With more women now physically active and living a healthy lifestyle it’s important to know that you do not have ditch that positive mentality or bin your trainers as soon as you see the second line pop up on your pregnancy test says Pregnancy Fitness Expert, & celebrity trainer, Linda Jones from Vita Wellbeing
Training whilst pregnant has always been a topic of confusion. Can I train? Is it safe? What shall I stop doing? These are just some of the most commonly asked questions. Long gone are the days when a woman ‘with child’ took to bed rest for nine months but have things now swung too far the other way? With excessive focus being placed on the female form, the world is becoming more and more obsessed with not just how fast a model or actress springs back into shape post baby but also how many pounds she piles on during her more carb relaxed pregnancy months.
Linda has put together her top 10 tips for optimum health and a beautiful blossoming body during the whole nine months.
1. Be Careful Who you Take Advice From
One of the biggest issues we see with women who are pregnant is their sudden urge to compare themselves to everyone else who is having or who has had a baby. This can quiet often come from celebrities or health professionals who make it seem easy on the surface and as a result make you feel like a failure. Often these people have something to sell and so it’s easy to create a ‘perfect’ image but the reality is very different. You are experiencing one of the biggest changes that will ever happen in your life and you are doing it perfectly, so go easy on yourself and try to enjoy the ride.
2. Don’t Start Anything New
When we take up something new the physical and physiological load is huge. We can usually cope quiet well with a new skill but during pregnancy your body is changing and with it the ability to be able to adapt to new movement. Our balance and proprioception is not quiet itself and so its best to stick to what you already know unless you are with a specialised health professional.
3. Ditch the Diet
When pregnant, your body and your growing baby requires a wide variety of foods. Cutting any amount of necessary nutrients is not good for the health or you or your baby. This does not signal a green light for sugary or highly processed foods but its vital to remember that you will need a balanced mix of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Ensure you have a whole array of colour in your diet, keep it varied and throw away that diet book you have stashed on the side!
4. No Circus Acts
This sounds obvious but you would be amazed how ‘able’ pregnant women feel. While you most certainly do not need to be wrapped up in cotton wool, safety is, and has to be top priority. Taking part in any physical activity that involves balance or could mean falling is a big no no. Tiredness, reduced proprioception and a shift in your centre of gravity due to your growing baby bump all means you are at an increase risk of injury. So hold off on those trapeze classes for now!
5. Say No to Fat Loss
One of the biggest hurdles most women face is learning to let go of the desire to loose weight. For most of us, it’s something that is on our minds most of the time and we have spent years trying to achieve it. However its important to know that unless you are under strict medical guidance, burning fat can actually cause harm during your pregnancy. In simple terms, toxins that are released when we use fat cells as energy can enter our system meaning your baby’s too, which is not good for anyone. Your body needs to store a certain amount of fat to sustain life so for the next few months at least think healthy, wholesome food and sensible exercise.
6. Think of B Day as your New Marathon
Many hard-core gym bunnies struggle with suddenly feeling like they have no ‘goal’ to work towards. After focusing so much on marathons, races, fitness challenges and weight loss it can feel like the breaks have suddenly been slammed on. Anyone who has delivered a child can tell you how surprised they were by the physical demand of giving birth and how much strength they had to muster to complete the job! It’s called labour for a reason and it’s a good idea for you to think of the big day as your new goal. Train to be fit, strong and mentally focused during delivery and also to improve the speed of your recovery post baby. The healthier you are during your pregnancy months the faster you will be back on your feet afterwards.
7. Little and Often
Most women are taken back by their ever-dwindling energy levels. Pregnancy can be a huge shock to even the most physically active of women. While exercise will actually improve stamina and energy levels, its important to think little and often. A 20-minute to half an hour walk, swim or gym session each day is more than enough to keep you and your baby’s health at optimum levels.
8. Posture is Key
Your body will change shape, fact. The key is to strengthen the parts that will excessively weaken and stretch the parts that will work too hard. Working against nature is not the idea here, your body will dramatically change shape but in order to keep your back and body injury and pain free it’s a good idea to gently give it a helping hand.
9. Now is Not the Time to Challenge Yourself
Now is not the time to put any additional stress on your body, its already experiencing enough! Because many of the changes happening to us are from within, it’s easy to underestimate how much is going on. Each and every day your body works hard to ensure not only that your baby growing and developing perfectly but also that your body is changing to accommodate it. Fighting against this process by giving yourself additional challenges such as running a 10k race or dropping body fat will only lead to poor health and total burn out.
10. Embrace Your New Shape
While it feels a life stretch when you are submerged in your pregnancy months its so important to remember that its not forever, in fact its not a very long time at all in the grand scheme of things. Many women go through a period of missing their bump once delivering and realise how much of an incredibly special time it was nurturing your unborn child. You have the rest of your life to worry about being skinny so for now at least, marvel your beautiful, blossoming body.
Visit http://www.vitawellbeing.co.uk/ for more advice and information…
Image: January Jones on her way to Pregnancy Yoga