To all mamas-to-be: congratulations! You are embarking on one of the most amazing journeys of your life. And making sure that you exercise regularly during your pregnancy, and then resuming soon after giving birth if you can, will ensure that your body is strong and ready to live through the upheaval it is about to experience.
The best training programme during pregnancy includes gentle cardiovascular exercise like walking or swimming, and an exercise programme focusing on toning and stretching and coordinating movement with breath. If you are a runner you can keep running up until the second trimester, but it is not recommended you take up running when your are pregnant if you have not practiced it regularly before! Taking up swimming, walking or cycling would be safer and just as effective and fun. But make sure you talk to your doctor or midwife beforehand, it is best to have their approval before starting any physical activity.
Pregnancy yoga and pregnancy (prenatal) pilates are great ways to not only stretch and tone but also practice mindful breathing, which will help you a lot during childbirth.
Prenatal Pilates classes offer a combination of powerful toning exercises for the legs and arms, and gentle strengthening exercises for the pelvic floor and back muscles – while coordinating each movement with either a breath in or a breath out.
During each class, we will work on strengthening the deep musculature of the spine, as well as the leg and hip muscles, which need to be strong for childbirth. We will also work the muscles of the arms and shoulders, which need to be ready to lift, carry and rock a newborn!