Before getting pregnant I had always been pretty fit. I went to the gym every week and did a variety of classes like: Les Mills’ Body Combat (I love this class – it is like shadow boxing and mixed martial arts to music. Hard but fun.); Les Mills’ Body Pump; Kettlercise; Step Aerobics and Pilates. I also completed a tough Four Peaks Trek in the Lake District in June to raise money for The Lullaby Trust (they promote expert advice on safer baby sleep and provides special support for anyone bereaved through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)).
Even though I hadn’t been ill at all during the first three months I thought it was a good time to ease off on the gym classes, maybe I was being a little over-cautious but I was a little worried about doing anything that could harm the baby for the first twelve weeks, for a little bit. I tried to go for a walk most lunchtimes at work and, failing that, I did some on an evening too.
Once we had the scan I thought it was a good time to get back to the gym as we are all told it is good to keep active during pregnancy as it not only helps with the labour but also getting back into shape afterwards. I did a little research into the classes I used to do and found that Body Combat was off the list due to the high kicks not being a good idea with softened ligaments in a pregnant woman’s hips and legs. I decided to go back to Body Pump, Step Aerobics and Pilates. The bonus was that my favourite gym instructor Jos teaches all three of the classes too and she is really knowledgeable about what you can and can’t do during pregnancy so I felt comfortable she would be able to help.
Body Pump is a weight lifting class where you lift varying weights on long bars to music working the whole body. Yes, it sounds intense but as you can choose the weight you exercise with I thought it would give me the option to work as hard as I felt comfortable with. I felt generally find during the classes, I went twice, but I can’t tell you how wiped out I felt the day after. I knew I had probably overdone it and Sam and my family were a little concerned so I decided that Step, Pilates and a little light cardio work in the gym was the best bet. Pilates has been great at keeping my flexibility up which is really important for labour and birth and has also been really relaxing.
Basically my competitive nature got the better of me along with my refusal to see that I probably did have to slow down a little bit compared to before even though I currently have little to no bump and generally feel fine. I sit at a desk most of the day at my job so it is important for me to get out and about a little every day if I can even if it’s just a walk to the shops and back. I like the fact that hoovering/cleaning the house for 15 minutes is also considered some sort of physical activity so even if you have had the busiest day ever and didn’t get out at lunchtime there are other ways you can get a little activity into each day.