Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 32: Balance: An argument in favor of climbing pregnant

Balance seems to be a popular question from people who discover that I'm still climbing. They ask, "How is your balance?"
"You must fall a lot."
"Does that big belly make you tip over?" That one is my personal favorite. Thanks for the compliment.
My answer is NO!!

Balance is a product of a few key factors. The main ones being muscle tone and balanced proprioception. These sensors in your body tell you whether or not your foot bone is connected to your leg bone and they tell you if you are standing, and if you are standing solidly most importantly. We use our vision for 90% of our balance. Have you ever tried to stand still with your eyes closed? How about on one leg with your eyes closed? It takes practice and what do you think you are training? Your proprioceptors.

Putting all this into context, as a pregnancy progresses, weight is gained in the center of a womans body. The center is the belly, the mid section that connects your top half to your bottom half and because there is little help from this area late in pregnancy, other adjustments must be made.

That myth that pregnant women fall over a lot, in theory, has to do with whether she sits all the time or is able to move and exercise.

So here is my argument for climbing while pregnant.

Climbing allows for a change in weight distribution. A climber must shift weight onto the left foot to lift the right foot, must balance weight in the center in order to match on a hold above the head. If a pregnant woman climbs throughout pregnancy, as a pound is added each week, proprioceptors are able to adjust to this change and therefore balance throughout the body is maintained.

I may not be good at picking things up off the floor or tying my shoes but I can balance on one leg with my eyes closed. I did it yesterday.

Climbing is good for pregnant women.

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