Prenatal Pilates: The Perfect Modified Pilates Solution During Pregnancy
There are so many different things you have to do (or not do) when you’re expecting a baby. Avoiding certain household cleaners and drinking alcohol are two biggies. Then you can go down the list of all the “prenatal” things you should be doing. Taking prenatal vitamins and going to prenatal checkups are a few of the more well-known ones. There are also a few optional activities you can take part in to keep you and your baby healthy, and this includes prenatal Pilates.
Working out may already be something you do regularly, but as your baby grows you won’t be able to perform the exercises you used to. In order to accommodate your changing body, the best path to take is that of prenatal Pilates. You can begin these exercises in the first trimester and continue them up until the third. Once you’ve given birth, Pilates can help you shape your body and flatten your belly back to the way it used to be. Our professionals design the Pilates workouts to be perfect for each stage of your pregnancy, so you and your baby can stay healthy.
Certain normal Pilates exercises aren’t safe to perform during pregnancy, which is why it is important to seek out modified prenatal Pilates.
What Is Pilates?
If you don’t already know what Pilates is, then prenatal Pilates may sound very strange to you. Pilates is a low-impact way of exercising that some may compare to yoga. It is designed to improve your flexibility and strength, while also training your body and mind awareness. The man who developed Pilates, Joseph Pilates, wanted to develop something that would improve a person’s posture and movement. Most exercises can be completed without any additional equipment (other than a mat), but some require the use of exercise balls, resistance bands, and others.
Each movement in Pilates can be modified to be safe for pregnancy, but it is important to visit a class run by professionals. There are many Pilates programs available to do in your own home, but these may not be catered to your specific needs. Consulting with our professionals will give you a better idea of which exercises are safe, which are not, and which can be altered.
How Can Pilates Benefit You?
Strengthen Muscle Groups: Certain muscles like the abs and glutes can become weakened during pregnancy. When you become pregnant, your body starts producing more of the hormone known as relaxin. Relaxin makes the ligaments more flexible than usual, which can make it easier for you to injure areas in your lower body. The hips and lower back are especially susceptible. The best way to combat this is by strengthening the muscle groups around these lower extremities. By strengthening the muscles you improve stability, which can minimize the risk of injury.
Relieves Back Pain: In addition to what was mentioned above, prenatal Pilates can do wonders for your posture. By improving your posture, not only is your risk for lower back injury greatly reduced, but so is any back pain you are already experiencing. Having a growing stomach puts a lot of pressure on your back, which is why Pilates is here to take some of that pressure off.
Prevent Incontinence: It’s not something that many women like to talk about, but as your baby grows larger the chance for incontinence does, too. That’s because the increased weight of the baby causes it to move downward, which puts pressure on your bladder. Sneezing and coughing in the later trimesters, therefore, comes with the risk of leakage. With Pilates, certain exercises can strengthen what is known as the hammock of the pelvic floor, which can greatly reduce the risk for incontinence.
Helps with Labor: We’re not talking about doing Pilates while you’re having contractions. At least, not exactly. While you perform Pilates exercises, one of the key elements is controlling your breathing. Deep breathing becomes difficult as your baby bump gets bigger, which can make controlled breathing during labor more difficult as well. Once you get really good at Pilates, controlling your breathing pattern while you’re in labor will come naturally to you. Pilates also helps by improving the flexibility in your back, which makes breathing easier.
Improve Your Balance: Once your bump gets big enough, you may start to feel like you’re unusually clumsy. Trying to bend over to pick something up becomes almost impossible, and you may feel off-balance most of the time. Pilates strengthens your core, which is the most important part of your body when we’re talking about balance. Walking will become easier and safer, and you won’t feel nearly as clumsy.
Gives You “Me Time”: Due to the focus on mind and body awareness, Pilates is a great way to give yourself some much-needed “me time.” While you’re at our center, give yourself the ability to tune-out any outside stress that you may be dealing with. Whether that’s work or family, let the Pilates exercises relax you as they keep you healthy and strong.
Keep Your Weight Down: It’s not uncommon for a woman to gain weight while she’s pregnant. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either, but it can be frustrating for some. Pilates is a safe way to exercise while you’re pregnant, so you can experience all of the benefits mentioned above while keeping yourself at an ideal weight. Too much excess weight gain can be bad for you and the baby, so Pilates is key in helping you keep you and your precious gift healthy.
Are you interested in learning more about prenatal Pilates? If so, consider us here at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment!