Pregnancy is considered one of the most joyful periods of a woman’s life, filled with lots of excitement, anticipation and of course a bit of difficulty.
This is often the time when women tend to be more inclined towards self-care compared to other periods of their life.
Many women do start eating healthier, adding fruits and vegetables as a staple to every meal, and some women do even start to exercise.
Of course many pregnant women in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah already train and exercise but the way they train will need to change.
For prenatal ladies who haven’t previously exercised the transition into prenatal workouts needs to be done with caution.
Note how we said that “some” women do exercise. Being active and doing exercises while being pregnant is often overlooked and many new mothers-to-be are highly concerned and sceptical with the idea of doing aerobic activities while carrying a child.
The fact of the matter is that, staying active while being pregnant has many benefits which we’ll look into in this article. Also, we’ll be discussing how a personal trainer can be of huge benefit for prenatal and postnatal exercise.
The above question is asked so many times. Many women who train and exercise regularly will probably already know they can safely continue their exercise regime as normal, albeit with some modifications in the type of exercise they do and the intensity.
For pregnant women who do not regularly exercise but want to start for their own health and the health of their baby the quick answer to this question is yes, exercise is safe and beneficial.
Unless you’re going super crazy with exercise movements, any kind of trauma to baby is very uncommon. In fact, in a recent study found here prenatal exercise provides a wealth of benefits to both mother and child. It can help reduce caesarean rates, improve delivery and more.
If you trained and exercised before becoming pregnant you can continue the same activity but will probably have to factor in some changes to the types of exercise you can do. The best place to start is asking a qualified prenatal personal trainer in your area of Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah for advice on what you will need to change.
It’s also critical that all pregnant women (active or not) seek advice from a medical professional before continuing or starting a new physical fitness activity.
If you were going to the gym regularly before and lifting weights, now is a good time to drop the weights a bit and focus more on bodyweight exercises and on stretching movements.
For ladies who want to engage in more exercise but are new to the gym or home training when pregnant the first trimester of your pregnancy is a good time to start.
Keep in mind that the more fit you are and the more endurance, flexibility, and strength you have the easier the labour process will be. Start out with simple light exercise activities like walking or low impact swimming. Then as time progresses, add in some light exercise routines like Kegel training and other bodyweight movements.
Before attempting any kind of strenuous physical activity, the most ideal thing to do is consult with your doctor.
If there are any complications that you’re experiencing with your pregnancy you should always seek medical advice.
Training when pregnant needs to be done with caution. Listen to your body and if you feel any pain or discomfort when exercising stop that exercise immediately.
Once your doctor gives you the thumbs up, you can then proceed and search for a personal trainer who is specialised in training prenatal ladies in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah.
Pregnancy is a rewarding but physically challenging experience; it is a time in which the body goes through many physical changes and the way you perform in everyday life changes.
As mentioned, your body needs to be strong enough and capable of sustaining the extra stress on all of its muscles, bones and connective tissue that come from being pregnant in the UAE.
Being fit, eating well and generally staying healthy while being pregnant does not only benefit the labour process but can also help you keep more active and alleviate many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Knowing how to exercise properly and how to eat during pregnancy is the first step to the whole journey.
Although reading books and articles on the internet is very beneficial, getting help from a professional is a good choice for many pregnant ladies.
That’s why pregnancy personal trainers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah exist and they are always in high demand.
When we look at the statistics in the USA alone, nearly 50% of clients that personal trainers receive are pregnant mothers looking to get in shape and ready for labour. So you’re not alone on this journey.
A pregnancy personal trainer in the UAE is a male or female professional who is qualified and experienced to train someone during their pregnancy.
Using their knowledge and skills they make sure that the exercises their clients perform are done correctly and they will ensure their client train injury and complication-free.
The main benefit of getting a pregnancy personal trainer in your area, apart from injury prevention, is getting a program that fits your body type and your athletic abilities.
This of course helps because no two pregnant women are the same.
Personal trainers can also help you track your progress and help you progress even further. Before starting with any kind of training program, a personal trainer first takes all your basic body measurements, as well as health parameters like blood pressure, resting heart rate, blood glucose level, etc.
This serves as a baseline from which personal trainers create the customized training/meal plan and it also serves as a point for improvement. Overall the trainer is a specialised, educated individual with high accountability, that monitors both your fitness and health.
It should be stressed though. Even though a pre or post natal fitness trainer has experience in creating workout programs for ladies they are not Doctors and will not provide medical advice. This is why it is very important that you speak with your Doctor before exercising if you think you are pregnant.
Training programs designed for pregnant women are commonly divided into 4 phases:
• Exercises for 1st trimester
• Exercises for 2nd trimester
• Exercises for 3rd trimester
• Postnatal training
The first trimester is the pregnancy period from week 1 to week 12. This period is often accommodated with some pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, feeling a bit mentally down, moodiness, etc.
Training in this period can greatly improve your mood, reduce sickness and keep your fetus healthy. The exercises which are performed in this stage are not far away from what you’ve been doing previously if you were already active.
Body parts that get the most attention here are the core(abs, obliques, lower back), pelvis and glutes.
If you weren’t active before becoming pregant use this stage as a jumping board to strengthen all you’re muscles before things start to get a bit more uncomfortable as the stomach grows.
Training frequency in this period can be as high as 5-6 sessions per week, obviously still keeping it somewhat lightweight and keeping a close eye on how you feel.
You can view another useful article about 1st Trimester training here.
The second trimester of pregnancy is the period between the 13th week and the 28th week.
This is the period where you definitely notice the effects of pregnancy and you have a full-grown belly which adds weight and puts stress on your muscles and bones.
If you’ve already started working out from the first trimester, things should go smooth by now and you only need to focus on stabilizing the hips, strengthening the pelvic floor and lower back/ glute area.
Avoid exercises which put you in a position to lie on your back for prolonged periods of time as the growing foetus can reduce blood flow in some areas.
Training frequency in this period should go a bit down as you will accumulate a bit of fatigue because of the extra weight. Doing 2-3 training sessions a week would be plenty.
The third and final trimester starts from week 28 and lasts until you give birth which is usually around week 40.
This time around, mobility will be decreased significantly so doing regular strength exercises which require some mobility will be off the list. Instead throughout this period, you should focus on breathing, contractile exercises which will later help with the delivery of the baby.
You can also read a useful article about 2nd and 3rd Trimester training here.
After the labour process is over. Give your body a rest for a couple of weeks (2-3) and then start with light movements.
The first thing that you need to start working on is the kegel and the pelvic floor which will be extremely loose and weakened because of the labour process.
As time goes by, whenever you feel ready you can start implementing your old training routine(if you previously worked out) or you can start a brand new fitness plan.
• Light cardiovascular activities should be present at any time of the pregnancy as a trained cardiovascular system can reduce hypertension, lower resting heartbeat and get you ready for the labour process.
Diet is probably the first most important thing, going even above training when it comes to pregnancy. When we say ‘diet’ we don’t mean going on a diet to lose weight!
Weight gain during pregnancy is part of the process and you should never restrict your calories during this time. By diet we mean your nutrition intake.
Having a well-balanced macro and micro nutrition-wise diet is a must to assure proper growth and development of the foetus as well as keeping you in great shape too.
Every meal should include at least one type of green vegetable and you should keep saturated fats at a minimum, while still eating plenty of healthy fats.
Don’t be afraid to eat a bit more food thinking that you’ll get fat. Being in a slight caloric surplus is better than being hypo caloric while being pregnant.
You need the extra calories to provide support for the foetus you’re carrying.
As we mentioned above. There are plenty of ways to stay fit and healthy when you are pregnant. For ladies who train regularly you can continue with your normal training program with some adjustments.
However, if your aim is just to improve your fitness during your pregnancy the following exercises are deemed safe and beneficial for mother and baby.
Training during your pregnancy is perfectly safe but there are precautions you should take. Always seek advice from your Doctor first and train with a professional PT who is qualified and experience in working with pregnant ladies in the UAE.
If you need help and advice when it comes to pregnancy training in the UAE you can easily find the best coach in your area on the UAE Personal Trainers website.