SWEATING FOR TWO.
- How to keep training when you're a mum-to-be.
Our badass Rebel trainer, Ashley Fox, has made sure she’s found the balance so she can still workout and get her sweat on whilst carrying. She’s rounded up her top tips to help you train safely from your first trimester all the way to delivery...
We all know that the second you find out that you're pregnant, your entire world changes. And along with that change is the sudden influx of advice from doctors, family, friends, random strangers and the internet. A lot of this advice is how you should be approaching working out. And yes, you can still train and reach your goals because physical activity during pregnancy is great for the baby and YOU. However, now is the time to train smarter, not harder. Here’s how to do it...
CHECK BEFORE YOU SWEAT.
The first and most important rule/tip is to always check with your healthcare provider before jumping into exercise. If you exercised before pregnancy and you have zero complications, chances are you're fine to continue working out as normal. However, if you didn’t have a routine of consistent training prior to pregnancy, ease into it.
During first trimester, you can train as normal. Continue with those HIIT classes if that is what you were doing, run if that is your jam and keep working those abs. Once you get to 2nd trimester you need to start modifying exercises, it’s completely dependent on your level of activity prior to pregnancy, so check with your doc.
WARM UP AND CHILL OUT.
We all know warming up is key, but even more so during pregnancy. You don’t want to put extra strain on your muscles and ligaments when they are already being worked to the max by carrying your baby. This means you may need to continue to take it easy after the warm-up is over. Similarly, make sure you always cool down and stretch after training. Now is the time to embrace the chill mode after a hard session, bring down your heart rate and do pregnancy-friendly stretches.
MOVE BUT MODIFY.
Once you get into your second trimester you will want to start avoiding exercising flat on your back for extended periods of time. The weight of your uterus puts too much pressure on major veins that can reduce your blood flow and make you feel dizzy, out of breath and sick. You can modify exercises by putting a medicine ball, pillow, foam wedge or even your elbows under your upper body to prop yourself up. Always ask for modifications from your instructor.
The further into your pregnancy you go, the more you will need to slow down. Fast movement can make you feel dizzy and throw you off balance. So take your time transitioning from floor exercises to standing and getting on and off that box in Reshape.
KEEP YOUR COOL.
Be sure to dress appropriately and not allow yourself to overheat. Increased blood flow and a higher metabolic rate during pregnancy means that you are already running warmer than usual. You don’t want to allow yourself to get too hot and overheat your baby. If you feel yourself getting too warm, pull back, drink some water and wait till you are ready to jump back in.
HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE.
Drink even more than usual. It is so important to stay hydrated before, during and after training. Dehydration puts you at high risk of overheating and can trigger contractions. It also reduces the amount of blood flow that reaches the placenta.
FUEL YOUR BODY (AND BABY).
You NEED them calories. Pregnancy is a weird time, especially if you are used to being at a certain fitness level. Accept that you’ll gain weight. Aiming for a calorie deficit is not a good idea. During first trimester you can maintain your normal diet (unless you were trying to drop weight) and need to make sure you have enough calories to fuel your body and grow a healthy baby. During second trimester you need to up your daily calories by 350 (give or take depending on your BMI and level of physical activity)and by 450 in the third trimester. Sorry ladies, eating for two is just not the case. However, if you train hard, feel hungry and want that pizza and ice cream- go for it! You are pregnant and sometimes the cravings are so real! If you were underweight to start or overweight these numbers will be different. So again, consult with your GP and find a nutrition plan that is suited for your body and lifestyle.
REST DAYS JUST GOT REAL.
Don’t overdo it. Training to failure was great before you got pregnant, it’s not your goal anymore though. This can be a mental challenge for some of you. If you are training so hard to the point where you can’t carry a light conversation then you need to pull back a little bit. If it hurts or feels like it is not right, it probably isn’t and you need to stop. Second trimester is said to be the best and when you have the most energy, so take advantage of it. If you have days where you feel completely drained and exhausted (hello third trimester) you might want to reconsider that high cardio class and go for a walk or do yoga instead. Or even just settle for a nice nap. Always listen to your body and remember that it is doing amazing things during this time- you are growing a human! Some days living is enough and you need the rest.
YOU DO YOU.
The most important part is to soak up every moment. This is the only time in your life where you are truly never alone- your body is creating new life! You will find some days you don’t want to do anything, and that’s ok. You might go from loving running, to hating it. Just listen to your body and choose exercises that you’re craving. But also remember to stick with your training and keep your healthy habits. Delivery is seriously strenuous and it is the main event- you need to train for it!
Good luck to all my fellow mums-to-be. I wish you all a healthy rest of your pregnancy and an amazing delivery. I am now officially off on maternity leave, however, I will still be dipping into classes to train and you best believe I will be back in the studio to teach after my baby boy is born.
Baby Rebel incoming!
Follow Ash on Instagram.