You’re pregnant - congratulations!
I waited ages before I told anyone I was pregnant (luckily my bump didn’t show that early), as I knew people would automatically treat me differently. Has that happened to you? It’s almost as though a switch flicks inside someone’s head when they hear the word ‘pregnant’ and all of a sudden they treat you with kid gloves. In my case, my seniors (mainly men) passed work over to my colleagues, despite me still having another 5 months of work to go! We are still all very capable everyone!!
Anyway, despite this ignorance of what pregnant ladies can do in the workplace and day-to-day, there is still an uncertainty around what you can do from an exercise perspective. You’ve probably seen lots of conflicting advice on the web about things you should avoid. You’re most likely now worried about doing anything much more than walking. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s untrue. Yes, there are things it’s advised to avoid and some things that are a complete no-no, but you can still carry on exercising. You just need to listen to your body and think about your capabilities during each trimester.
What you need to specifically think about is the intensity of the exercise and the alignment that it puts your body in. During pregnancy you become out of breath easier, your heart rate is higher and you heat up quicker, so things like bootcamps and Insanity are ones to avoid. You want to be able to speak without getting out of breath, for the exercise to be safe for your and your baby. During this time you also have more of the hormone relaxin in your body and this essentially makes your joints unstable (and relaxed!), especially the pelvis. As an example, jogging puts undue pressure on the pelvis and breaststroke swimming puts the pelvis out of alignment, so aren’t ideal. Your pelvic floor and back can be affected in the long term if you’re not careful.
All in all, you can do exercise, you just need to be selective. Don’t just think that you need to relax and resign yourself to just doing gentle things like yoga (although this is good for relaxation and we all need that in pregnancy, so good as an additional activity), if you were used to doing high intensity before. There are so many benefits of exercising during pregnancy, so please don’t give up:
Less backache and other pregnancy-related aches and pains
Faster post-natal recovery
Control of excess weight gain
Improved sleep patterns
Decreased stress, anxiety and fatigue
Can help deal with labour
Who doesn’t need these benefits? :-)
I hope that has helped clear some things up (there’s so much I’d love to write about), but please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a query about what you can and can’t do as I’d be happy to help. I do also do a pregnancy class (BumpFit) which you can find out more about it on my classes page, so if you’re based in /around Enfield please come along and try it out.
Alternatively I’ve put together my 5 top exercises to do during pregnancy, which you can download here for free.