Ashley Taylor with Everly, glowing from the benefits of a consistent program at Studio K Training

Feature Reprinted from the Palisadian-Post | By: Susan HowardSpecial to the Healthy Living Section
At first glance, you would never guess that Studio K Group Training client Ashley Taylor just had a baby less than a month ago.  She started her K Training journey in November of 2013 and soon became pregnant in January 2014.  “Studio K was my cup of coffee. It got me going in the morning,” Taylor said. Taylor’s enthusiasm was due to more than simply feeling better and happier.
“I felt safe because the heart rate monitoring system and trainers watched to make sure I was staying in the 70% zone,” she said. Taylor listened to her body and modified with the assistance of the trainers and chose non-weight bearing exercises in the sessions.  Her consistent program of three times a week paid off. “My labor was only three hours long and in one week postpartum, I only had seven pounds to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.  I have more endurance and I feel stronger,” she said.
Exercising during pregnancy has great benefits. It can help facilitate an easier pregnancy and labor and can lift your spirits.  Approach working out with extra awareness to maximize the benefits and reduce the risks. Follow these tips to keep both mom and baby safe.
#1 Check with your Healthcare Provider
As with starting any exercise program, it is essential to get the okay from your physician.  Most likely if you have been active you can continue with modifications, but in some cases there are activities and circumstances when exercise needs to be modified significantly.  If you are starting for the first time, begin gradually with 10 minutes a day and then build up slowly to 30 minutes.
#2 Monitor your Heart Rate
Perceived exertion, such as the “talk test” is the old school way of measuring one’s heart rate.  The more accurate approach to determine your heart rate is to wear a monitoring device.  The target heart rate should be 70 percent of your max heart rate (age subtracted from 220 times .70) Working out in your optimal zone keeps the body and baby from overheating and minimizes the occurrence of lactate build up.  Monitoring also gives you the peace of mind that you are getting a good workout but keeping your baby safe.

Ashley Taylor with trainer, Jennifer Green

#3 Listen to your Body
Exercise keeps endorphins flowing, which can help with mood swings that can stem from stress of the unknown or form the influx of extra estrogen and progesterone. This is especially important for mothers-to-be. Exercise can reduce pain, but exercise also may provide that bit of stress that brings problems to the forefront.  Listen to your body. If you have any symptoms of excessive nausea, muscle weakness, light-headedness, headaches, cramping or bleeding, discontinue the exercise and consult your doctor.
#4 Choose Exercise that is Non-weight Bearing
Use light, controlled, resistance training to maximize the efficiency of strengthening the body without impact to joints and muscles.  Be mindful that increased levels of the hormone relaxin, which relaxes the pelvic joints in preparation for childbirth, loosens all ligaments and joints, making you more susceptible to sprains and injuries.  Running, jumping and intense stretching can lead to overloading joints, dislocations and lower back stress. Choose exercises that can give you a safe, balanced program that includes strength, flexibility, core stability and cardio.
#5 Stay Consistent with Healthy Habits
Good nutrition, hydration and 30 minutes of exercise a day can help maintain natural body rhythms, reduce back pain and body aches. Healthy eating and staying active reduces the fatigue of pregnancy and helps you sleep better at night. Additional benefits include muscle tone and strength, which help you be more in tune with your body during labor and enables you to bounce back after pregnancy.
Susan Howard is a Partner and Director of Lifestyle Performance Training at Studio K in Pacific Palisades. Her philosophy of lifestyle performance training is to incorporate all of the functional movements in a creative, efficient program to help individuals train for life. Contact Studio K for more information regarding training and nutrition programs: (310) 454-1048 www.studioktraining.com 17351W.Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades