Pilates is a very popular exercise right now, but is it the right choice for everyone? Like all exercise routines, it has its pros and cons. Some people may find it very beneficial, while others may not. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before you start any new fitness regime.
* Pregnant women who are looking to start or continue an exercise regime should always consult with their doctor or healthcare provider beforehand, especially if they were not very active to begin with or have any preexisting medical conditions. It’s crucial that you listen to your doctor’s advice when it comes to working out while pregnant – even if that means not doing Pilates specifically. They know what’s best for you and your baby’s health, and remember – you won’t be pregnant forever! You can always start back up after you’ve given birth. You may see other pregnant women in the Pilates group, but this does not mean that you can do it against your doctor’s wishes. Each person and pregnancy is different – you could easily have different problems or complications than the other women. So, while it’s great to see other pregnant women working out and staying healthy, always check with your doctor first to make sure that Pilates (or any other exercise) is right for you and your individual pregnancy.
* If you get the okay from your doctor, start by lightly stretching your muscles. You’ll be happy to know that your body has actually become more flexible due to pregnancy, as this is a natural process that helps a woman give birth. So, in a sense, you’re just helping Mother Nature do what she intends for your body at this time. Doing Pilates while pregnant can be beneficial for many women – it makes them even more limber and could help the birthing process, as well as the recovery afterwards.
* Pilates is a form of exercise that really focuses on all the muscles that are mostly used during labor. The lower back, abdominals and pelvic floor muscles are all toned and strengthened through doing Pilates exercises. That is why it is considered by many to be an ideal form of exercise for many pregnant women.
* However, it is always best to get specific instruction when starting a new exercise program, especially if you have not done Pilates before. Not all Pilates classes are created equal, so find one that is especially for women who are pregnant. This can be an actual class or a DVD or even an internet clip.
* Breathing is essential for everyone, but especially during labor. Working on your breath during a Pilates class can help you stay calm and in control while also helping the labor progress more smoothly. The breathing exercises you learn in Pilates can help you stay comfortable while remaining in charge of your labor.
* Although Pilates can be part of your stretching routine, it’s important not to overdo it. Stretching to the point of pain can do more damage than good. Remember that your joints are loosening up on their own.
* Never work out to the point of being out of breath and unable to speak in a normal tone. If you find yourself panting or gasping for air while speaking, you have become winded and this is not good for you or your baby.
* If you were doing Pilates before becoming pregnant, you may think that you can pick up where you left off with the same exercises. Unfortunately, this is not the case – your center of gravity will have shifted due to the additional weight in the front, so you’ll need to focus on exercises that require more precision and balance. It might be best to wait to do the other exercises until after baby is born.
* Pregnancy Pilates is a great way to stay active during pregnancy, but it’s important to remember that your body will feel and look different during this time. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about – your body is just going through some changes to accommodate your pregnancy. Mother Nature will take care of everything, and you’ll soon be back to your pre-pregnancy shape with the help of regular Pilates classes before and after your baby is born. So don’t get frustrated if things don’t feel or look the same as they used to – just enjoy this special time and trust that your body is doing exactly what it should be doing.