I was pregnant more than 2 decades ago. Yes, I know. I am showing my age. But for both my pregnancies, the only exercise I did was walking. I was still a teacher, and changing my career to becoming a fitness professional was yet to come. Now lots of things have changed in the world since then. Including a lot more research on why exercise during pregnancy is so good for mum and bub.
But what hasn’t changed is the anxiety that all mums will have around making sure that the exercise that they are doing will not harm their unborn child.
For women who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, there may be a heightened sense of anxiety around exercise safety during pregnancy. They may worry that exercise could increase their risk of miscarriage or stillbirth or feel guilty for engaging in physical activity after experiencing a loss.
For other women, exercise provides a sense of normalcy and stress relief during a difficult time.
Here are three tips to help ease that anxiety and help your clients feel more comfortable and confident during their workouts.
- Listen to your client’s concerns
The first step in helping a pregnant client feel more comfortable with exercise is to listen to their concerns. For example, many women worry that exercising during pregnancy could harm their baby or cause complications. They may also be concerned about their safety, significantly as their bodies change and their balance becomes less stable.
As a fitness professional, taking these concerns seriously and addressing them thoughtfully and reassuringly is essential. Ensure your client knows that you understand their fears and are there to support them in safely and effectively achieving their fitness goals. Be open to their questions and concerns and take the time to explain the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, such as improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, and potentially easier labour and delivery.
- Customise their workout routine with a clear purpose for each exercise
Every pregnant woman is unique, and their fitness needs and goals may vary depending on their health status, fitness level, and stage of pregnancy. As a fitness professional, it’s essential to customise your client’s workout routine to their individual needs and preferences. However, it’s equally important that every exercise prescribed has s clear purpose that aligns with your client’s goals and needs.
For example, upper body exercises that build arm and back strength are ideal for helping them hold and carry their baby for long periods. Breathing exercises can help reduce stress and anxiety, while stretches can help alleviate back pain or sciatica. Pelvic floor exercises (both strengthening and relaxing) can help prepare the body for labour and delivery. They can also help prevent urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders.
By prescribing exercises with a clear purpose, you can help your client understand the benefits of each exercise and feel more motivated to continue with their workout routine. Additionally, this approach can help prevent injury and ensure your client is progressing towards their fitness goals.
In summary, customising a workout routine for pregnant clients requires thoughtful consideration of their needs and preferences. By prescribing exercises that serve a clear purpose, you can help your client achieve their fitness goals and enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
- Ensure you have the proper qualifications and communicate this to your client.
When working with pregnant clients, you must have the proper qualifications and training to ensure their safety and well-being. In addition, as a fitness professional, you should have a solid understanding of the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy and the specific exercise needs and limitations of pregnant women.
Ensure you have completed a specialised certification or course in prenatal fitness. Keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date through continuing education and ongoing professional development.
Communicating your qualifications and expertise to your pregnant clients is also essential. Let them know that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to create a safe and effective workout routine tailored to their needs and preferences. This can help build trust and confidence and can go a long way in easing any anxiety they may have about exercising during pregnancy.
By ensuring you have the proper qualifications and communicating this to your clients, you can help ensure a safe and effective workout routine that promotes a healthy and happy pregnancy for you and your clients.
Suppose you still need to complete pregnancy-related qualifications or completed some years ago. In that case, it might be time to revisit this.
Click here to access my Level 1 Training for pregnant and postnatal women at $97AU. This course gives you 1 CEC and the confidence to work with pregnant women.
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