Becoming pregnant is an amazing thing that should be celebrated and enjoyed. Giving birth, for many, is one of the greatest gifts in the world. However, just with all of the upsides to anything, there are also downsides. Either way you spin it, Pilates will be there as an amazing supplement.
Whether your clients have a regular workout or Pilates regimen or not doesn't matter. Pilates will be beneficial to both the new or experienced practitioner. You may be thinking that Pilates is all ab work and how can Pilates possibly help when the belly is expanding to grow a baby?
The truth is: Pilates is more than ab work! It is a mind-body fitness modality and works the entire body, not just the core! Once you and your clients realise this, it's a total game changer.
If you're still wondering how exactly Pilates can help during pregnancy, here are a few ways:
Hormones in pregnant women are constantly changing, which means hot flashes are a possibility as well as mood swings! Pilates teaches the concepts of control, precision, flow, centering, breath, and focus through its exercises and classes. Incorporating these concepts into physical exercise is very important to help focus the mind and bridge that connection.
Because let's face it- everyone loses their cool sometimes, even when they're not pregnant! The ability to stay focused in the present moment and look objectively at challenging situations is certainly an asset. When the body is challenged to stay fit through Pilates and the mind clear on the task at hand, stress hormones such as cortisol are much more likely to be reduced both in and out of class.
And being pregnant, while something to celebrate, can also be full of lots of worries. There will be health concerns for the mother and growing baby, personal concerns about the body's ability to return to its previous shape, mental stress about work or family life, and more. A few things that come up, such as lower back pain, losing your social life or fear of a weak bladder can all be helped with by Pilates exercise with a specialised trainer.
Pre and post-natal Pilates is a gentle way to keep the body strong and toned. And continuing to exercise will also help improve the mother's ability to make healthy choices- in food, exercise, or thought, outside the Pilates studio. When a woman exercises gently while pregnant with the correct exercises for her growing belly and changing hormones, it will also make it easier for her to 'bounce back' so to speak after birth.
The ability to allow the body to recover and get back into its previous shape (or even better) will be complemented by the regular practice of Pilates before, during, and after pregnancy. Of course, there should always be downtime after giving birth to allow the body to recover and spend time with the newborn. Additionally, it's important for the new mum to always get her doctor's permission before starting exercise again. However, if she returns to Pilates after doing it during pregnancy, the body will remember and it will be smooth sailing instead of a bumpy ride.
As you can see, there are so many ways that Pilates can help during pregnancy. When the body is putting on weight and the spine is learning to hold that new weight, Pilates will be there to help align the spine and keep the joints strong. Not to mention- going to Pilates for Pregnancy classes will be a great way to connect with other expecting mothers! It's a great way to get out for expecting mum's who may feel stuck at home, work, or even bored.
Register for our Pre and Post-Natal Exercise class today and begin incorporating this methodology into your teaching curriculum.