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Pregnancy Workout Guidelines


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  #1  
May 31st, 2009, 04:34 PM
TrainingWithTonya's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Since we've had several ladies who come in here TTC or who are expecting, I thought it might be a good idea to post some pregnancy workout guidelines. These are from various certifications I've taken, specifically those relating to pre and post natal exercise. So, congratulations ladies, and enjoy your workouts!

Absolute Contraindications
During a healthy pregnancy, exercise should be an important part of your life. If, however, any of the following Absolute Contraindications are present, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends NO exercise program should be preformed:
  • Preterm rupture of membranes
  • Premature labor during a prior or current pregnancy, or both
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Persistent second or third trimester bleeding
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
Relative Contraindications
If any of the following Relative Contraindications are present, consult your Physician to determine the appropriate exercise program for you:
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Obesity
  • History of precipitous labor
  • History of bleeding during pregnancy
  • Heart or pulmonary disease
  • History of spontaneous abortion or miscarriage
  • Vascular disease
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Breech in last trimester
  • Extremely underweight
  • History of intrauterine growth retardation
  • Extremely sedentary
  • Placenta previa
  • Multiple births
  • Excessive weight gain during the second or third trimester
Basic Guidelines for Strength Training
  • Women possessing any of the ACOG contraindications for aerobic exercise (see above) during pregnancy should not participate in strength training
  • No ballistic movements should be employed during pregnancy, and supine positions should be avoided after the first trimester.
  • Pregnant women experience joint and connective tissue laxity, raising their susceptibilty for injury while performing resistance exercises.
  • Emphasize proper form and good posture.
  • An adequate warm-up is strongly recommended.
  • Women should be encouraged to breathe normally during strength training. Oxygen delivery to the placenta may be reduced during breath-holding.
  • Maximal lifts and heavy resistances should be avoided, especially after the first trimester when increasing amounts of the hormone relaxin are present. Because relaxin increases tissue laxity, the performance of heavy lifts later in pregnancy may increase the risk of injury to the joints, connective tissue, and skeletal structures.
  • An exercise set consisting of at least 12 to 15 repetitions without undue fatigue should ensure that the resistance level is not too great during any particular strength exercise.
  • A strength training workout consisting of a single set of a series of exercises, collectively involving all of the major muscle groups, should be performed 2 times per week.
  • As a training effect occurs, it is recommended that overload be achieved initially by increasing the number of repetitions and, subsequently, by increasing the amount of resistance. Use slow progression.
  • Strength training on machines is generally preferred to using free weights since machines tend to require less skill and can be more easily controlled. Machines require less balance, which is challenged later in pregnancy.
  • Choose activities that limit risk of abdominal trauma.
  • If a particular strength exercise produces pain or discomfort, it should be discontinued and an alternate exercise should be performed. Recognize that body changes can affect blance and coordination.
  • Avoid hot and humid exercise environments and hydrate well.
  • A pregnant woman should listen to her body and modify exercises appropriately. She should immediately consult her physician if any of the following warning signs or complications appear: vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, ruptured membranes, elevated blood pressure, or lack of fetal movement.
Basic Guidelines for Cardiovascular Exercise
  • Exercise goals should be discussed with a physician.
  • Do not begin a vigorous exercise program shortly before or during pregnancy.
  • Gradually reduce the intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise during the second and third trimesters.
  • Avoid exercise when the temperature and / or humidity is high.
  • Tru to run or walk on flat, even surfaces.
  • Wear supportive shoes while walking or running during pregnancy.
  • If running becomes uncomfortable during the second and third trimesters, try other forms of aerobic exercise, such as swimming, running in water, and bicycling.
  • Extend warm-up and cool-down periods.
  • Body temperature, which should not exceed 100 degrees F, shoudl be taken immediately after exercise. If body temperature exceeds, 100 degrees F, modifying intensity and duration, as well as exercising during the cooler part of the day, should help.
  • Use the rating of perceived exertion scale rather than heart rate to monitor exercise intensity. Choose an intensity that is comfortable; a pounding heart rate, breathlessness, or dizziness are indicators that intensity should be reduced.
  • Eat a small snack before exercise to help avoid hypoglycemia.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
  • Avoid overstretching or going beyond normal range of motion.
  • Any unusual physical changes, such as vaginal bleeding, severe fatigue, joint pain, or irregular heart beats, should immediately be reported to a physician.
  • Focus on endurance cardio instead of intense cardio.
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Tonya Wife to Mike, Mom to Bobby (19) and Koti (17)
Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, and Sports Nutritionist
Valdosta State University Class of 2012, Major: Exercise Physiology, Minor: Nutrition
Masters in Exercise Science Starting August 2012 at the University of South Florida

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  #2  
May 31st, 2009, 05:43 PM
MnKelly77's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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excellent info! though I'm not preggo anymore
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  #3  
June 1st, 2009, 01:33 AM
Cherished1's Avatar On an extended babymoon
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That's fantastic info Tonya, thanks so much.. I haven't been checking my temp when I finish so I will do that next time I knew I shouldn't get too hot and haven't 'felt' hot so didn't bother to check on it... It is winter here though and I workout in my bra and knicker
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  #4  
June 1st, 2009, 09:33 AM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Funny, I had 5 of the relative contraindications. I wasn't told these by anyone and was expected to continue my normal routine as long I felt comfortable doing it. I didn't exercise much the last month I was pregnant because my back hurt too much, but the first 12 weeks I was doing a lot still.

If I were to get pregnant now I would still have 5, I lost the 'obesity' one and gained the 'spontanous abortion" I wonder how the Air Force would handle that if I got pregnant again?
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  #5  
June 1st, 2009, 11:07 AM
TrainingWithTonya's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Wow, you need a new OB! Did he even talk to you about your workout program?
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Tonya Wife to Mike, Mom to Bobby (19) and Koti (17)
Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, and Sports Nutritionist
Valdosta State University Class of 2012, Major: Exercise Physiology, Minor: Nutrition
Masters in Exercise Science Starting August 2012 at the University of South Florida

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  #6  
June 1st, 2009, 11:23 AM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It wasn't my midwife that was the problem. In the military everything your specialist says can be changed by your primary care. So since the primary care says it is okay, it must be. Like my midwife sent them a note that said I should get 6 weeks for recovery from my recent birth, but the PCM said that I am physically recovered and could return to work today. My work area let me take an extra week of regular leave. the doctor told me that even with surgeries they do this, which I already knew. I see his patients when he sends them back to work two weeks after having an ACL reconstruction, and I see the complications because of it. So it is a sucky system.

Now that I know that I have that many 'risks' I will be more likely to bring it up and be proactive if I get pregnant again.
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  #7  
September 14th, 2009, 01:28 PM
ana410ny's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hey Tonya, was wondering what your take was on Protein bars and protein drinks while pregnant?

and are the Omega 3 oils and flaxseed oil safe to take while pregnant?
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  #8  
September 14th, 2009, 05:02 PM
TrainingWithTonya's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Omega 3's and 6's, including flaxseed oil, are all Essential Fatty Acids and are required for proper growth and development for all humans (including those in utero). I would recommend getting them from natural sources instead of supplements because of other additives in a lot of supplements that aren't so healthy for a growing baby. Even though fish oil is one of those EFA's, I'd still avoid fish while PG because of the risk of mercury.
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Tonya Wife to Mike, Mom to Bobby (19) and Koti (17)
Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, and Sports Nutritionist
Valdosta State University Class of 2012, Major: Exercise Physiology, Minor: Nutrition
Masters in Exercise Science Starting August 2012 at the University of South Florida

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  #9  
September 16th, 2009, 12:04 PM
ana410ny's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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What about protein bars and shakes?
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  #10  
September 16th, 2009, 12:41 PM
TrainingWithTonya's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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If it is pure whey protein, they should be fine. You just have to look at the other ingredients to make sure they don't contain fat burners, stimulants, or other substances you want to avoid while pregnant.
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Tonya Wife to Mike, Mom to Bobby (19) and Koti (17)
Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, and Sports Nutritionist
Valdosta State University Class of 2012, Major: Exercise Physiology, Minor: Nutrition
Masters in Exercise Science Starting August 2012 at the University of South Florida

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  #11  
January 8th, 2013, 07:43 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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Training through Pregnancy: What Every Woman Needs to Know | Runner's World & Running Times

A helpful article for the pregnant Runners.
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