How to exercise safely while pregnant
Carrying a small human around inside your body can feel restrictive at times.
You may give up wine and soft cheese but one thing you don’t have to forgo is your fitness.
To help you keep fit and healthy with a baby on board, we asked Olympian, self-confessed health-aholic and owner of Premium Performance Steph Prem for her advice on working out … for two. According to Steph, ensuring that you exercise safely while pregnant can help you to feel better about your body, prepare it for the birth of your baby and help you bounce back faster!
Q. What can we do to prepare our bodies for pregnancy, labor and beyond?
“Pelvic floor, pelvic floor, pelvic floor! Download the Pelvic Floor First fitness app from the iPhone app store and keep on top of it at home pre- and post-natal. Use these exercises in conjunction with cardio to keep you strong leading into birth and for better recovery post birth.”
Q. What are the best ways to stay fit while pregnant?
“The common rule is to not start anything new. Stick to what you are already doing exercise wise as your body is already used to this activity and movement so it’s not dangerous,. It’s just up to you (and your support team) to monitor the intensity and moderation.
Pilates and yoga are so beneficial during pregnancy and are kind to the body that they would be my number one suggestions for any pregnant lady.”
Q. What mistakes do we make while exercising?
“Overdoing it! Pregnancy is such a magical but challenging time especially if you are so used to being able to exercise your butt off. Don’t forget your body is changing. Your center of gravity has shifted, you’re carrying a lot more weight, not to mention your energy levels will be a lot lower (whether you like it or not).
It’s important to exercise with care and really listen to your body when you work out whilst pregnant. Over-exercising can be very dangerous and lead to heart palpitations, overheating, dizziness and fainting. These are all very dangerous risks not just for you but for your baby’s early stages of development.”
Q. What’s your number one tip for a healthy body during pregnancy?
“Your body is smart and knows that, most importantly, it’s not just about you it’s about another human inside you. Listen to the intelligent signs your body often screams at you and follow through with them. If it wants rest, rest. If it needs sleep, sleep. If it needs nourishment, give it nourishment, and most importantly keep mobile and moving and don’t overdo it.”
5 quick tips for exercising while pregnant
- Stay hydrated and rested.
- Always put the health of your baby first and train with people who know you are pregnant and know what they’re doing.
- Get outdoors. Exercising in the fresh air releases endorphins that boost your mood – handy when preparing for a life changing experience.
- Low impact exercise like yoga, swimming, cycling, Pilates and walking is good during pregnancy.
- Know your limits. Don’t push things too far. There is plenty of time for a high intensity boxing session once baby is born!
Steph Prem knows a thing or two about exercise and injury. Following Steph Prem’s Winter Olympic debut in 2010, she broke her back in a horrific snowboarding accident (ouch!), which resulted in five broken ribs, two compressed discs, an L5 fracture, a dislocated hip, severe spinal whiplash, bone bruising and impact bruising A.K.A., hematoma overload. It was by hitting rock bottom that she realized that health and fitness is a holistic process that must start from within.