As a new dad I now understand just how exciting it is when you’re anxiously waiting for your bub to arrive. It’s a time filled with so much excitement, plenty of nerves and of course that understandable fear from mums about doing anything that could potentially put the baby at risk. As a trainer, the most frequently asked question from my expecting clients was “Can I keep exercising? Is this safe?”. More often than not, the answer is ‘yes, absolutely!’. It’s obviously important to note that every pregnancy is different and you should always check in with your GP or obstetrician to work out what is right for you and your body.
I know from Snez that some days exercise is simply off the cards and that’s okay. I definitely encourage all pregnant women to listen to their bodies and to move when they can and there are plenty of great options for staying active during pregnancy. Some great exercise options when expecting include:
Low-impact body-weight & resistance training with correctly prescribed exercises
Snez loved doing my pregnancy program because it meant she was able to workout at home and there was nothing I loved more than watching her do her 28 workout in her PJ’s before school drop-off. The workouts use your own body weight and light-resistance (optional) to help maintain muscular strength, tone and cardio fitness.
Pregnancy Tailored Yoga
Yoga is a great low-impact workout that assists with balance, strengthening and toning your muscles and improving your circulation during pregnancy. You’ll also learn some breathing and relaxation techniques which may come in handy during and post-birth!
Pregnancy Tailored Pilates
Pre-natal pilates is great for strength, flexibility and post-natal recovery. Strengthening all of the major muscle groups can assist with pain management and improving flexibility and mobility can promote a quicker and easier bounce back post-birth.
Swimming is a great workout to do during pregnancy as the buoyancy of the water prevents injury by supporting your joints and ligaments as you exercise. Swimming keeps you cool and can be particularly enjoyable in the third trimester when the weight of your bump starts to put lots of pressure on the body.
There are a number of great benefits that come from exercising during pregnancy, but some of the key ones include:
- Exercise can maintain and build muscular tone and strength which can help combat pregnancy related pain (hip, pelvis, back and neck, to name a few!).
- Exercise can help to sustain cardio fitness which can assist with healthy weight gain and give you those feel-good endorphins that are sometimes very much needed.
- Exercising when pregnant can also assist with your recovery and make it easier to bounce back after giving birth.
I am a firm believer that you can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind and vice versa. Your mental wellbeing is always important but especially during a time as special as pregnancy. I know there are lots of changes happening to your body and the hormones are flowing but I encourage all expecting mums to embrace the beautiful and natural changes taking place. Snez definitely had her moments where she felt ‘really big’, moving was difficult, putting on shoes was impossible and clothes no longer fit so I definitely understand that it’s not all pregnancy glows & wearing stretchy pants. The important thing is to never stop loving your body. Growing a little human is absolutely incredible, so embrace those changes and just know that the reward will be oh so worth it.