Over the last few years I’ve incorporated exercise into my daily routine. I keep fit for the obvious physical benefits, but I work out primarily for my mental health. I like to work really hard and love the rush of endorphins after going hell for leather. If I don’t exercise for a few days I start to feel peculiar. I hate the gym and only exercise at home, I resent paying for something I can do for free. I’m also a hopeless klutz, and I used to have frequent and embarrassing accidents in my local gym. I’d fall off the cross trainer or drop my phone on the treadmill, which would go flying backwards and hit the shins of the poor person on the machine behind me. I also have weird mutant strength, and would always get funny looks from people when I lifted weights.
I’m now sixteen weeks pregnant and the changes in my body are more obvious. It quickly became clear that I’d have to adapt the HIIT routines I love. I’m a fan of Joe Wicks and I highly recommend his workouts and recipes. However, his programme is not suitable for pregnant women. The general guidelines while pregnant are to work at 60% of one’s full capacity. In other words, you should always be able to talk when exercising. I was initially worried by this, as I rely on strenuous exercise for my overall wellness. However, I’ve found ways to workout that are still intense, but are safe for pregnancy.
Working out when pregnant can be an uphill struggle, especially if you suffer from exhaustion and nausea, like I did in my first trimester. The nausea has more or less dissipated, but I still have periods of profound fatigue. On those days exercise is not an option, and I try not to give myself a hard time for resting. However, I always find that a workout always makes me feel better, even if it’s only for ten minutes.
I follow a lot of fitness Instagram accounts and Make it Work Momma is a great one for pregnancy-friendly, but challenging routines. I did this one (see below) yesterday and this morning; it’s good for working up a sweat, safely and effectively.
Suzanne Bowen’s Prenatal Barre DVD is brilliant. It’s tough, plié squats make my legs feel like they’re on fire, which is a good thing in my book. You can do the full hour, or do just 20 minute segments, depending on energy and time.
I’ve never been a fan of yoga, I’m sure if I persevered I’d find feel the benefit, but I’ve yet to find the patience for it. However, I’ve been doing pregnancy yoga which has been great for relieving back pain and maintaining flexibility. I’ve found this series on Youtube to be very good.
I hope this is useful to any other fellow expectant mothers out there.