Body adaptations during pregnancy workout
- Increase in lumbar lordosis, which causes 50% of pregnant women to experience lower back pain.
- An anterior shift in the distribution of body weight, which leads to an imbalanced posture and causes a reduction in balance and proprioception, which is why activities with a risk of falling are not recommended (horseback riding, skiing, etc..).
- Up to 100% increase in the forces acting on the joints of the lower body (hips and knees) during resistance exercise, this can increase the risk of arthritis or damage joints that are already less stable due to increased levels of relaxin hormone. There is no clear evidence in the literature about the increase in musculoskeletal injuries during pregnancy workout, but it is prudent to consider these factors when drawing up a pregnancy workout program.
- Between the second and fifth weeks, the resting heart rate and heart rate during submaximal exercise, increases by about 8 beats per minute, this continues to rise through pregnancy, and is almost doubled at the end of gestation.
- Between the tenth and twentieth weeks, there is an increase in volaemia, i.e. the total amount of blood in the circulatory system (blood circulating in vessels and organs).
- Within the fifth week, there is an increase in the resting cardiac output due to the increase in volaemia, heart rate and systolic output. It is recalled that cardiac output is commonly considered to be the volume of blood that the ventricles can expel every minute through the aorta (left ventricle).
- Despite the decrease in diastolic blood pressure, systolic pressure remains stable due to the decrease in peripheral vascular resistance.
The cardiovascular system undergoes changes both mechanically (because the rib cage undergoes a temporary remodeling) and physiologically (bringing the respiratory rate at rest of a pregnant woman to a level that would normally be seen during aerobic conditioning).
5 benefits and 3 indicators of correct pregnancy workout
Among the main benefits of training in pregnancy are to be found:
- weight control.
- Reduction of low back pain.
- Improvement of glycemic control with a consequent reduction of the incidence of gestational diabetes, especially in obese women.
- Increased muscle strength and endurance.
- Greater chance of having a shorter birth.
- Temperature: Temperature increases are generally manageable if they are not excessive. Usually the fetus has a temperature 1 ° C higher than that of the mother, it is recommended not to exceed 39 °C especially in the first 45-60 days. During pregnancy workout such as aerobic exercise the temperature of the pregnant woman's body increases by 1.5 degrees in the first 30 minutes, to reach a plateau in the next 30 ', generally this is well below the recommended limit.
- Blood flow: in the past there were fears of a selective redistribution of blood flow during pregnancy workout , and that this could interfere with the transport of transplacental oxygen and carbon dioxide, thus reducing the availability of nutrients to the fetus. Now it is known that there are no negative effects caused by exercise related to this problem, if a woman wants to completely obviate this possibility, activities in water eliminate any possibility thanks to a centripetal distribution of blood.
- Birth weight: it is often feared that pregnancy workout may result in a lower weight of the fetus at birth. This concern has been disproved both by the scientific evidence and in practice, with anecdotal examples provided by the children of professional athletes who have continued to train during gestation. The problem of birth weight can be caused by the mother's diet if she does not consume all the necessary nutrients, if she does not have sufficient calories in her diet, or if she begins to do sports without changing her diet.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath) at rest or with minimal effort
- Chest Pain
- Muscle weakness
- Calf pain or swelling
- An abnormal decrease in fetal movement
- Loss of amniotic fluid
Two useful indicators for training during pregnancy
Unfortunately, there are no pre-established workouts that give indications on what to do every week or every month of pregnancy, but you can follow the guidelines of the ACOG regarding physical activity.