Friday, February 15, 2013

Pregnancy Exercise DVD - for moms-to-be! Or should I say Moms-to-be?

The much-loved pregnancy exercise DVD "Proper Exercise in Pregnancy" by Ready Steady Mums is now available in the USA and Canada. Hurray!

You can read about it here
And watch the trailer here



So how do you exercise safely during pregnancy?

First, decide you are going to be active and act on it. While you're reading this article, work the pelvic floor. Squeeze and hold for ten, relax, pulse and count to ten.

Second, enjoy having a good posture. Shoulders back, back and neck have a gentle curve. Breathe deeply and smell the roses (gosh I'm being all English today).

I was asked recently how exercise can work for pregnant ladies with different levels of fitness. My experience is that most pregnant women fit into one of two groups.

1. The "Fit, but now what?" group: Before you were pregnant you used to exercise a lot, and you'd like to know how much and what type of exercise to carry on with.

2. The "How can I be fitter?" group: You haven't really done as much exercise as you think you should have in the past.  Now you want to get active safely, and do the best thing for your growing baby and pregnant body.

For either group, gentle to moderate activity works, and listen to your body.

In pregnancy, DO: 
Swim and walk, if you have no complications, right up to birth
Continue with sport/exercise/activity you did before if you feel comfortable (just not contact, impact or dangerous sports)
Reduce how hard you push yourself as your bump grows

Do sit-ups (you need to take care of your stretched deep core tummy muscles)
Lie flat on your front or your back (can restrict blood-flow)
Twist at the waist
Hold your breath (avoid breath retention during breathing exercises)
Risk bumping your bump into things

That's my general advice.... but if you have pelvic pain or you are worried about any other health problems, ask your doctor!

When I was pregnant with my first son in 2010, I was exhausted with morning sickness early on. I was a "Fit but now what?" mum-to-be, playing netball and training for a marathon when I fell pregnant, and I was a bit shocked by how bad my body felt. However, I used to go out for a very slow jog every other day - often for only about 7 minutes - and every single time I made the effort to drag myself out I felt better afterwards. I had used to be an all-or-nothing exerciser, so moderation didn't come naturally, but I knew it was the right thing for my body and my baby.

A fellow mum-to-be who I worked with found moderate exercise a challenge for the opposite reason. If you've never really bothered about exercise you might find a sudden motivation to get active for the sake of your baby but want to know how. I would not recommend starting a jogging regime if you have never had one pre-pregnancy... But do start walking, and try some Yoga, Pilates or specially modified strength, tone or cardiovascular workouts for pregnancy.

Right, so why do mums love the Ready Steady Mums pregnancy exercise DVD? (And why will all the moms too?)



Safe exercise during pregnancy helps you to:
- Have a happy, healthy, active pregnancy
- Prepare for birth and have a good recovery afterwards
- Look after your pregnant body and growing baby
- Get ready to get active and fit post-baby

Want to know more?

If you want to hear more, you might also enjoy my interview as a guest on BBC Radio Northampton last year where I talked about pregnancy exercise.

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