Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in July) to help us to dis-spell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.
QUESTION: If I’m pregnant are there exercises I can still do and are there any that I should avoid?
Before you begin any workout regimen it’s important to consult with your physician and make sure he or she gives you the okay to work out.
You should stay away from exercises that involve a lot of bouncing around, jostling, jarring movements, holding your breath, full sit-ups, heavy lifting or anything that requires you to raise both legs at the same time such as side lying double leg raises. It’s important to keep in mind that your center of gravity shifts while pregnant making it more difficult to balance.
Avoid any exercises that might put you at risk of falling or losing your balance and obviously anything that could cause any kind of abdominal injury.
If you decide to train with a trainer I would recommend using one who is specialized in working with pregnant women. Also, just because they are certified it doesn’t mean they know what they are doing! Be thorough when you look for a trainer and don’t be afraid to quiz and question their knowledge.
Some exercises that are generally pretty safe throughout your pregnancy (unless your doctor says otherwise or you have special circumstances) would be walking, swimming (no scuba diving you dare-devil-mommies to-be!), bicycling on a stationary bike, and prenatal yoga. Make sure that you don’t over-do it and be sure to listen to your body.
A good guideline to use while exercising is your rate of perceived exertion. The RPE/rate of perceived exertion scale begins at 6 (lowest intensity) and ends at 20 (maximum intensity) and is based on how hard you perceive yourself to be working. Don’t go above a perceived level of 12 or 13. This is a fairly light to moderate exertion level.