Pregnancy is kick-back and slack-off time-except when it comes to your body. After all your body is about to change: more dimples, more stretch marks, more fat on the spots you’ve worked so hard to tone.

What you need at this time in your life more than anything else is lots of pampering: flowers, gifts, romantic dinners, and passionate kisses from the guy who put you in this temporary state of big-belly. still you can give yourself and your baby the best gift: good health.

Pilates provides the perfect combination. It prepares your body for pregnancy by keeping your abs and pelvic muscles strong, keeping them toned and flexible while carrying. It also helps you get the body back after delivery. Nine months of pregnancy is nothing compared to reviving your bod!

Is it for you?

Pregnancy Pilates on a Cadillac Natasha Madel Johannesburg South Africa Mermaid

Your body, your mind, and your soul all experience a series of ups and downsduring pregnancy-more downs, perhaps, than ups. Some women glow from head to toe; others can’t lift their head out of the toilet bowl. Swelling, constipation, backache, fatigue, bloating, varicose veins, and nausea are common woes. Can pilates help? You bet.

Regular exercise during pregnancy helps to overcome some of the physiological and emotional changes-that is, if you are able to get out of bed. These exercises can reduce many of the annoying aches and pains of pregnancy, but is it for you?

You might be looking for an exercise program that is nonimpact and that tones your body. You’ve heard good things about pilates: It strengthens the ab, tones the body and doesn’t put much stress on the body. All are true. So, you are thinking, “Great, I’ll do these exercises while I am pregnant.”

Know this: It’s not an exercise program that you should start in pregnancy. However, if you are shopping around several months prior to pregnancy ,then Pilates is a good choice.

Taking charge of your health is empowering-it’s good for you if you’re planning ahead.If so,here’s why these exercises can keep you healthy during and after your pregnancy

*The exercises help develop strong abdominal muscles before you get pregnant and maintain them during pregnancy,two of the biggest gifts you can give yourself.

*Strong abs support a growing fetus.

*The exercises strengthen your back muscles,which can relieve lower-back pain from carrying the extra weight in your belly.

*The exercises keep the pelvic floor muscles in tone for delivery and help you to get them back after delivery.

*The movement are controlled-no jerky moves to put you at risk of overstretching

your ligaments and joints.

*The exercises prepare you for breath work.

Pregnancy Pilates on a Cadillac Natasha Madel Johannesburg South Africa Press Down

LISTEN TO THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS

As with any exercise program,use common sense.If you,re planning to get pregnant,then talk to your doctor.Pilates can help alleviate some of the discomforts of pregnancy if you take a safety precaution.The do’s and the don’ts:

*Do modify all movements;the goal is “maintain” abdominal strengh and pelvic floor muscles,increase circulation,and control your emotions with your controlled breaths.

*Don’t overheat;you may find some of the exercises easier because the hormones that are flooding your body relax your ligaments and tendons.Resist the temptation to push yourself.

*Don’t jerk your body into a move;use slow and controlled movements only.

*Do consider hiring a personal trainer to work you out on the apparatus especially as your belly gets bigger;it’s easier than the mat work.

*Do listen to your body

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