(Guest blog written for the fabulous Not Another Mum Group and reproduced here.)
If I had a pound for every time I was asked a question that started with these four words I’d be a seriously wealthy person! In an age of information overload, social media and even more focus on our bodies and how we look, I’m constantly asked questions about what exercises are safe to do in pregnancy and which are best for postnatal recovery. Unfortunately the answer is, ‘it depends.’ (Sorry! I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. Bear with me).
Certain exercises are more effective than others for achieving certain objectives, but there’s no such thing as a “bad” exercise in my opinion…if a body can perform it correctly and without any negative consequence. And that’s where the shades of grey lie.
Every woman is different. We have different fitness levels, we move differently recruiting muscles & performing exercises with subtle (but important!) nuances, our bodies are impacted differently by pregnancy hormones, we have different experiences of birth (some births impacting our bodies more than others) and our nutrition, stress, sleep and energy levels vary considerably when little one is here.
With all of this in mind it’s unsurprising that there isn’t one rule to suit everyone. If you’ve never run before, taking up running in pregnancy is perhaps not the greatest idea. If you’re a powerlifter, a weekly session of aqua aerobics is just not going to cut it for you. Going skiing several weeks after having a baby with high levels of relaxin in your body may well result in a knee injury and whilst sit ups aren’t going to be the end of you, they’re undoubtedly not the best choice for retraining your core muscles.
There’s no need to feel paralysed by the conflicting information that you come across, however, nor should you be scared to exercise. The benefits of exercise are extensive and widely documented and this is exactly the area where a good specialist personal trainer comes into their own.
We use our extensive training, knowledge & network to help you cut through the noise to:
● Modify your workouts, as needed, to keep you doing more of what you love for longer (or getting you back to it as quickly as is right for your body).
● Understand how to connect to, protect and strengthen your core muscles and pelvic floor.
● Rehab conditions like abdominal separation /diastasis recti, incontinence, prolapse, back pain, pelvic girdle pain, etc.
● Connect with other specialists and healthcare professionals, as appropriate.
And in class situations there’s the added benefit of meeting other amazing women to share the highs and lows of pregnancy & motherhood with.
So if you’re keen to workout, but want some specialist support and guidance along the way, come and join the 65+ women a week who train with me.