Posts Tagged ‘pre-natal’

Getting yourself fit for birth – #fit4feb

February 15, 2014

Dr. Joanna Helcké is an award winning expert in pregnancy and postnatal fitness and is the creator of the UK’s first ever online pregnancy and postnatal fitness system. She is regularly quoted as a pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert in the national media. www.joannahelcke.com 

Joanna HelckeFalling pregnant for the first time is often a time when you reassess your lifestyle, health and fitness. There is the sudden realisation that your body is busy creating a tiny human being, one that is entirely dependent on you for its development and growth. What a responsibility this can feel. Having said this, it’s the ideal opportunity to put in place a healthy lifestyle both in terms of eating and fitness. Whilst it is important not to go on a major fitness drive on discovering that you are expecting, putting in place an appropriate “pregnancy fitness portfolio” can really help you have a more positive pregnancy with fewer aches and pains, an easier labour and a speedier recovery during the postnatal period.

Win a FREE three month membership to Dr Joanna Helcké’s week by week online Pregnancy Pilates Programme  

Whilst there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” fitness regime for your pregnancy, there are definitely some forms of exercise which work particularly well for the pregnant body. It is important to introduce a mixture of cardiovascular exercise with resistance and deep abdominal work. The former will help give you the stamina needed to get through your nine month journey, especially towards the end when you are carrying around a heavy baby day in day out. If you have been a regular exerciser pre-pregnancy, and as long as all is going well, there is no reason why you cannot carry on during the first trimester with the exercise that you normally do, although it is important to not get too breathless, too hot or to push yourself when your body is crying out for a rest. Be kind and gentle to yourself.

Power walking is an ideal form of exercise during pregnancy and if you spend a lot of time seated at a desk, it will help ease off tightness in the lower back. So how about going for a 20 minute walk in your lunch break every day? Having said this a significant proportion of mums-to-be suffer from pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy and if you are one them, then walking will need to be dropped in favour of other forms of exercise, such as aquanatal.

Water-based exercise is fantastic when you are expecting, especially as you get towards the end of pregnancy when the sheer weight of your bump will leave you feeling tired and depleted. Try aquanatal with a trained specialist in pregnancy exercise or if you can’t find a local expert, swimming is a great alternative. Again, if you are suffering from pelvic girdle pain, be sure to modify your swimming accordingly: breaststroke is to be avoided at all costs but front crawl should be fine for you.

Last but most certainly not least, make time for a weekly dose of tailored pregnancy Pilates. This will help to protect your back by keeping the deepest layer of abdominals toned. Doing just one pregnancy Pilates class a week or even 5 minutes of Pilates moves every day will be enough to keep you free of many of the aches and pains that accompany pregnancy. Be sure to go to a class that is designed specifically for the antenatal period as standard Pilates is not appropriate for pregnancy. If the pregnancy Pilates you do includes postural work, then all the better – posture is greatly affected by pregnancy.

In short, a “pregnancy fitness portfolio” that contains a good mix of exercise to give you stamina – whether it be walking, swimming or aquanatal – and exercise to help keep your back strong and niggle-free, will get your ready and fit for birth.

Find more advice, offers and competitions on Sport & Fitness – or search now for Activities in your Area

Sign up for our Newsletters for regular updates about Clubs, Classes and Activities in your area and to win fabulous Prizes!

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: