How to stay fit and healthy while pregnant

Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness

Most of us expect that we’ll maintain a fitness schedule throughout our pregnancy, but the reality is that many women opt out of exercise shortly after receiving the news. Niamh McGuirk, National Group Fitness Manager at Planet Fitness says that keeping healthy, maintaining your fitness and strength during this period is a great way to prepare you for your bodily changes and childbirth.

“Babies in utero take what they need from a mothers’ system regardless of if there’s sufficient resources left for the mother. Maintaining good nutrition and a regular training routine at moderate intensity, means that a mother’s needs are taken care of whilst growing a healthy child,” says McGuirk.

Tips for pregnant women wanting to start or continue an exercise routine:

• Always get the go-ahead from your GP or gynaecologist.

• If you’re starting a routine for the first time whilst pregnancy, recruit a personal trainer that specialises in training during pregnancy to assist you on your journey. The general rule would be to avoid starting anything new body whilst pregnant. Only do exercise that is familiar to your body.

• Remember to focus on strengthening your core, specifically pelvic floor strength.

• Keep exercises low impact, or non-impact, no longer than 60 min in length.

• If you’re partaking in group sessions, let the instructor know that you’re pregnant so they can advise you of alternative positions or exercises to those that might not be safe.

• Wear a heart rate monitor and keep your heart rate lower than 160 BPM.

• Drink lots of water during and after training.

• Take a little longer to warm-up and cool-down/stretch.

• After the 4 month mark (16 weeks) avoid swimming laps in breast stroke and all abdominal crunches. Lying on your back whilst pregnant for longer than 60 seconds can cause dizziness so avoid this or take necessary breaks by lying on your side.

• Listen to your body!

McGuirk recommends the Les Mills Bodybalance classes offered at many Planet Fitness gyms. “Bodybalance is an effective workout for everybody, including pregnant women. The class is a combination of different yoga styles, Pilates and Tai chi, all set to an inspiring musical playlist. Elements of flexibility, strength, control and breathing are put into a class structure that is easy to follow. Most importantly, the last ten minutes are spent in relaxation and meditation mode to let participants leave the class regenerated and energised.”

For more information on Bodybalance visit the website. For a list of Planet Fitness gyms offering the classes click here

More about pregnancy and fitness:

Pregnant celeb fitness tips

Exercising in pregnancy is essential

Woman runs marathon at 39 weeks pregnant

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

How to be a water babe

Do you stay active while pregnant? How do you keep fit?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24