Contrary to what the post title says, I'm not leaving the fitness industry by any means. I love what I do and I plan to keep doing it, but I'm deciding to branch out into an area that peaked my interest a year or so ago and I hope that I'll be successful in doing so. My husband has all the faith in the world that I'll be good at it being that I'm very dedicated to my clients, so much so that he actually told me that I should present at fitness conferences in the future should my endeavors take off (which I hope they do).
Have you figured out what the branch is yet? Is your curiosity getting the best of you?
The area I want to explore is pre- and postnatal fitness. The topic is something that I was fairly unfamiliar with, as are many trainers, and found that it was something that was severely lacking in the area I previously lived. I'm not saying that the subject is non-existent, because it isn't, but it is an area that I've had trouble finding information on it that was more than the usual exercises and such that I was doing. I know there's certain exercises that postnatal women shouldn't do, and exercises that prenatal women shouldn't do, but at the same time, I've also found information that contradicts those exercises and says yes, they can do those moves. So which information is correct? For that, I had to dig back into my undergrad years when I studied various courses in kinesiology, physiology, and anatomy, and into my textbooks for when I earned my personal training and group fitness certifications.
Refreshing my memory on the human body and child development, it still never ceases to amaze me what the human body is capable of, especially when referring to growing another human life. It's one thing to read all about it, it's another to experience it, as I have been finding out since discovering that I was pregnant on January 4th of this year. There's days it still seems surreal that I have my future son or daughter growing inside and I'm going to remember all my experiences: the good, bad, and hilarious. I can't wait to meet them, but until then, I want to be in the best shape I can be. That's who I am and being pregnant won't change that for me, but I will have to make modifications over the next 7 months.
I've read and been told in the past: pregnant women can't work on their abs, lay on their bellies/backs, can't lift, etc. Every trainer has probably read or been told those statements. Here's the reality: pregnant women CAN do ab exercises, they CAN lay on their bellies/backs to a degree, they CAN lift. Why? Well, why not? There's a reason that any good trainer or instructor will modify an exercise to fit your abilities: we want to see you succeed! I've heard every excuse in the book over the years, and believe me, I've put a few to the test. Any women in their first trimester will tell you, there are days that you literally have zero energy to get out of bed, let alone hit the gym for a couple hours. Did I experience this? Yes. I had days that I decided to take a nap instead of working out, because that's what my body needed. I also made sure to get up and move the days I had some energy, even if it was walking 20 minutes with my puppy. Something is better than nothing.
Post pregnancy, my routines will have to change. Pelvic floor exercises will be necessary, sit ups will be a no for a while, especially if the abdominal muscles split. Should I stop? No, but I will need to dial back for a bit. Will I eventually get my pre-baby body back? No, but will make the most of my new body.
My hope is that I'll be able to use my experiences while pregnant and after my child is born with others. If I've learned anything with my postnatal clients I've had in the past, it's that they've opened me up to a whole new area that I can't wait to explore, and I'm excited to do so.