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The High-Performance Pregnancy (Part-1)

All of the great things that you are doing for your cardiovascular system by exercising, you are also doing for your baby’s.


This is a phenomenal article published by CrossFit (Author- Andrea Nitz) on training during pregnancy. We are sharing it in the Author’s own words.


We are going to publish this article as Part-1 and Part-2. 

This is Part-1


Is it safe to exercise while pregnant?” is an age-old question. In earlier times, pregnant women were told to stay in bed and rest, due to their “delicate” condition. Even today, some doctors will tell their pregnant patients not to do anything more strenuous than walking. 


As CrossFitters, we see things differently.


We know what we are doing is good for our bodies, how could it be bad for our babies? As many studies have shown, it’s not. It is actually very good for the kid. All of the great things that you are doing for your cardiovascular system by exercising, you are also doing for your baby’s. Having trained many pregnant clients and been forced to develop safe, specific maternity-oriented exercises and rules as a trainer at CrossFit Brand X in Ramona, Calif. I have seen for myself that babies born to CrossFitting moms have a number of similar traits that make for a smoother transition to life outside the womb.  


CrossFit babies are more capable of handling the stress of labor and delivery. They tend to be born closer to their due dates. And according to the data, they are calmer, happier babies who sleep through the night sooner. Studies show that babies born to mothers who exercised during pregnancy tend to be healthy and strong, with better mental and motor development than their peers. They also tend to be born leaner, and seem to stay that way throughout their childhood. 


Your body’s more vulnerable. Don’t push it. 


Everything about the female body seems to change during pregnancy, the most obvious being the woman’s center of gravity as the baby grows, which can cause problems with balance and agility. But other changes aren’t so apparent. A ten-fold increase in the body’s production of the hormone relaxin—designed to relax the joints in the pelvis to give the baby room to pass through the birth canal—causes a softening of the ligaments, which may make them more vulnerable during strenuous movements. Another key change is an increase in blood volume and cardiac output, and corresponding rise in heart rate.




Women who exercise during pregnancy: 


  • Have reduced weight gain and fat deposition during pregnancy 
  • Have fewer pregnancy discomforts 
  • Report a more rapid physical and emotional recovery from delivery 
  • Tend to have easier, shorter and less complicated labors 
  • Have less need for pain relief during labor 
  • Have more stamina during labor 
  • Increase their aerobic capacity 
  • Decrease their susceptibility to illness 
  • Increase their energy level 


Babies of exercising moms: 


  • Have significantly lower heart rates than babies of non-exercising moms 
  • Are better able to cope with the stress of birth 
  • Have a greater ability to adapt to life outside the uterus 
  • Are more healthy at birth 
  • Are leaner at birth and tend to stay lean as they grow 
  • Sleep through the night sooner 
  • Are better able to self-calm 
  • Score higher on tests of general intelligence and oral language skills 
  • Have decreased risks of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life 
  • Have better attention spans often in their second year of life (if the mom ingested Omega-3 during pregnancy)


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