{I’m excited to be interviewing fitness instructor Rachel Doremus for this post. Rachel is expecting her first child in May but is still teaching classes and working out on her own. I will get to the interview after we look at why exercise is beneficial to pregnant mommas, and what kind of exercises that you can do while pregnant.}

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 Why should you exercise during pregnancy?

Exercising during pregnancy can help you to have a healthier pregnancy, weight gain will be easier to keep to healthy levels, your immune system will be stronger, labor may progress quicker, you may have an easier time pushing because of stronger muscles, and you may have an easier recovery after birth.

 

What kind of exercises are safe during pregnancy?

The general rule is that if you are doing something when you get pregnant, it is safe to do during the entire pregnancy, as long as you are listening to your body and slowing down when needed. There are some activities that should be avoided unless you have a doctor’s permission: downhill skiing, water skiing, and other exercises where you need to have balance and quick movements.

Fitness Options for Pregnant Moms in Newaygo County

Let’s check in with Rachel and see what she has to say. 🙂

Where do you work, what kind of classes do you teach, services do you offer, and where did you get your schooling and degrees?

I currently work at Family Fitness in Fremont, Mi. I teach two classes right now- a Senior’s Aerobics class and a Cardio Dance class. Both of these classes meet three times a week. I also have some personal training clients who I meet at the gym or in their own homes.

I received my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science with specializations in health and physical sciences from Liberty University. I also have a Refit® certification and I am pursing a personal training certification, through the American College of Sports Medicine, and a yoga certification.

How has pregnancy effected your workout routine?

My workouts have changed from high-intensity workouts that includes lots of jumping, burpees, and weights, to moderate intensity cardio workouts. The change in my routine is mostly due to fatigue, but now that I am nearing the third trimester, and my abdominal muscles aren’t as strong with the extra weight, I’m not able to do the burpees and plank position exercises with proper form. I have stopped running for the most part, but that was mostly due to the lack of sunlight hours in the winter. I also added more yoga and stretching into my routine, as well as more back exercises to combat the low back pain I have been experiencing.

Why should someone workout during pregnancy?

There are MANY reasons a woman should continue to workout, or start a workout routine while pregnant. In most low risk, normal pregnancies, exercise is recommended for 30-60 minutes a day, five days a week. The benefits for the pregnant woman are numerous, including an easier labor, a faster postpartum recovery, healthier weight gain during pregnancy, and increased energy. Exercise benefits not only the exercising mother, but the baby as well. And those benefits can last into the child’s early years. Studies show that children whose mothers exercised during pregnancy had a lower BMI at 5 years of age and older.

Can pregnant women participate in your classes?

Absolutely! As long as their OB has cleared them for exercise, they can absolutely come to my classes. As the pregnancy progresses, they may need to modify some of the movements. Any fitness instructor should be able to offer pregnant women modifications for the classes they teach.

 

Will you ever have classes specifically for pregnant and postpartum mommas?

This is something I never considered until I found out I was pregnant, but it is definitely something I am looking into. I would love to get a certification to teach specific classes geared towards pregnant and postpartum women. While there is no reason that a pregnant woman can’t attend MOST fitness classes, I feel that many of them would be more comfortable in a pregnancy-specific class.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of the gym?

Fitness-related things? I love to hike, I do miss living in central Virginia, simply because there were so many beautiful hiking opportunities. I also enjoy road and trail running, as well as road cycling. Non-fitness related: I love crafting, knitting, sewing and scrapbooking.  

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