If you’re pregnant, you’re probably being told all sorts of things where exercise is concerned – with everyone bombarding you with a whole raft of advice, orders and warnings.
How do you know what’s right and wrong and how do you decide what’s best for you and your baby?
You’ll have to work out many aspects of this question for yourself. However, seeking the advice of experts and checking more than one source of advice would be a sensible place to start when you’re thinking about keeping fit and active during your pregnancy.
If you’re exercising already, check the credentials and experience of your personal trainer or group training instructor and find out what applicable professional support and mentoring they have.
An ex-client of mine recently told me that, since discovering she was pregnant, she had felt some pressure to pretty much keep as still as possible and not do any exercise at all.
As an alumnus of a body transformation programme at Ultimate Performance, she was now an active person, full of energy and brimming with health. No surprise then, that her recent lack of exercise had left her feeling lousy.
But after finding out more about pre-natal exercise from Ultimate Performance, she felt comfortable going to the gym to train and felt immeasurably better afterwards.
This was the right thing to do for her. You will find your own way of managing your pregnancy, too. If your instructor’s programming and any other advice you’re following is from a reputable source, you’ll be well-armed to stay active where possible.
So what advice would I give you, from my perspective as a qualified and experienced pre- and post-natal personal trainer?
1. Go with the flow
“It was the best of times and the worst of times,” is a well-known line from Dickens that could be applied to pregnancy. There will be times when you feel full of energy and ready to take on anything. But there will also be times during your pregnancy when you feel so sick, so heavy or just so plain exhausted that heading to the gym would genuinely be a complete waste of time. Your doctor may advise you at some point that certain activities really aren’t wise. Don’t worry, it’s just part of the journey.
2. Embrace the forward journey
If I had a dollar for every post-natal client I ever trained who said they wanted their pre-pregnancy body back, I’d have a lot of dollars!
I’ll tell you what I said to each of them. I told them that they can’t have it… And why would you want to remove a physical achievement like pregnancy or birth from your lifetime CV? You can never go back, but you can get even better.
3. Make your own rules
If your friend in your pre-natal group does a 10k run every morning in her third trimester, then great for her. It’s completely irrelevant to you. If you’re still doing pull-ups and planks the week before you’re due with no sign of any peaking of the abs or any other warning signs of damage to the linea alba, then it’s your choice to exercise that way knowing your body as you do. If you’re enjoying gentle strolls and beginner yoga, that’s just perfect too.
My colleagues and I at Ultimate Performance will work alongside you as we do all our clients at their various points in their lives. We’ll ask, we’ll listen and we’ll use our collective pool of experience and specialist knowledge to see you through safely, enjoyably and with the goals you set for yourself in consultation with us.
And we promise we won’t start calling you ‘Mummy’ instead of your name, unless you want us to.
If you want expert help and guidance staying fit and healthy through pregancy, or getting back in the best shape of your life after you have given birth, see how our Personal Training Plans can help you achieve your goals.