As a new(ish) mom with a toddler and #2 coming in May, I am often asked about fitness during and after pregnancy. I’ve always prioritised living a healthy lifestyle, which helped me have a great pregnancy, and then instill good health and wellness values in my little ones from the start.
1. Listen to the experts. In this situation, that means your doctor and YOU. The top two things I tell expecting mums are to have a good relationship and dialog with your doctor and then listen to your body. There’s no prescription for pregnancy and everybody’s body is different. And really, every pregnancy is different too, no matter how many kids you’ve already had.
2. #Moveyourbump. Once you get the green light from your doctor, find ways to keep active throughout your pregnancy. Your body is this awesome, well-oiled machine that’s so used to managing and going through life with you. Don’t confuse it! For example, I’ve been doing CrossFit and heavy lifting for years, but when I got pregnant I wasn’t going to pick up anything dramatically different, like running marathons. It’s important to stick with exercise that you’re used to, both for the mental comfort of keeping a healthy routine, as well as to avoid shocking your body while it’s working hard to grow a human.
3. Give yourself praise! We’re always so hard on ourselves, and we’re frustrated if we’re not reaching our goals within our timelines. But seriously, you have accomplished the most amazing thing in life—you created a human! Give yourself and your body grace and remember how amazing this feat really is!
4. Cut the excuses. When you have a child, it’s so easy to make them an excuse. I hear it fairly often: “I don’t have any time. I’m so tired.” While valid (trust me, I know mum life is crazy), these are still excuses. And excuses are easy to conquer. The simplest thing to do is to take your little ones along with you to the gym or workout with them at home. It’s a great opportunity to instill in your child the value of a healthy lifestyle. Whether they sit there and watch you, or you get them involved, they are picking up your good habits and are so happy to be with you, no matter how sweaty you are!
One of the most important things to remember is that being pregnant or having kids doesn’t have to mean you cancel your fitness plans forever. Stay active when it’s smart and involve your little ones in your fitness routine. Continuing to work out helped me to have a healthier pregnancy from a physical, mental, and emotional standpoint. Once my son joined our family, we continued to keep fitness a priority. I know he will grow up with health and fitness as an important part of his life, because he sees it’s an important part of mine.
For more info on exercise during pregnancy visit NHS Choices.
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