• Pregnancy Exercise: Pilates 101

    Flaunt your baby bump and try this mild exercise perfect for pregnant moms.
  • pregnant woman doing pilatesIf you’ve heard the old folks’ advice about walking regularly to help ease labor, heed it. Exercise does help in pregnancy. Think limited weight gain, less aches and pains, increased strength and stamina, and extra push power during delivery.

    However, exercise experts do not recommend plunging into a new workout routine, especially if you’ve always been a couch potato. Ease into it gradually. Even if you’ve always been active, you might have to tone down your routine to allow for the changes in your body. In most cases, low or moderate-impact workouts are recommended. But before anything else, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.

     

    Pilates: Body-mind-spirit 

    “Pilates is a method of body conditioning using a series of well-designed exercises developed by Joseph H. Pilates,” explains Cecilia Sicangco-Ibarrola, a Pilates instructor and owner of Integrated Body Arts, a Pilates studio in Makati City. Pilates combines flexibility and strength training with body awareness, breathing, and relaxation techniques.

    Safety Factor Pilates is safe for pregnant women as long as they have done the regimen prior to getting pregnant. Pilates consists of low-impact exercises featuring smooth, fluid movements to strengthen the abdominals. The focus is on the quality of the movements, rather than the quantity. Linzi Arellano-Co, founder of Pure Pilates Center in Quezon City, says 10 clean, intense stomach exercises are more effective than 100 careless, mindless crunches. “Because the exercises are performed on specifically designed exercise apparatuses and supervised by extensively trained teachers, Pilates is very safe for the joints, especially the back,” she adds. Many pregnant women have been able to do the program until their full term.

     

    Pilates Benefits for Pregnant Moms

    Doing Pilates on a regular basis helps maintain overall physical health; it also decreases the many discomforts associated with pregnancy such as backache, constipation, shortness of breath, varicose veins, morning sickness, fatigue, and swelling of the extremities.

    Here’s more good news: Pilates targets the stomach and pelvic floor muscles, which can weaken during pregnancy. Some drills may even help position the baby for delivery.   

     

    Try this: Sit and Squeeze

    1. Sit on a comfortable chair. Place your hands in the creases of the knees with elbows bent and a Ball or workout ring held between the lower thighs just above the knees. Your chin should be tucked down, towards your chest.
    2. Squeeze the ball for three seconds.
    3. Release and rest. Do four sets.

     

    Other Pregnancy Exercise Resources:

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