Cecilia, co-founder and head PT at Results with Lucy and Hannah, a PT at Results with Bump, have given their top advice to mamas-to-be on exercising when pregnant...
Exercising during your pregnancy is safe and healthy. You can do most types of exercise in pregnancy, including; pilates, weights, yoga and swimming.
If you exercised before you became pregnant, you can continue doing most of the same exercise now. The aim should be to keep your current level of fitness rather than trying to reach peak fitness.
Below are some of the most popular exercises among pregnant women.
Pilates: The aim of Pilates is to improve balance, strength, flexibility and posture. It can help your body cope with carrying the extra weight of your growing baby, as well as preparing you for childbirth and recovering afterwards.
Strength exercises: Strength training exercises do exactly what they say on the tin, make your muscles stronger. They include swimming, working with weights, walking uphill and even digging in the garden. It’s a good way to keep your muscles toned during pregnancy.
Swimming: For a minimal impact workout, exercising in water is great. It supports your bump and won’t strain your back. It’s also a great way to get your heart rate up without putting extra stress on your joints and ligaments. Aqua natal classes are really popular and can be a fun way to meet other mums-to-be.
Walking: If you’re not used to exercising, walking is a great place to start and is a great basis for pregnancy fitness and you can do it for the whole nine months if you feel comfortable. It couldn’t be more accessible, being available right on your doorstep, it’s completely free and doesn’t require any special equipment.
Yoga: Yoga is an activity that focuses on mental and physical wellbeing. It uses a series of body positions (called postures) and breathing exercises. Pregnancy yoga uses relaxation and breathing techniques with postures that are adapted for pregnancy. Yoga is also great for improving flexibility and reducing stress.
🤰🏻"With the help of #resultswithlucy I am able to stretch and feel mobile. I'm following the Results with Bump programme they provide 💖 I CANNOT EXPLAIN ENOUGH how incredible it makes me feel after, & the benefits of working out during pregnancy are endless ✨ - don’t get me wrong, I’m nearly 29 weeks pregnant & feel so alien to my body when working out now, the heaviness, the ball on the front of my body preventing certain movements etc, not doing to much bending or twisting. But I love a little self love & that’s what working out has done for me ❤️" - @mollybakerx is taking over our Instagram Stories Q&A tomorrow so be sure to tune in 🤱🏼 #resultswithbump #resultswithlucy #rwlfitties #prenatal #postnatal #fitness #pregnancyfitness #fitpregnancy #firstpregnancy #prenatalfitness #postnatalfitness #healthypregnancy #newmum #pregnant
Cecilia and Hannah, who designed the Results with Bump programme (a franchise of Lucy Mecklenburgh's famous online workout platform Results with Lucy), give us their 14 best pregnancy fitness and nutrition tips:
Drink lots of water, don’t over-exercise and don’t exercise in a very hot, humid climate without giving your body a few days to get used to it.
1) Don't let yourself get too hot
Carrying a baby is exhausting work as it is, you don’t want to overwork and tire yourself out.
2) Don't exercise for more than 45 minutes at a time
These include; spinach, kale, red meat, lentils and seeds, nuts and beans.
3) Try and keep your iron levels up by eating the iron rich foods
We’re always told not to lift during pregnancy, but this isn’t strictly true. Whilst we don’t want to be trying to squat our PB, lifting weights has amazing benefits during pregnancy and can make your mindset great for the birthing process. Just make sure you are using a suitable weight and your technique is correct.
4) Don’t be scared to use resistance
This is essential for you and baby. It will help you maintain good energy levels but will also help baby’s development of brain and eyes! Set a reminder on your phone every morning to take vitamins after breakfast.
5) Take your pre-natal vitamins and folic acid
This is a great way to not only know your workout is safe but also to meet likeminded women at your classes! You can search your local area for classes such as aqua aerobics and pre-natal yoga classes.
6) Go to a pre-natal exercise class
Pregnancy has the tendency to make you feel nauseous. By eating little and often you can maintain a good blood sugar level and help reduce feelings of nausea.
7) Eat little and often
Activities such as cycling, horse riding or skiing carry risks such as a big fall, which could be harmful for the baby.
8) Be careful if you are doing exercises where you could lose your balance
You don’t need to add an extra 500 calories until your last trimester. Eat to nourish but unfortunately it doesn’t mean you can have an extra pack of biscuits. Enjoy yourself but try not to over indulge. It will just make getting the baby weight off harder.
9) Just because you’re pregnant it doesn’t mean you’re not eating for two!
....stop exercising and contact your doctor or midwife immediately.
10) If you suffer with any unusual symptoms...
It’s also important not to do exercises which require you to lie flat on your back after 16 weeks – this will ensure the baby isn’t put into any danger.
11) Don’t do any sit-ups or crunches after 12 weeks
Pregnancy is hard on the body as it is, so make sure you take it easy. If you’re having a day where you feel tired relax and put your feet up.
12) Don’t push yourself
It’s okay to exercise and to get a sweat on! Exercise is amazing during pregnancy just make sure your workout is over seen by a professional.
13) Don’t panic!
Our body releases a hormone called “relaxin” during pregnancy. This makes our joints more flexible ready for birth, but this can also make you more prone to injury. It’s therefore important to be extra cautious with your technique during a squat and lunge.
14) Be careful of those joints
Results with Lucy is a comprehensive online fitness, nutrition and health platform. For more information and to sign up to an all inclusive 10-day free trial visit Results with Lucy website.
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