Unfortunately, pregnancy yoga training is a time of extreme. It's all part of the deal; even the stress is often a normal effect of the hormones that are raging through your system. But you have to keep stress at a controlled level because you have to think of your health and that of your baby.
Here are some tips on how to keep stress at bay during pregnancy:
1. Evaluate your activities. Pregnancy is a time of many changes; your body is changing and your life is also about to change. You are transitioning to becoming a new mother. While you're at it, it's high time to change your activities as well.
Evaluate your activities by checking your schedule. Perhaps you lived quite a busy life before. That can be pretty stressful and may even put your pregnancy at risk, so it would be best to slow things down a bit now that you're pregnant. Pregnancy has its way of affecting your mood and making you feel tired all the time, so there will be times when you just won't be productive. So instead of piling up on tasks, choose activities that you can drop or delegate to someone else.
2. Break the bad habits. Whether you really were trying to get pregnant or pregnancy crept up on you, somewhere along the way you will face the need to break your bad habits. What are these notorious bad habits you definitely have to say goodbye to during your pregnancy?
· Alcohol consumption
· Too much coffee or any other beverage that contains caffeine
One good way of breaking bad habits, even ones that you've had for years, is subliminal programming. Subliminal programming means re-training the mind; it works in two steps:
· Removing negative embedded factors in the subconscious
Since this method communicates directly with the subconscious, which is responsible for directing our actions and behaviors, it is more effective than consciously deciding to stop smoking or drinking.
3. Take up meditation. If you haven't tried it before, now is the best time to take up meditation. There are many tips and instructions online as well as many books on the subject. You can learn it on your own or join a meditation class. Meditation is the art of emptying the mind to relax both the
mind and the body. It is also very effective in regulating emotions, which can be hard to control when you're pregnant.
If you have plenty of time to spare, join a yoga class.
4. Block the horror stories. Every woman who's been pregnant loves telling her pregnancy stories to non-pregnant or newly pregnant women. It's their way of saying "welcome to the club." While good advice is particularly helpful, most women tend to share horror stories, or stories of how stressful and emotional pregnancy was for them.
You may also use subliminal messages to train your mind to block these negative stories, so you can focus on the positive things about your pregnancy. There are many positive things, too, the biggest of which is the new life inside you, so you won't run out of good thoughts to nurture in your mind.
Safe and Easy Workouts to Do During Your Pregnancy
The main rule of thumb when exercising while pregnant is to modify your workouts to suit the trimester you are in and to honor what is happening to your body. What is deemed appropriate for your first trimester is certainly not for your third trimester. However, there are several exercises that you can perform right through to the end.
Let's examine the first trimester. You are just beginning your nine-month journey. You may be feeling a bit more tired, perhaps queazy, but you may not even be showing a baby bump yet. At this time, if you have already had a workout program in place, you can continue with what you've been doing.
Some doctors may not advise any lying down exercises at any time during your pregnancy, but speak with your physician to determine if this modification is necessary.
Appropriate exercise for the first trimester:
• your normal routine (within limits)
• low impact aerobics (keeping heart rate low)
• strength training
As you move into your second trimester, you may be feeling a surge of energy but your body is showing the pregnancy more and certain workouts may not feel as good. Around this time, lying down is not totally recommended and keeping heart rate low and core body temperature low is important.
The importance of abdominal and pelvic floor strength should be highlighted throughout your pregnancy, so if you haven't already started, Kegal exercises should be implemented in all workouts you do.
What is a Kegal? The pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock of muscles located at the base of your torso and under your pelvis. To do a Kegal, simply engage the muscles that you would use to urinate. Keeping these muscles strong may make for an easier birth and less pregnancy related incontinence.
Appropriate exercise for the second trimester:
• Kegal exercises
• pelvic tilts (with head elevated with pillows)
• easy yoga
• strength training (lighter weights)
As you move into your third trimester, you are now getting to the top of your pregnancy weight which may change the way you stand, how long you can sit, and your sense of balance. Aches and pains from your changing body are probably felt more now. Workouts now become about making you comfortable and making sure you simply maintain what you have.
A safe abdominal exercise, which also makes your back feel great, is an all-fours cat stretch and contraction.
To do: on a rug or sticky mat, go down onto hands and knees. Keeping back straight, simply pull your abdominals in towards your spine without altering the straight position of your back.. Repeat 10 times. From there, round your back up, like an angry cat, feeling a stretch over your shoulders and spine, then release. Repeat 5 times.
Prenatal yoga is great for elevating your mood, may help you sleep better, and decreases pregnancy aches and pains. Just make sure you speak with your doctor first and remember to never start a new program while pregnant. Keeping up with what you're doing is super and will make for an easier birth and a faster recovery.
Susanna Marchesa, FitOrbit Trainer
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