Dear Fitness Expert,
I have just found out I am pregnant (maybe with twins!). I regularly participate in power yoga and pilates classes. How long in my pregnancy can I continue with pilates and power yoga (my gym does not offer pre-natal equivalent classes)?
Twins! Double the pleasure, not the workout or food! Congrats! And, yes, you will want to be in shape for those babies. As a regular yoga and pilates student, you may certainly continue your exercise program -- with a few rules:
- You must get a thumbs-up from your OB/GYN. Be sure that s/he knows exactly what your exercise routine is and your current health statistics.
- Remember that as your pregnancy progresses, your body composition will change -- ligaments and pelvic joints are stretching and loosening in preparation for child birth. This is NOT a time to stretch to the extreme.
- As your yoga instructor coos, "No pain, no gain..." you can happily beg off. Thousands of studies have been conducted on female athletes during their pregnancy and found that yoga/stretching routines are most beneficial to labor and delivery, including a faster recovery after baby -- in your case babies -- are born. But, because your joints do loosen, do not press yourself too hard.
Enjoy the exercise, stay limber, stretch those muscles (yes, you can feel the burn) but within reason. You have been doing yoga long enough, you know what feels good and what doesn't. Be sure to talk to your instructor and makes sure s/he is qualified to instruct pregnant athletes. Finally, enjoy. This may be the last time you get to work out in peace and quiet for a while!