Does exercise improve your mental health?
Contrary to what some think, it's possible to maintain some level of exercise during much of a pregnancy. Here's what you need to know if you want to train pre and post natal women.  
Many women want to maintain a certain level of fitness and stay active during their pregnancy. 
Others are keen to regain their fitness afterwards. 
Contrary to what some might think, it is possible to maintain some level of exercise during much of the pregnancy. It also shouldn’t take too long to regain an active healthy lifestyle afterwards. 
Of course, it has to be done with care and many people in this situation will seek out specialist training, so they know what to do. 
Whether you want to train women in this situation or want to know more about this type of exercise and what is recommended, this post is for you. 

Can you exercise during pregnancy? 

People used to think that you couldn’t exercise during pregnancy. 
The belief was that exercise might adversely affect the outcome of the pregnancy and even the quality and quantity of breast milk. 
It’s now generally accepted that exercise during pregnancy is not dangerous and can actually have some positive effects, with some evidence to suggest it may help you cope with labour and more easily adapt to a changing body shape. 
Of course, how much exercise someone goes for will differ depending on their circumstances and on how active they were prior to being pregnant. 
Determining a suitable level of exercise and training women at their own pace is one of the things we cover in our course for trainers supporting pre and postnatal clients
Chart showing mental health increase

How soon after pregnancy can you start exercising? 

Another thing that many women want to know is how soon after pregnancy they can start exercising. 
Again, the answer will depend on the nature of the pregnancy and whether there were any complications during birth. 
Prematurely taking part in vigorous exercise could also cause problems down the line, so care should be taken in this area. 
That said there’s nothing stopping women who’ve just given birth from doing partial and light exercise, as soon as they feel comfortable. 
If you’re looking to get back to the gym and take part in more high impact exercise, the NHS recommends waiting until your 6 week postnatal check to commence with this. 
Of course, complications in birth or a caesarean birth would mean a longer recovery may be required. Talk to your health professional to determine what’s best for you. 

What kind of exercise can you do during pregnancy? 

So, what can you actually do whilst you’re pregnant? In the later stages of pregnancy certain things are off the table. 
We’d definitely recommend a break from Rugby... But a lot of things are ok early on. 
Typically, pre-natal exercises include low intensity strengthening of muscles, particularly in the pelvic floor and other areas linked to pregnancy. 
Kneeling and sitting exercises are also popular, as well as training that focuses on flexibility. Many of these help with preparation for labour. 
Exercising in water is often used for this kind of training as the water can take some of the weight of the bump and makes use of a wide range of muscles. It’s important that the water isn’t too hot though and in general all these exercises should be controlled and regulated, adjusting for each person. 

What kind of exercise can you do after pregnancy? 

Getting back into a normal routine may take some time but there are ways of easing back into an exercise regime. 
During most professional training the client’s condition will be closely monitored to establish an acceptable level. 
Core and abdominal strengthening exercises will form the bulk of the training as well as postural awareness and general strengthening. Gentle stretching may be included and a gradual return to higher impact and resistance exercise. 

What is covered in a qualification for supporting pre and postnatal clients? 

What if you want to learn how to train women in this position? 
The recognised Active IQ Level 3 Award that covers this is called Supporting Pre and Postnatal Clients With Exercise and Nutrition. 
This will give trainers the knowledge they need to program and deliver safe and effective training for pre and postnatal clients. It will ensure you are able to probably assess what exercise is suitable and provide a safe and healthy environment for your clients. 
It will also cover proper nutritional training and advice as this is a key thing to get right both during and after pregnancy, for the health of mother and baby. 
Happy playing tennis

Who can do the Level 3 award for Supporting Pre and Postnatal Clients? 

This course is great if you want to provide another service as a personal trainer. 
It could even give you a specialism that makes you stand out from the competition. Importantly though it has to be something you enjoy doing, driven by a desire to help women in these circumstances. 
In order to take this qualification, you need to have a Level 2 qualification in Gym Instructing or Group Training. You can also take this qualification alongside any other Level 3 qualifications. 
If this is relevant to you and you want to get qualified in this area, you’re in luck. 
We provide all the qualifications you need to undertake. Just head to our courses page to book on. 
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