Read about everything to do with fitness, nutrition and lifestyle for Muslim mums and sisters from Carin Timskog.
Prenatal physical activity should be considered a front-line therapy reducing the risk of pregnancy complications and enhancing maternal physical and mental health. (2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy)
Pregnancy Is a Time of Change
It’s not always easy to know what to do, and how to adapt the training during your pregnancy. Therefore, I’m so pleased to have created the program that I wanted to have had, namely The Prenatal Muslimah Program!
As a Certified Pre- & Postnatal Coach and mum, I’m not only so pleased to share this program and this blog post with you, but I also see it as something very important. Safe training, and the right type of training, during pregnancy, has a multitude of benefits, both physically and mentally ma shaa Allah.
Pelvic floor muscle training (e.g. Kegel exercises) may be performed on a daily basis to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence. Instruction on the proper technique is recommended to obtain optimal benefits.
Training prenatal should focus on maintaining your muscle mass and strengthen weak areas. The training you do should prepare you for birth, and for the initial period of time after as postnatal, when the physical demands on you are high.
Each fitness session should also leave you energized and relaxed! Not overly exhausted. Work with your body, and see your training during this time as really giving yourself, and your baby, lots of love and care during each session.
What type of exercise is recommended, and why?
The foundation should be in strength training exercises that are preparing you for life as a mum, and which includes squats, lunges, rotation, deadlifts, horizontal push, work with one leg at a time, and shoulder press, for example.
But also breath-work with pelvic floor exercises, moderate- to high-intensity (depending on your level) cardio, and restorative work such as light walking, foam rolling, swimming and/or gentle stretching.
Please Note! There are times when you should not be training during pregnancy: when you feel short of breath, tired, have headache, dizziness, contractions or bleeding.
Remember This During Fitness Training:
What about cardio training?
If you are like most sisters, who are trying to get stronger, healthier and improve overall fitness, strength training should be the priority. And as mentioned previously, strength training is the most important training during pregnancy, not only in order to prepare yourself for motherhood, but also to take care of your body as best possible considering the physical demands that are put on it.
Always listen inwards to your body, and be as active as your body allows you to be.
How often is it recommended to workout?
Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week to achieve clinically meaningful health benefits and reductions in pregnancy complications.
Physical activity should be accumulated over a minimum of three days per week; however, being active every day is encouraged.
The recommendations dictate that pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic and resistance training activities to achieve greater benefits. Adding the physical exercises from yoga/or gentle stretching may also be beneficial.
In general, I recommend you to do strength training 2-4 times per week. Along with moderate-intensity cardio such as walking and gentle stretching as previously mentioned.
Exercising during the first trimester
As long as you’re not too tired, you may continue as normal. However, it is essential to always listen inwards. You should feel good, and your training should give you energy.
Focus on maintaining your fitness and strength. Focus on strengthening your core, overall strength and getting started with pelvic floor exercises.
Exercising during the second trimester
As the belly grows, ensure to perform the type of activities in which your core feels stable.
By about week 21: begin minimizing high-impact exercises like running, jumping, box jumps, jumping rope or anything that causes a lot of downward pressure on your pelvic floor. As well as making push-ups or plank poses; which are examples of front-loaded exercises in which your belly hangs down.
You should not feel any heaviness in your pelvis or pain anywhere in your body, and you should not experience any leaking. If you do, choose another activity, and contact a pelvic health physiotherapist for an appointment.
Exercising during the third trimester
Continue avoiding high-impact exercises like running, jumping, box jumps, jumping rope or anything that causes a lot of downward pressure on your pelvic floor. As well as avoiding making push-ups or plank poses; which are examples of front-loaded exercises in which your belly hangs down.
I hope you found this blog post helpful, and enjoyed reading it, as much as I loved writing it. Stay safe, stay active and remember; happy mummy, happy baby in shaa Allah!
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Hi, I'm Carin Timskog, and I'm here to help you achieve your fitness goals.