all the changes you need to keep in mind and adjusting your workouts accordingly will keep you in cardiovascular shape, helping you both during and after delivery.
2) BLOOD PRESSURE: This can reduce the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) because by keeping you active and exercising every day, your body regulates your blood pressure better than normal. Supplementing it with a balanced diet and maintaining salt intake will also help control the risk of high blood pressure.
3) CONTROL OF WEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: during pregnancy, the body's fat stores increase and therefore weight gain occurs naturally due to the growing child. How much weight you should gain during pregnancy is based on your body mass index (BMI), which is measured before pregnancy and should be calculated by a qualified midwife.
4) REGULATORY: Exercise relieves constipation – during pregnancy, the level of progesterone increases, which relaxes the smooth muscle tissue of the walls of the digestive system, which causes a deterioration of these functions. All this can affect digestion, heartburn and constipation. Training has been shown to alleviate this effect.
5) SLEEP AND MIND: Personally, I have always discovered that when I have been active during the day, both mind and body have fallen into a deeper sleep more easily. I have written extensively about the importance of sleep here and here. During pregnancy, when many people find that hitting and moving their baby (including me) interrupts their sleeping habits, I found that I trained to sleep much better. Needless to say, an increase in training serotonin also works wonders for your mood, even if your daily workout is an easy walk in the park.
6) POST AND MUSCULAR PAIN: Exercise for pregnant women helps to improve posture and can also reduce back pain. In addition to enlarged breasts (as the body prepares for lactation), which can lead to rounded shoulders, the body also experiences bumps with increased weight and a shift in center of gravity. It's pretty radical because you've spent your life balancing in a certain way, and it's now outdated information for your brain! In addition, the effect of the hormone relaxin is caused by loose vertebral ligaments and weak abdominal muscles, which are less and less able to support the back / core with each trimester. Therefore, it is especially important to train properly and help ensure proper posture.
7) RISK REDUCTION: Exercise during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and caesarean section – gestational diabetes is usually ameliorated by exercise, as exercise improves the body's insulin sensitivity and therefore increases the absorption of glucose by muscles and other tissues.
8) Perception: It increases the body's awareness and creates a better self-image, and leads to a renewed energy, euphoria and greater feeling factor. Some women worry that they may lose their bodies due to the changing demands of pregnancy, but training has been shown to help maintain and renew it, so keep going!
This is just the beginning, there is still a lot to discuss in the postpartum period. In the coming months, something more will come as we explore this exciting topic a little more, from a health and fitness perspective, flavored with a little Swedish-style insight into this domain!
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