Ladies who are serious about exercise usually become a little confused about which types of exercise to do when pregnant. While there are many different ways in which to stay fit and increase strength, not all of them are safe to do during pregnancy. Pilates, however, is considered one of the best exercise forms for moms-to-be, as it promotes not only better health and pregnancy, but also provides various benefits after the birth of the baby that stretch way beyond just the physical.
Advantages of Pilates to pregnant moms include:
- Stronger core muscles: Because the spinal column, the pelvic area and the spine are all supported by the muscles in the abdomen and back, these muscles become particularly encumbered by the weight of a growing foetus. As the baby gets bigger, the stomach gets heavier and usually the stomach muscles are not quite strong enough to adequately support the weight, and this often results in aches and discomfort in the back as it arches further inward. Doing regular Pilates exercise will make the core muscle group strong and, in return, they will provide better support for the skeletal structure.
- Improved pelvic floor strength: The pelvic floor plays a large part during pregnancy, as it helps to contain the pregnancy and the baby, and keeps everything in place in the abdomen. A healthy pelvic floor can contract or release on demand, and Pilates is the most effective exercise in strengthening this group of muscles. Strong pelvic floor muscles can help ease delivery, and after the delivery, they help all the relevant areas to recover well and retract into place.
- Better posture: With the weight of the baby pulling the stomach forward, incorrect posture during pregnancy is very common. Pilates will help to place more focus on posture and connects you better with your body, which means that you are more likely to recognise those moments when posture droops and to automatically move it back into a better position.
- Healthier circulation: During pregnancy, the blood volume of the mother increases radically, and a pregnant woman can have up to forty percent more blood circulation through her body than before pregnancy. While a healthy heart helps, Pilates improves the circulation to ensure that oxygen-rich blood reaches all the organs that are crucial to the development of the baby.
- Better breathing technique: It is no secret that the way in which we breathe influences how we feel at the time. Pilates focuses on a variety of breathing techniques while performing the movements, and learning how to breathe better calms the mind and promotes relaxation. Good breathing techniques can also help the mother to be more relaxed during delivery and to feel less anxiety.
- Body control: Often during pregnancy, women develop the feeling that everything is out of control. Not only is the body changing all the time, but moods and hormones are constantly changing, and often this feeling can be very frustrating. Pilates promotes a feeling of better control over the body and this could lead to a better sense of wellbeing and confidence. It also helps to get the body back into shape again after delivery!
If you would like to find out more about our pregnancy Pilates in Pretoria, give our team of instructors a call and we will find the perfect session for you!