If you're pregnant, congratulations! Now, among a lot of other pressing questions, you may be wondering what exercise you should be doing during pregnancy. Even if you're not a workout fanatic, now may seem like a good time to strengthen your body (specifically your back and that all-important pelvic floor) before the birth.
There are tons of exercises you can still do, and are encouraged to do, while you're growing that baby, but there are some sage pieces of advice worth noting before you embark on that HIIT class! We're no experts, so we called on the founders of London's boutique clubs Frame London, Pip Black and Joan Murphy, both of whom have children, to share their top 10 workout tips for expectant mothers.
Complete experts in the area, the duo have just launched Mumhood at Frame, a new initiative that includes prenatal and postnatal classes, workshops and events, so if you're London-based, check it out, but before that, keep scrolling to read their tips for exercise during pregnancy.
#1 Move That Booty
Try to MOVE your body every day (take one day to sit on the sofa as a recovery day if you feel you need it). This could be a 10-minute stretch when you wake up, a 30-minute walk during your lunch break, a weights session at the gym, a swim after work… It doesn't really matter, but it will give you energy, make you feel more confident in your ever-changing body and help prevent common pregnancy aches and pains.
#2 Get Comfy
Invest in some comfy clothes that will grow with your bump. Our range with Mamas & Papas is perfect because it has a low price point and fits perfectly around you bump. If you want to spend a bit more, the Lululemon Wunder Under Pant (£82) in a bigger size works really well and is thick, so it squeezes in your expanding thighs! It really is true that if you feel good in what you're wearing, you'll probably work out harder and feel more motivated.
#3 Book a Class
You're much more likely to turn up at the end of a long day's work if you've booked into something and know you'll lose your money if you don't show. Also, you get to socialise and feed off the endorphins of others. What's not to love?
#4 Make Your Commute Your Exercise
Fit exercise into your journey to and from work. Whether it's walking to a tube or bus stop that's 10 minutes further away, cycling (if you were doing this before and feel confident), taking the stairs instead of the escalators… These are all ways of getting your exercise in without having to part with a penny, or take up extra time in your day.
#5 Stay Positive
Concentrate on what you CAN do, not what you CAN'T, as so many people seem to when talking about pregnancy exercise. Yes, there a few things you need to stay clear of (ab crunches, twists, high-impact contact sports), but there are SO many things you can do. Plus, who likes doing sit ups anyway?
#6 Take Breaks
Don’t be afraid to take breaks if you’re feeling like your body temperature is getting too hot or you’re feeling out of breath.
#7 Keep Hydrated
Its' more important now that you're pregnant than ever to stay hydrated, and you need to be much more aware of this if you're exercising. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. If you're struggling to drink water, you can get some really great soluble hydration tablets, which add flavour without any of the sugar (or nasties) that are found in lots of cordials. Alternatively, squeeze a lemon or lime into your water, or add some strips of cucumber... Basically you're having a cocktail!
#8 Don't Try Something New
Now is not the time to start new exercise. If you haven't really been doing much prior to being pregnant, then stick to pregnancy-specific classes, as it won't matter that your body isn't conditioned in a certain way. You're not exercising to lose weight, as you need to gain weight during pregnancy to grow a healthy baby, but you can manage your weight gain by remembering that being pregnant doesn't mean sitting on the couch and eating cake. Instead it's a time to fill your body with nutrients and goodness so that this passes through to your unborn baby. You only need 150kcals more in the second trimester and 300kcals more in the third.
#9 Squats Are Your Friend
This is the easiest way to automatically work your pelvic floor and to work on muscular endurance for your birth where you are likely to spend a lot of time in the squat position!
#10 Shout That You're Pregnant
Always let your instructor know that you are pregnant at the start of a class so they can help you with modifications.
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