One of the main things I wanted to make sure I stuck to whilst I’m pregnant is working out. Throughout the last couple of years of my life I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the gym and exercise and over the past year I really think that’s finally turned into more of a positive one. I’ve loved seeing the difference in my body as I eat better and work out more and have really enjoyed going to the gym and joining in on classes and bootcamps. When I got pregnant though, the motivation really started to disappear in me and I stopped working out all together. Now that I’m almost finished my second trimester in my pregnancy and physically (even though I’ve still got lots of obstacles to get over mentally) I’m feeling much better in myself and I’ve really wanted to get back into the swing of things. Having always been a girl that’s loved a HIIT session, I knew that training whilst pregnant would be so much different and honestly I didn’t quite know where to start, so today I thought I would jot down a couple of tips / exercises that you can do at home if you’re pregnant to try and keep trim before baby arrives!
EXERCISING IN PREGNANCY HELPS WITH LABOUR
I’m no personal trainer or Doctor, but from what I’ve heard and what I’ve been told, exercising throughout pregnancy can help with many common issues in pregnancy and throughout labour. With doing cardiovascular exercises throughout your pregnancy you could have more stamina during labour and with doing the right exercises as far up to the end as you can, your muscles could be more ‘ready’ for the pushing-the-baby-out stage. Exercising during pregnancy could also help strengthen your joints, ease back pain (which lord knows I’ve needed) and help you ‘bounce’ back into your pre-baby weight / shape a lot easier after the baby is born. So far throughout this pregnancy and since getting back into my exercise routine I’ve noticed that my lower back is hurting a lot less and I’m sleeping so much better throughout the nights on the days where I’m in the gym!
SAFE EXERCISES FOR THE NON-ACTIVE LADIES
One thing my Doctor and physiotherapist both asked me when I mentioned about working out again was whether I’d been active before getting pregnant. Obviously for me, this was a huge yes (and you can see my pre-baby fitness routines and blog posts in my fitness section) but for some of you pregnant mamas-to-be out there, you won’t have been as active before; for pregnant ladies who are in this position but want to exercise now you’re expecting a child there are safe ways to introduce exercise into your pregnancy. According to my friend and trainer Gemma and the NHS choices website, introducing 15 minutes of exercises every couple of days such as walking, running, swimming and cycling (gently increasing this to around 30 minutes 4 times a week) can be beneficial to you, however you don’t want to over do it if you haven’t been overly active before. You can also go to pregnancy classes such as aqua-natal or pregnancy yoga but just make sure you advise the instructor that you haven’t been as active before you were pregnant. From what I can tell, it’s important that your body isn’t taking on too much that’s new whilst trying to carry on creating life for you!
SAFE EXERCISES FOR ACTIVE WOMEN
As I’ve mentioned many times before and as most of my avid readers will probably already know, I was quite active before getting pregnant. I’d often be in the gym 4-5 times a week either swimming, following a plan in the gym or partaking in a bootcamp / circuits class. I’d usually be in there for around an hour or more and would push myself as hard as I could to get the best results; I like my food, so exercising was one of my ways of keeping myself at a healthy weight and body shape that I was comfortable with, without cutting back too much on the things I liked such as pasta and bread! Now that I’m pregnant (and after my initial couple of months of no motivation to do anything but be a slob and throughout my weeks of morning sickness) I’m back to eating almost everything in sight and really enjoying my food, which has meant piling on a couple of extra pounds that usually wouldn’t have even had the time to rest before I worked them off. Of course, I can’t work out to the extreme that I was before, but now that I’m back in my mindset of keeping fit and healthy whilst bubba is cooking away nicely, I’ve been determined to get back into some kind of fitness routine. I had my plan made for me by Gemma, a trainer and friend at my gym who is pre and post natal trained and recently I’ve been trying to follow this around three times a week with a short (15 minutes or so) swim afterwards. I do also swim as much as I can as I’ve loved swimming for as long as I can remember and have also taken part in the occasional aqua aerobics class where possible, making sure that I’m not stretching my body too much in ways that it probably shouldn’t be stretched right now. I’ve actually been going to a Thursday morning session with all of the old ladies so that the exercises aren’t too much for me and bump and it seems to have been working fine! Anyway, the plan that I’ve been sticking to for the last month is one that I should be sticking to for the next couple of weeks before Gemma and I review it again and I’ve been really enjoying it. It’s one that honestly I would have found really easy before, but now that there’s a belly in the way and someone else needing some of my bodies TLC, I do find it quite challenging and am definitely ready for a cool down in the pool after (and obviously a nap). I’ve popped my workout plan below for you so that if you’d like to give it a go you can, but please do make sure you check with your doctor or a pre-natal trained instructor before you start anything suddenly as it could do more damage than good to you and your bubba!
15 Minutes – Recumbent Bike – Level 4/5
(this was level 7 on the Cross Trainer, but due to my Pelvic Girdle Pain, my physiotherapist advised to change this up).
Circuit (2 times):
12 x Squats
20 x Reverse Lunges (10 per leg) – (heading into my 3rd trimester I’ve now removed these as my body just does not want to bend that way any more – bump is definitely in the way now!)
12 x Shoulder Press (sat on an exercise ball w/ 3KG weights)
12 x Bicep Extensions (sat on an exercise ball w/ 3KG weight)
20 x Curtsey Lunges (10 per leg)
12 x Lateral Raises (sat on an exercise ball w/ 3KG weights)
20 x Standing Leg Kick Backs (10 per leg)
12 x Bicep Curls (sat on an exercise ball w/ 3KG weights)
20 x Standing Russian Twist (with 3Kg weight)
I’d love to know if any of you found this post helpful at all or if you’d like to see my next workout plan as it’s updated! Let me know in the comments also what you’ve found helpful when it comes to exercise in pregnancy or your experiences!
All information in the blog post was either from my trainer or found through NHS Choices
BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.