Pilates is becoming one of the most popular exercise forms for pregnant ladies, as it is possible to do Pilates throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. Pregnant women in Gauteng who regularly attend our studio to do Pilates in Pretoria find that they tend to have healthier pregnancies, as it encourages better post-partum recovery. Other good reasons to do Pilates during pregnancy include the following:
1. Strong abdominals and gluteal muscles: During pregnancy, the body releases relaxin, which is a hormone that makes the ligaments more flexible, and this may lead to back pain or pelvic discomfort. Pilates strengthens the deep abdominal muscles and this can counter the slack caused by relaxin, and help to reduce or even avoid back or pelvic pain. Because Pilates also focuses on strengthening the gluteus medius muscle, it can also help to reduce pain in certain joints.
2. Reduced discomfort: The weight of the growing baby inevitably pulls the lower back and the stomach forward, and this may result in a curve in the spine that causes backache. Strengthening the core abdominals and back muscles will help to counter the sagging of the back, and help to maintain better posture and body awareness.
3. Pelvic floor: During pregnancy, the hormonal changes in the body may weaken the pelvic floor, which acts as a hammock that supports the bladder and bowel. Pilates movements focus on the core and also strengthen the pelvic floor, and this helps to reduce or avoid incontinence during and after pregnancy. It also helps the pelvic floor to contract better to its former shape after delivery.
4. Breathing techniques: Pilates movements involve breathing techniques that are performed during exercise. Learning to breathe properly can be very beneficial to both mother and baby, as more oxygen is directed to vital organs where it is needed. Being able to control breathing during delivery can also help with birth and pain management. Often, the size of the baby as it grows in the body compresses the lungs and sometimes may restrict deep breathing. Certain Pilates movements will help to improve breathing in this case. The breathing techniques can also be very useful for the management of stress or anxiety.
5. Balance: Because we focus on all the muscle groups during our Pilates classes in Pretoria, all the muscles are strengthened. This means that there are no weak groups of muscles that may distort posture. Balance is also better and reduces the chances of clumsiness or instability during pregnancy.
6. Weight control: Pregnancy usually causes various degrees of weight gain and, in certain cases, a lot of weight may be gained. Some form of exercise or exertion helps to manage and maintain a healthy weight. Regular, gentle exercise is therefore vital during pregnancy.
7. Stronger legs: The increasing weight of the growing baby puts a lot of pressure on the legs, and fluid retention, cramps in the legs and feet, and varicose veins are quite common. Pilates focuses on increasing the strength of the legs and feet, which provides better support during pregnancy.
If you would like to find out more about the added benefits of attending BASI Pilates in Pretoria, contact our friendly team for more information or to book your class!