The female body is an incredible machine of restoration and resilience. And while it is certainly necessary to slow down as our bodies experience the changes of pregnancy, humans were built to move. Oxygen ambassador Amelia Ricci reminds us why moving our bodies shouldn’t cease after conception.
As I write this article, I’m 30 weeks pregnant with baby number two. Pregnancy can be challenging, so I’ve put together my best tips to help you exercise safely, maintain a positive mindset and understand the changes that will happen in your body.
As a bikini and fitness model competitor for many years I’m aware of the body image issues, worries about safe training during pregnancy and ultimately the desire to get back in shape post-baby. However, during pregnancy it’s important to listen to your body, slow down your training and ultimately make changes according to what’s right for you.
Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’re already a mum, you might have expectations about getting in shape post-baby. This is natural. But the best thing you can do is take the pressure off yourself and just enjoy the journey. Focus on growing a healthy baby and remaining as fit as possible, but if you do need to slow down, then embrace that too!
Here’s my top tips to maintain your health, mental wellbeing and to stay fit during your pregnancy:
PREGNANCY WORKOUT MODIFICATIONS They say that the early bird catches the worm, and I’ve always been one to live by an early morning workout. However, since becoming pregnant I’ve been so exhausted that the 5am wake-up doesn’t feel right. So, I do the next best thing, which is a late morning workout after I drop off my son to childcare. It can feel like you are failing when you cut back your exercise routine, but even a small amount of regular resistance training is beneficial combined with low-intensity exercise such as walking, swimming or yoga. For example, I have reduced my workout sessions from six days a week to three, and now train for 30 minutes each time rather than 60.
Over the nine months of pregnancy, your body will change so it’s essential to adapt your routine accordingly. Remember: it’s consistency over time, adding in pregnancy specific routines (such as pelvic floor exercises), that will keep you fit and strong for labour and beyond. As a pre- and postnatal fitness professional, I recommend carefully planned strength workouts and adapting them each trimester. It might feel confronting to modify and regress, and even omit many exercises, but this is the key to staying active.
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