Exercising During Pregnancy
Posted on April 20th, 2015
My gym routine has really manned up in the past 16 months. On the build up to my wedding I was training 5-6 times a week and even though I built more muscle that I was happy with (and not doing enough cardio), I found a great sense of wellbeing and a deeper connection with my body. It was this period that really created my relationship with exercise and has lead for fitness to become an integral part of my daily routine.
Pregnancy is often treated like an aliment, people stop moving, start eating anything and everything and often change their life beyond recognition. Discussing working out numerous times a week with the average Joe has often resulted in strange looks and unsolicited comments about how I should stop, rest and I should enjoy eating whatever I want. Boy are people misinformed.
For the first trimester of my pregnancy, I felt lethargic, tired and constantly sluggish. This went hand-in-hand with my constant cravings for carbs and sugar (which only made the cycle worse). A period which should have seen minimal weight gain caused me to pile on more weight than I’d like to admit and left my body feeling sick. I decided that it was time to get back into the gym before it was too late; I began working with a prenatal trainer, attending classes and doing slightly toned-down cardio in my free-time. The difference in the way I felt (and looked) was epic to say the least.
My first port of call was to find a great trainer who was knowledgable about pregnancy but would be able to push me and keep me feeling strong and like I had nailed my workout. Katelyn Faison was that person for me. My weekly workouts were the pinnacle of my week. Katelyn slowly started to reintroduce me to the gym after my carbohydrate induced hibernation period and started with gentle stretching, light weights and movements. This graduated into more weighted squats than you could shake a stick at, back & arm circuits and lots of lunges and balancing work. Katelyn has single-handedly made sure that I have stayed fit and strong though out my pregnancy, underneath my newly acquired layer of fat is a Victoria’s Secret Angel just waiting to jump out post-baby. I have also had a long history with lower back pain which I was sure would raise it’s ugly head during my pregnancy and so far after being pregnant for almost 32 weeks I haven’t even experienced a twinge.
Along with this, I made sure that I attended weekly classes in my gym. KX offers some of the best classes in town and whilst I wasn’t quite sure about spinning I made sure to regularly attend PBB (Paola’s Body Barre) taught by the fantastic Paola Di Lanzo. She tweaked exercises to make this pregnancy-friendly class perfectly accessible. This class is the perfect balance of pilates, ballet barre and cardio. Along with PBB, I made sure to take Francesca Giacomini’s class as often as I could. BBC is focused on creating beautiful, lean, bikini ready bodies using repetitive movements. Francesca is very familiar with teaching pregnant clients so this was also tailored to fit my growing mid-section. Francesca’s book Goodness for Goddesses has really helped keeping my nutrition on track. She also has workout videos which makes her workouts perfect for women on the go.
More recently after making the long trip from London to California (where I will be giving birth) I have kept in touch with my fantastic trainer here who is planning on keeping me on my toes until the week I am due to give birth (and hopefully a matter of days and not weeks after the baby arrives). Prenatal yoga is next on my list; stretching and breathing should really supplement my routine and help with labour. On my off-days I make sure that I do thirty minutes of cardio, this could be the cross-trainer, stationary bike or brisk walking uphill on the treadmill. Either way it’s important to keep moving.
Pregnancy is a hugely personal journey which is why I’m so determined not to turn SLSstyle into a pregnancy/mothering advice blog. We all have to make our own choices about what feels right. I must say that I have never received so much unsolicited advice. It’s important to remember that you and your body can only determine what is best for you. That being said I believe that exercise is an integral part of maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Our bodies need to be in peak condition for what will be the most gargantuan experience of our lives.