When you’re pregnant, it might be hard for you to imagine finding the energy or motivation to exercise, especially if you have bad morning sickness or if your pregnancy is being hard on you.
But you will not only be able to stay fit by exercising carefully, it will also help you have a shorter labour, keep your mood up and help you sleep better at night.
“The right kind of exercise can genuinely prepare your body for childbirth and the hard work that is often required during a long labour,” says Donna O’Shea, personal trainer and mat Pilates instructor.
By exercising you’re not just helping your little one have a smooth entry into the world but you’re also helping yourself as, with a fit and strong body, it will be easier for you to recover after giving birth.
But before you begin to exercise, remember to get the go-ahead from your gynecologist so that you know what your body is able to handle. You do not want to over-exert your body and end up putting yourself and your little one in danger!
Here are the four best (and simplest) ways for pregnant women to exercise according to fitness trainers Donna O’Shea and Gladys Leong.
If you haven’t been exercising before your pregnancy, or are afraid that exercise will harm your little bundle, then Pilates is perfect for you! This exercise is a low-impact exercise that is great for strengthening your core and pelvic floor. This will be especially helpful during labour and during post birth recovery.
That’s not all. Pilates will also help to tone the body, improve your mobility as well as help with balance and good posture through your pregnancy journey. Where you can learn…
• Donna O’Shea Fitness
• Mother and Child
• Focus Pilates
• Options Studio
• Breathe Pilates
• Sky Pilates
Swimming is very beneficial for expecting mothers. Just like Pilates, it has a low impact on the body and being in water is really beneficial for the mum-to-be. The water helps in lifting the intensity of the weight off your knees, back, spine and joints. Not only that, the water is also good for blood circulation and provides a calming effect.
You can do this on your own whenever you visit the pool or join a class! Try:
• Aqua Spin
• Happy Fish
• Aqua Fitness in Pregnancy (KKH)
Read on to find out what else you can do if you’re not a water baby…
You might think that with the extra weight of bubs to carry, walking faster than usual is impossible! But brisk walking isn’t as hard as you think it might be. It will help you burn calories causing you to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight as well as exercise your pelvic area (so good to help in speeding up your labour process).
The best part about brisk walking is, you can do it anytime and anywhere with anyone or on your own!
If you’re not exactly sure which exercise will be the best for your body and your condition, it is best to go to a personal trainer. The trainer can come up with a program that is tailored just for you based on your current state.
A plus point about having a personal trainer is that, your exercise routine will be more fun and varied than doing the same form of exercise throughout your pregnancy and the variety can keep you energised. Just like the other exercises, it will help you during your labour. Where to find a trainer? Among many others…:
• Donna O’Shea
• Gladys Leong
• Body Temple
• EzFit Singapore
Donna O’Shea is a personal instructor, mat Pilates instructor and pre- and postnatal expert.
Gladys Leong is a mother of three and a certified pre- and postnatal fitness trainer and general fitness trainer at Hercules Fitness Gym.