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pregnancy fitness prenatal yoga

STAYING ACTIVE DURING PREGNANCY

staying active whilst pregnant. Tips for exercising during pregnancy

PLANET MAMA’S TOP TIPS FOR STAYING ACTIVE DURING YOUR PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is an absolutely magical time and really highlights just how amazing the female body is. But with the amazement also comes some anxiety, and mixed messages about what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t be doing during this time. 

You’ve probably never been so keen to make sure you’re healthy and strong and doing the ‘right’ things. But what are the right things? Our Founder Lettie has put together her top 10 tips for staying active during your pregnancy. Lettie is a pre & postnatal expert, personal trainer, yogi, clinical sports & remedial therapist – so you are in good hands!

  1. GET THE OK.
    The first thing to do is to talk to your doctor or health care provider and check you’ve got the ok to exercise. In most instances, exercise is recommended – in fact the government guidelines recommend 150hrs a week with 2x strength sessions. However in some cases it can be a contraindication, so it is good to talk to a professional.
  1. IT’S GOOD FOR YOU IF YOU MOVE ALREADY OR DON’T.
    If you already have a movement practice you can continue what you’re doing. Just lower the intensity to about 80% – now is not the time for personal bests! Reassess your fitness or movement goals: if it was previously weight loss or handstands, now let the focus be on being fit, healthy and strong for pregnancy, labour and beyond. 

If you are new to exercise, find a prenatal class that works for you or work with a prenatal personal trainer so you can feel confident that you’re moving safely.

  1. MIX UP YOUR MOVEMENTS.
    Make the time for two strength sessions a week. This will keep you happy in your body and hopefully pain-free as your body changes and your pregnancy progresses. Yoga will help you find space in your body and it is fab for calming the mind and preparing you for birth. Gentle cardio will help keep your endurance up – ready for the endurance marathon that is birth!
  1. MAKE SURE YOU BREATHE.
    Make sure you’re really connecting with your breath. Full, expansive breaths into your ribcage. 360* breaths that connect you to your pelvic floor and core. But whatever you’re doing, don’t hold your breath. See our video here explaining connection breathwork.
  1. TRAIN YOUR CORE.
    Don’t be afraid of training your abs in pregnancy. However, you want to stay away from the traditional ab exercises such as crunches and instead focus on your deep abs, AKA your transverse abdominal muscles. These will support your baby and your body and help with the second stage of labour.
  1. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR.
    We want your pelvic floor to have a balance of lift and release. We want to keep them strong enough to support your baby, but also know how to release them, which is important for birth. I recommend my clients focus on lifting their pelvic floor muscles up until 30weeks and then focus on the release after that.
  1. CAN YOU COUNT TO TEN?
    When exercising, make sure you can count to ten. You don’t want to be so breathless that you’re catching your breath. If you’re not getting enough oxygen neither is your baby.
  1. STAY HYDRATED.
    Make sure you drink water before, during and after to keep your fluid levels up.
  1. TAKE BREAKS
    – when needed. And take extra breaks if you don’t feel like your heart rate is slowing down.
  1. WHAT TO AVOID.
    Stay clear of any combat sports or anything with an increased risk of falling. Avoid closed twists that restrict the space for your baby, and any exercises where you can’t manage your intra abdominal pressure – which is just the fancy way of saying anything that your stomach muscles can’t control. Also avoid any inversions that take blood away from your baby.

Then finally I always recommend you see a women’s health physio to get a once over. You can do this from around 20 weeks. They can check the alignments of your hips, how strong your pelvic floor muscles are, and give you a full checkup to make sure you have the happiest, healthiest pregnancy possible. To find out more follow @planetmamauk for pregnancy movement tips and workouts, and if you would like to work out a pregnancy fitness plan or attend one of our classes drop us an email hello@planet-mama.co.uk.