Pre & Post Natal Fitness

Benefits of Physical Activity for Pre and Post Natal Clients

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy:

Improved circulation

   Reduced swelling

Eased gastrointestinal discomfort

Reduced leg cramps

Reduced maternal weight gain

Reduced muscular discomfort

Reduction in labour pain

Easier, shorter labour

Better self-image

Help to maintain fitness

Improved body awareness

Reduced risk of low back pain

 

Benefits of Post-Natal Exercise:

Quicker post-natal recovery

Improved posture

Increased local muscular endurance

Increased stamina

Increased energy

Increased metabolic rate

Increased weight loss, improved body image

Increased self-confidence

Reduced anxiety

Clients cannot realistically expect fitness levels to improve during pregnancy but should maintain baseline fitness to aid pregnancy outcomes.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggest:

  • all women should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy
  • reasonable goals of aerobic conditioning in pregnancy should be to maintain a good fitness level throughout pregnancy without trying to reach peak fitness level or train for athletic competition
  • women should choose activities that will minimise the risk of loss of balance and foetal trauma
  • women should be advised that adverse pregnancy or neonatal outcomes are not increased for exercising women
  • initiation of pelvic floor exercises in the immediate postpartum period may reduce the risk of future urinary incontinence
  • women should be advised that moderate exercise during lactation does not affect the quantity or composition of breast milk or impact on foetal growth

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