5 Tips for an exercise practice during Pregnancy
No one ever says to a marathon runner a few months from the big race… “Wow, that’s going to be the worse, most exhausting experience of your life. It’s going to be torture. Good luck with that!” But this is exactly the kind of crazy talk many pregnant people are hearing as their beautiful belly grows.
So let me first say, “Congratulations! You are growing a human (or more then one?) You are amazing for taking on this incredible task! This will be one of the most awesome and intense experiences of your life.”
Exercise during pregnancy is great for a myriad of reasons, but we’ll focus on getting to the finish line – or is that the start line?!
5 quick tips for building strength and endurance for your body and mind:
1. Find the most amazing Prenatal exercise class with other pregnant people and start building community. Make friends! This is more important than you might believe. You need a team and they’ll end up being your village of new parents to rejoice and commiserate with later.
2. Find an instructor that is passionate about your belly and body and making sure you work it safely and effectively. There are many considerations for keeping a pregnant body working safely- it’s important to find a certified and experienced instructor.
3. Make sure you learn to breathe properly. That’s right, there’s a proper way to breathe and it works your “core”! An awareness of your breath is a great tool and comfort measure during labour and will promote healing postpartum.
4. Work your core, your glutes (that’s your bum!) and your legs with “functional fitness”. Traditional abdominal work isn’t recommended once your belly is showing. So, get on your feet and use your body parts to create challenge on your core, build strength and endurance.
5. Use your time exercising to listen to your body and get to know how it responds to strain, stress and physical work. How do you work through a difficult exercise? Do you find yourself holding tension in various parts of your body? Are you able to recognize that tension and successfully redirect your efforts? In a good Prenatal class, you should spend some time using imagery, releasing and relaxing the body too. Body awareness and the ability to release is a huge asset when working your way through the birth process.
Yes, labour and birth will be hard work. Exactly that, work!
So, prepare your body and your mental game to meet that challenge head-on, just like an athlete would. You’ve got this!
Ruth has enjoyed watching many bodies change, stay functional and become powerful humans. Education is at the centre of her approach, believing that knowledge is power and that informing our minds and bodies will help build an extraordinary life experience. Creative by nature and armed with an excellent knowledge of functional anatomy and physiology of pregnancy & birth, Ruth loves working with all sorts of bellies, babies and bodies!