Here is my first post on HerFamily.ie – check it out here or simply read a longer version below!
Slippers – check
Pj’s – check
Tea & biscuits – check
Orange is the New Black – check, check, check
Gym bag squirreled away in the deepest, darkest corner of my house – check.
Does this sound familiar?
There is nothing like being pregnant to suck the will to go to the gym out of you. The first 12 weeks, let’s be honest, you feel like some one has plugged you into the house mains like a spare battery pack & the house is using you as an energy supply to power everything! Leaving you feeling like a deflated bouncy castle, energy sapped from you in the most extraordinary, unexpected & unforgiving way possible.
I’m wearing shorts from The Gap with full elastic waist & my vest is TK Maxx. I just size up and most importantly make sure that they are really long to begin with. Neither are specifically maternity.
Let’s face it, it’d not that semester 2 is the ‘honeymoon’ semester, as they call it. It’s simply a case of relativity. It’s just the lesser of the 3 evils compared to the 2 semesters that are sandwiched around it, from a get up & go point of view! Don’t get me wrong – I’m not whinging & moaning about the privilege of being with child…..as I know it is a privilege many would give anything for ….. It simply a biological fact that you can some days feel like a bus has hit you. But you just suck it up, appreciate it for what it is (a momentary discomfort soon to be rewarded with a life of joy) and hit the gym.
Here I have H&M drawstring waist shorts and a superlong stretch vest I got in Decathlon in France. But Penneys/Primark use the same fabric in theirs – so size up and snap up anything that normally is too long!
From chatting to friends, I have discovered as pregnant women we are mostly just a bit scared & apprehensive with regards what to do in the gym or outside for exercise in the different semesters. And the difficult thing is that there is no one answer to this question as everyone’s circumstances as so different. But one thing is for certain. IT IS EXTREMELY BENEFICIAL FOR MUM AND BABY TO WORK OUT WHEN PREGNANT.
Here I’m wearing my elastic waist Nike shorts (Kildare village) with an extra stretchy white vest I’ve had for ages. It’s a bit obscene now it’s soooo clung to me so I layer a looser see through vest over it. Vest from TK Maxx AGAIN….. last week & €16.99.
And WHY pray tell? What exactly are these benefits? Exercise eases &/or prevents back pain, boosts your energy levels & mood, aids sleep, prevents excess weight gain & increases stamina & muscle strength.
A very simple message that needs to be heard. It will not only benefit you whilst pregnant but also it helps with recovery during & immediately after delivery and in the longer term too.
There are a few golden rules that you should follow though:
- Speak to your doctor – it’s important to the get ok to go ahead – there are a few conditions such as placenta previa that could rule you out of the gym.
- Speak to your gym instructor about a programme/plan that is safe & effective. They are trained for this & they also need to be aware of your circumstances. If they don’t know you are pregnant they can’t advise you accordingly – don’t be embarrassed or scared. It’s their job & they will be willing and happy to help you.
- You can exercise now even if you didn’t before pregnancy – Begin with as little as five minutes of physical activity a day. Build up to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on, until you reach at least 30 minutes a day.
- Avoid certain movements. Forget any exercise program that includes lying on your stomach, lying on your back after 20 weeks, and twisting because it could cause disruption in the alignment of your uterus.
- Keep snacks and water on hand. When you’re pregnant, your blood sugar levels can drop suddenly, which can make you feel nauseous and dizzy. You need to make sure you properly hydrate before, during, and after your workout. You need to have about 10-12 glasses of water daily regardless of your exercise regimen.
- Don’t overdo it – listen to your body. If something hurts or feels uncomfortable stop doing it.
- Don’t overheat – Avoid letting yourself get too hot, especially during the first trimester when your baby’s major organs are developing. Raising your core temperature above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes could harm your baby. Signs of being overheated are largely individual, but sweating a lot or feeling uncomfortably warm, nauseated, dizzy, or short of breath are indicators. To cool off quickly, stop exercising, take off layers, and change your environment: Seek out air conditioning or step into a cool shower.
- Get up off the floor slowly. Your centre of gravity will have shifted & getting up quickly may cause dizziness and a fall.
Once again TK Maxx to the rescue – this top was €9.99 in there last week!
9. Weight train with caution – this is ok once you have been doing so previous to pregnancy. Take care to use lighter weights and slow controlled movements.
10. Little & Often – According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you can safely engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week as long as you have your healthcare provider’s go-ahead.
Ideal exercises include swimming, yoga, stretching, weight training & walking to name a few.
So put down that cuppa tea and get on your trainers. You will thank yourself if you do, now and in a few months time.
Yours, in her gym gear,