Wellbeing

Exercising safely in pregnancy || 5 TIPS

March 25, 2016
The bump photo featured above was taken weeks ago, I am now more like this and expanding rapidly! Babe is weighing in at 6 pounds already with five weeks to go

I know many of you are not in the pregnancy bubble so

feel free to ignore the post if this touches any nerves or simply pass it on to someone you know who could benefit,

You could also take from it a little reminder of the hydration and “listen to your body” guff too whether you’re up the duff or not. 

I have five points to help anyone interested in working out while pregnant

“Who gives a toss about working out while pregnant?” I hear you say.

You would be surprised.

There are a world of women like myself who love to feel fit and strong.

 

To put into context,here are the exercises I am doing in a week. 

  • One gym session involving weights and a ten minute warm up on the stationery bike
  • One to two swim sessions of 40-80 lengths of a 25 metre pool a session. Front crawl, back crawl and front crawl using pullbuoy
  • One spin class OR One regular yoga class
  • One pregnancy yoga
  • One pregnancy pilates

Please note this varies depending on how I feel. The only constants are my pregnancy yoga and pilates.

  1. KNOW YOUR LIMITSwhispers

Like I say above, the thing with pregnancy is you HAVE to listen to your body. If you didn’t already workout five times a week including one gym session before you fell pregnant, well now is not the best time to start going hard at it.

But, if you have a desire to get moving by all means walk up to 30 minutes a day and know that swimming takes all the pressure off your joints so it is a good place to start with a few lengths.

I may be up to 150 lengths a week now, but seven weeks ago after my return from three months of complete rest, I started with five lengths and was totally puffed! So go slow and listen to every single twinge or niggle in that glorious body of yours as it nourishes a tiny human.

I liked this article on what is safe for the first trimester. Although I ran at the start of my first trimester, my hyperemseis and my pelvis put a prompt stop to that. Adjust as you see fit.

 

2. HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE

Ginger and lemon and honey tea. Also featured is my blue coffee cup print available for purchase

At the start of my pregnancy before my hyperemesis kicked in I had this incredible thirst. I drank so much glorious cheap wine during my three months working in the U.S that I joked to my doctor about my body needing hydration after all those weeks of daily wine!

But it was the baby absorbing fluids rapidly to grow and our body’s need to refuel as they work so.damn.hard during this time.

Fizzy calorific and sugar filled drinks don’t cut it. So try to drink water when you wake, consume a good half a litre BEFORE exercise, DURING exercise (fill your bottle up at the gym or take a second bottle to a spin class) and AFTER.

When I waken in the morning I down a glass (thanks to Cameron Diaz’s body book, I was already doing this each morning) and have a glass of hot water with lemon or green tea too, and continuously drink water throughout the day.

If you are worried your thirst is an issue get checked out as it an be a sign of gestational diabetes and they will need to check that for you.

My recipes for flavoured water are here and here.

 

 

3. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF

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There are a few pregnant women at my gym. Some are giving it dixie on the cross trainer and others look at me funny when I lift the 6kg dumbbells, but there is no use in comparing ourselves AT ALL.

Remember our bumps will vary, our babies will be different and our training regime would be different if we weren’t pregnant so, put your blinkers on, breathe, rub your swollen tummy with pride and enjoy a little training suited to your needs only.

 

4. CORRECT CLOTHING/SAFETY FIRST

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If only this was a nice little plug telling you to wear Nike only clothing. It’s not.

More importantly get the right shoes for running, for walking, for supporting your arches. Converse guddies don’t support your back if you want to walk 30 minutes every day. Be sensible.

Ab workouts are not clever unless they are pregnancy friendly. I personally feel a stable core is important and am doing some workouts like this, but you CANNOT wreck that tummy of yours or you and baby will suffer.

I also wore two support belts for my painful pelvis until I built the strength up in my core and back again. I didn’t care that they looked stupid.615737788_654

I still wear one when I am cooking and out walking now. As point one says, ALWAYS listen to what your body needs. It is already running a mini marathon everyday pumping extra blood and nutrients through that umbilical cord, so give it all the help it needs to function well.

Furthermore I wear my heart monitor to track my heart rate, I don’t do exercises that raise my heart rate too high and I don’t let myself overheat in the pool (I take more breaks now at 35 weeks pregnant than I did a month ago) or at any other workout.

I liked this guide advising how not to over heat, why it’s dangerous to do so and how you can really benefit from exercising correctly.

5. ENJOY IT. FIND NEW HIGHSfitness-quotes-about-exercise

If you’re like me, it is the HIIT workouts and the sparring in the boxing ring that brings you joy…when you’re not pregnant!

Use these months to find new highs. For me, it was completing lengths in the pool even though I struggled because of my pelvis to get in and out of the pool. Also I love the peace in yoga now, where I used to be obsessed with gaining new poses.

Start from what you want to achieve from exercising and be realistic.

In my opinion body fat goals and striving for muscle definition is not a priority. I am already over three stone heavier than my normal weight and I am getting more and more relaxed about this as I feel so strong  under all that delicious stored fat which will inevitably be used for breastfeeding.

Please know that as my bio says, I am not an expert so please seek medical advice or work alongside a personal trainer who is qualified and sympathetic to the needs of your heavenly body growing that beautiful babe.

 

*To follow more of Aly’s posts and recipes please drop your preferred e mail address in the box to the right of your laptop or at the bottom of your mobile device.*

 

6 Comments

  • Reply Laura Brennen March 25, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Thank you I found this post very helpful, where do you do the pregnancy Pilates? Or can you recommend anywhere?

    • Reply Aly March 25, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Laura I am so glad it is beneficial for you! How many week are you? SO exciting and so great to feel any strength in our bodies when they are changing so much all round the clock. I go to Neil Healey who i found on Facebook, but also to Belfast pilates who are fab but often over subscribed. they have a good system though where you give them your number and if a space comes up the day they contact you. https://www.facebook.com/Belfast-Pilates-104602646246784/?fref=ts
      Let me know if you need somewhere outside of belfast and i can definitely ask around. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Reply Shazza March 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

    What a brilliant post ! I (almost) would love to be pregnant again to see the difference between doing it this way and doing it the way I did it (sat on arse eating toffee crisps and drinking full fat Coke)
    Que sera, sera
    Xx

    • Reply Aly March 25, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting my dear! You are an inspiration now and i love you for that. xxx

  • Reply Julie March 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! I’m 35 weeks pregnant and still enjoying exercising as much as I can!

    • Reply Aly March 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Julie. That’s amazing!! We must be due around the same time? Are you on Instagram? If so I must find you if we aren’t already linked. My head is a sieve these days!I’m under @aly.harte . Good on you for continuing to exercise. It’s so interesting seeing how the body changes and adjusts, isn’t it? Thanks for reading and commenting . Aly x

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