Health & Fitness, Fitness: workout to stay healthy

Sport: good for pregnant women and their babies

Is it possible to play sports while pregnant? Of course, it is even recommended for the health of both mother and baby. Adapt your physical activities, discover benefits and tips, and learn how to set up your sports routine during pregnancy to give you pleasure while staying in shape.

Why do sports during pregnancy?

Exercising during pregnancy is a great idea, both for the health of the mother-to-be and the baby:

  • According to a Canadian study presented in 2013 at the San Diego Neuroscience Fair, playing sports while pregnant helps develop the baby’s brain activity.
  • Another 2011 study by the University of Kansas City found that regular, moderate exercise during pregnancy can have a positive impact on the baby’s heart activity up to a month after birth: the newborn’s heart rate is lower, a sign of a healthier heart.
  • Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy is not recommended: being physically active while pregnant limits weight gain during pregnancy, improves venous return and reduces the risk of depression or pregnancy-related disorders such as gestational diabetes or lower back pain.

Physical activities adapted for pregnant women.

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Even if certain sports are to be avoided, especially those with risks of falls such as skiing, rollerblading or horseback riding, it is recommended to take part in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Regularity is important in relation to the intensity of the sessions. If you did not practice any sports before becoming pregnant, start with 15-minute sessions to gradually get used to the exercise.

Top 3 activities to focus on during pregnancy.

 These 3 activities are perfectly adapted for doing while pregnant:

  • Walking is the queen of gentle activities and is accessible to all.
  • Swimming is a sport without trauma, it is calming and synonymous with relaxation: some swimming pools offer classes specially designed for expectant mothers.
  • Fitness brings together a wide variety of activities and some breathing or muscle-strengthening exercises are designed to prepare for childbirth. With very little equipment, you can create a sports routine that will last even after the birth.

Home fitness: what equipment to use before and after birth?

If you want to exercise at home during pregnancy, look for high-quality home fitness equipment. The home bike and elliptical bike will be your allies even  after giving birth. The elliptical bike provides the same benefits as walking or running, but without the shocks generated by your feet hitting the ground. It is particularly recommended for those who want to preserve their back and joints, and build muscle through gentle cardio activity. The SE series models are perfectly suited to such a wellness objective, such as  losing weight after the baby is born.

With one year of iFit® coaching included with the purchase of a machine, you can benefit from many coaching sessions for expectant mothers and fitness programs for after childbirth in the comfort of your own home.

Breathing and stretching: new wellness reflexes.

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During pregnancy, the respiratory rate changes. The body undergoes transformations related to hormonal changes and the metabolic needs of mother and child increase. The body adapts, and shortness of breath is felt more quickly during exercise. Your sports practice during pregnancy will integrate these new needs, and you will pay particular attention to breathing.

By becoming aware of your breathing through exercises, it will go from a reflex to a conscious gesture: your body and that of your baby will be better oxygenated. You will feel more energetic, more relaxed and less tired.

Prenatal yoga incorporates these notions of conscious breathing, among other exercises that will benefit both mother and baby. This activity is ideal during pregnancy, with benefits to morale, self-confidence, flexibility and relaxation… As your body evolves and you create a bond with your baby, you will undoubtedly appreciate this gentle and relaxing activity. 

Perfectly adapted to prepare the body for childbirth, prenatal yoga can be  practised until the end of the pregnancy if everything goes well, with the approval of your doctor in case of doubt. 

With these different sports activities adapted for pregnant women, all you have to do is choose the ones that will keep you in shape to start this new stage of your life.

Check out our Health & Fitness page for more advice.