Thursday, July 7, 2016

Feeling Good: Working Out With The Bump

Exercising has always been a big part of my life. I feel way better when I have moved during the day and have gotten a good workout in. When I found out I was pregnant I promised myself that I would continue to exercise throughout the nine months as much as I could. I knew I would need to tone it down  but I also knew that staying fit and active would be good for me during labour, good for the baby and good for me post pregnancy. It was hard to find the right classes to attend and what felt right for a little bit, so after seven months I thought I would share what I have learned from working out with my bump. 
I have been a member of Class Pass for over a year and was excited to find a few classes that I loved available throughout Class Pass. Classes have been great throughout my whole pregnancy because I have really enjoyed that they are full of other pregnant woman. I have taken a few regular classes and taking a spinning class while 6 months pregnant just always made me feel weird and unsure if what I was doing was OK because the instructor was not teaching specific to pregnancy. When the classes are prenatal specific, you know that the teacher is comfortable with teaching what is best for you while pregnant. 

Spinning - I went to regular spinning classes up until my third trimester. Everything I read was that cycling was absolutely fine for you The class I attended at 1Rebel incorporated weights and pushups on the bike, I would often eliminate what felt like it was too much for me that day or whatever did not feel comfortable. 

Yoga - I have been going to yoga at the Life Centre twice a week since 12 weeks.  At first it felt strange to go so early on because you are not showing much and you are in a class with women who are also 30 weeks along, but I recommend it, go early. You shouldn't be going to regular yoga classes and doing twists and certain poses early on in your pregnancy, so it is great to attend a class that you start learning how you can still move and stretch safely. I also love my class because we sit in a semi circle and go around and share how we are feeling at the start of class and often you will learn something from other women about pregnancy that you most likely would not have from a regular class. {this is not a Kumbaya experience, trust me!}
 Pregnancy yoga makes your body feel good with stretching and also your mind. I've had an extremely busy workload throughout my pregnancy and I some days I could feel the stress on my bump, that is not healthy. The emotions you have go towards your baby also! My hour of yoga reminded me to breathe, calm down and relax. The class has been a great peaceful place to clear my mind and move my body throughout. The Shavasana at the end of class is perhaps one of the best bits also! Never has 10 minutes of relaxation felt so good then when I have been pregnant! Life Centre in Islington is great, I have also loved pre natal yoga at Frame and have been recommended classes at Yoga Home.   

Aerobics - My favorite class I attend is called Frame Bumps. The class is a good 45 minutes of cardio and toning all suited for expectant moms with growing bumps. Specifically I really like Caroline Bragg's classes, seriously fab teacher. Caroline does a great job in discussing pregnancy and how the exercises you practice are relevant to it. I do not sweat like I use to while attending a circuit training class but I have to keep in mind that when you are pregnant your core temperature shouldn't even go higher the 102 F, so not going crazy is what you should do. I go to the class on Friday in Kings Cross and Saturday morning in Shoreditch. I wish that there were more classes on the schedule but hey, I am thankful to find one great class that keeps me moving. I haven't been able to find another class like this in London and am so thankful I found Bumps to keep me moving. HIGHLY recommend it! 

Aerobics videos, yes, I have done those also. I found the Denise Austin Prenatal videos pretty cheesy but hey, not going to lie, I still do them. It is great because they are free online and I can do them from my living room. There are a lot of modifications depending on how far along you are and how you feel that day. Give them a shot, you may feel silly but it is totally normal. 
 Barre - I went to barre classes early on in my pregnancy but honestly was just to busy and tired to incorporate every class every week. It is a great class to do when pregnant. Some studios offer special pregnancy classes and some studios you mix in with the other attendees and just do modified instructions. With lots of squats and lunges, it is a great class for all 9 months. 

Pilates - I attend Ten Pilates in Liverpool Street and absolutely LOVE the reformer classes. If you have never been to reformer pilates I do not know if I would start trying during pregnancy but if you have been going, take a one on one pregnancy lesson with your instructor so that you can modify your practice. I am excited to get back to classes after pregnancy because I truly feel like it is one of the best toning exercises out there. 
 Listen I am not expert fitness guru, all I know is carrying an extra 30 plus pounds makes you feel big and it's not your usual self. Its been such a happy time in life but you also want to keep yourself moving for you and for your baby. Do not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, out of breathe, twists, exercises on your back or anything that raises your temperature above 102 F because that is not good for you or your baby. I stopped running before 4 months because it started to feel awkward, but on the other hand I hear of some ladies going for a jog up until their due date. Hey, if it is something you did before pregnancy and you feel ok doing it, you can continue. 

I hope you find these suggestions useful. Trust me, you will feel good to move! Just because we have big bumps doesn't mean we can be fit and healthy ladies! Find any classes you love I would love to hear! 

xoxo Rebecca


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