It goes without saying that pregnancy can be a roller coaster ride for mothers. For first time mothers, it's also a whole new experience and often a challenging, yet exciting one.
Hormones in the body change, stress on some joints can become exacerbated and for many, the challenge of losing the baby weight post pregnancy is a challenge they'd prefer not face!
We would like to share with you some of our tips as you are preparing for pregnancy or even if you are someone already expecting. One of our members, Alicia Blazey, who continued exercising until the day before giving birth, has shared with us some of her very positive experiences as a result of staying active through her pregnancy.
- You can never start too early!
It's never too early to start, but make sure you start smart. A healthy diet and exercise plan prior to falling pregnant assists the body in preparing for pregnancy. Weight training is important for muscle strength and development as well as bone density.
Having a stronger core and stronger bones prepares your body for the extra stress on joints and a strong core minimises pressure on the lower back. It was definitely something Alicia found helpful. "Having a history of back problems, I was concerned that the pregnancy weight gain would cause these to resurface, however by continuing core exercises and weight training my back remained strong."
- Mix it up
It is important that when you are exercising, the ambition is not to become super fit and mighty strong - Putting undue stress on your body is not exactly the safest for you and your baby. So the ambition must switch to maintenance. Stay fit and stay strong, but how then do you stay motivated with your exercise? Mix it up! Enjoy walking, gentle yoga, resistance training and more. Alicia continued cycling and yoga through her first two trimesters and then aqua aerobics in the third, but continued her weight training with her trainer, Dillon, all the way through to the day before giving birth!
"I strongly believe that exercise was a great contributor my short labour (under 4 hours) and my ability to give birth naturally. I recovered quickly and have been able to adapt to the irregular sleep patterns that come with motherhood!"
- You are what you eat and now there are two of you!
We've all heard or read them - Those memes floating around like, 'You are what you eat', 'abs are made in the kitchen' and 'your goals are 70% diet'. The thing is, whether we like it or not, these are all true and when you are pregnant, these are still hugely important and shouldn't fly out the window. Focus on the healthy and richly nutritious foods that are healthy for you and will help your baby develop in the healthiest way possible. Choosing a range of lean meats for a rich source of protein assists with growth and repair of muscles and tissue.
Think colour! Highly colourful, fresh vegetables and fruits will provide you and your growing baby a range of different vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, all important for immunity and vitality.
For carbohydrates, choose wholegrains over refined carbohydrates - so that means things like oats or weetbix over cereals laden with dried fruit or honey; Wholemeal, wholegrain breads over white breads. Starchy vegetables, wholegrain pasta and rice certainly aren't off the menu - but all things in moderation!
- Motivation is great, but don't let it get in the way of safety for you and your baby J
Vision Personal Training recommends that you always consult your doctor, specialist or obstetrician prior to undertaking an exercise program while pregnant, and Vision Personal Trainers are fully qualified to train pregnant or pregnant to be mums J
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.