You may be thinking about becoming a personal trainer, or perhaps you already are a personal trainer and you are considering specialising in personal training for women who want to get back into shape after having a baby.
Great idea! A large portion of the demand for personal trainers comes from women wanting to get their pre-baby bodies back, fast! So this is definitely a great area to consider building your skills and knowledge.
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One of the questions we, as personal trainers, get asked a lot by women after they have a baby is “when is the best time for me to start exercising again?
Interestingly, the traditional medical advice for women about exercise has been to reduce their habitual levels of exertion in pregnancy and for non-exercising women to refrain from initiating strenuous exercise programs at all! This advice was primarily based on concerns that exercise could affect early and late pregnancy outcomes.
Many women actually wish to commence or continue with their exercise programs during and post pregnancy to maintain their health and quality of life.
Recent investigations, focusing on both aerobic and strength conditioning exercise regimens in healthy pregnant, or post-natal women, indicate that moderate exercise does not increase adverse pregnancy outcomes or quantity or composition of breast milk. This creates an increasing demand for appropriate fitness services for pre and post-natal women and therefore provides a fantastic opportunity for those that would like to focus on these expectant and new mums.
It is imperative that pre and post-natal women are cared for individually, as there can be considerable variation between individuals and pregnancies.
So when we look at programming and when to return to exercise, for new mums, there is one-size-fits-all answer. There are many things to consider and too much, too soon can cause long term problems and regrets.
Things to consider include:
- Pre-existing fitness and how active the client was before the birth
- Her pregnancy, labour, delivery and the post-natal health of both herself and her baby
- What types of exercises where they doing during the pregnancy
- If any musculoskeletal damage has been identified
- What their energy levels are like?
- Any ongoing health issues or lack or recovery
After a period of time when the post natal client does feel as though they are ready to start exercising again there are many warning signs that should be carefully monitored and if they are noticed you should advise your client to stop exercise immediately and see a health care professional for medical advice.
Warning signs include:
- Excessive shortness of breath
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Blurred vision
- New or persistent nausea or vomiting
After seeking medical advice your client may still be able to train, however the intensity or type of training may need to be altered.
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