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Let’s Move, Baby! Positive Impact Of Exercise During Pregnancy With Oksana Odeh 

Pregnancy is perhaps one of the greatest, if not the greatest physical, emotional, and psychological changes a person will ever go through. It takes an immeasurable toll on the human body because let’s face it growing a literal human being is not a walk in the park.

To support such intense changes there is a protocol that needs to be followed. That protocol includes healthy eating and exercise.

There are many health benefits of exercising during pregnancy. It helps with improved mood, weight management, sleep cycles, and metabolism.

SQUATWOLF has gotten in touch with Oksana Odeh, a coveted personal trainer certified to help lose weight and build muscles, to talk about how exercise has a positive impact on your mind and body during pregnancy.

How has pregnancy affected your fitness routine?

Since I work out every day, my fitness routine has remained the same. My schedule is the same, I go to work and then work out. The intensity of the exercise has changed though, I avoid exercises that require core engagement.

Have you consulted a healthcare professional before exercising?

I consulted my doctor about exercise during pregnancy. She advised I avoid using heavy weights initially. Other than that, she encouraged me to continue working out as I generally would minus the heavy lifting. I was also told to listen to the body cues.

What is the intensity of the workouts? And does it vary with each trimester?

Yes, the intensity and the type of exercise do vary with each trimester. As mentioned before, in the first trimester I was told to avoid lifting any weights at all. So, I would use my body weight to work out. In the second trimester, my doctor allowed me to lift weights and follow my regular workout regimen.

A lot of people assume that with each trimester you lower the intensity of the workout and rest more, but that can’t be further from the truth. The first trimester is when the baby is formed. That’s when your body is most sensitive to any sudden changes or shock, that’s why most new moms are told to bed rest the first couple of months of the pregnancy.

However, if you are not too keen on working out or weightlifting then walking for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week is also a great way of getting your body moving.

Does exercising during pregnancy help with your mental well-being?

Yes absolutely. I have read about the benefits of exercise on your mental well-being especially if you are pregnant. A lot of people recommended I rest but I knew if I spent my days at home, I will be lazy and spend my days just eating and not moving around much, which is not good for me or the baby. Unless your healthcare provider advises you to rest during pregnancy, I would suggest you exercise and eat healthily.

By doing so, you will avoid a lot of the negative effects of pregnancy like moodiness, lethargy, body pain, brain fog, and so on.

Any fitness tips for our new moms out there?

Fitness tips would be to make sure you keep moving, eat healthy food, and go for frequent walks. The best way to smoothly go through pregnancy is to live a healthier lifestyle. A lot of people think of pregnancy as a pass for them to eat whatever they like and to spend days on the couch but that is both detrimental to the mom and the baby. Eat mindfully and work out regularly.

Can you list down a few exercises for the moms-to-be?

I think it mainly depends on the person, how far along are they in their pregnancy, what their healthcare provider recommends, and their eating habits. I would suggest doing mostly upper body workouts and if you want to add more exercises then working out with a personal trainer who specializes in dealing with the pregnancy would be a safer option.

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