My fitness routine has definitely changed since finding out we are expecting our own little Ninja! My focus has shifted from high intensity daily workouts to keeping exercise passive, allowing for plenty of recovery and only exercising every second day. I am very aware that my body is already doing a BIG workout by building a baby so I'm really listening to my body and what it needs.
Regular and gentle exercise offers many amazing physical and mental benefits for all of those yummy mummies to-be including increased energy, weight control and healthier self-image, stress relief and improved mood, improved sleep, easing of pregnancy symptoms (eg: constipation, bloating) as well health benefits for the little bub. I'm enjoying doing Poomsae (a form of Taekwondo yoga) and regular meditation to keep the calming chemicals in my body to protect against cortisol. Last thing I want is my baby floating around in a bath of stress hormones!
Before you start on any kind of fitness regime while pregnant, make sure you have a quick chat with your doc and get the okay to go ahead before starting. Once you have been given the a-okay, aim for about 30 mins of moderate intensity activity. Let me put it this way, you should be able to talk without feeling short of breath during your activities. Personally I am maintaining my strength and conditioning by continuing to film my TIFFXO workouts but I'm choosing the low impact modifications. I am also enjoying low impact activities like walking, swimming and yoga.
- Something important to focus on is that while you are pregnant and a healthy weight, then weight loss shouldn’t be the goal of your workouts. Focus on the quality of your training and moving that bod around - it is working super hard after all!
- Do ensure you HYDRATE! Keep your fluids up!
- And an extra hint: make sure your ladies are supported! A comfortable sports bra (that fits!) to support those ever-growing breasts is a vital ingredient to pregnancy fitness.
- It is important to avoid placing excess stress on your abdominal muscles during this time. Always remember to roll over onto one side and raise yourself up by your arms when getting up from a lying position. It is recommended that you avoid exercising lying on your back after about 16 weeks. Core strength exercises such as arm and leg actions whilst sitting on a fitball or raising one arm and the opposite leg when on all fours and holding for three to five breaths are a great way to help maintain deep abdominal strength and can be done throughout the pregnancy.
- During your first trimester you may be suffering from nausea and exhaustion so be kind to yourself! Try and aim to stay active every other day by walking if exercise is a bit too daunting.
- The second trimester will bring you a little bit more energy and stamina to exercise so enjoy what you can while still being sensible. Let’s chant together “I will listen to my body, I will listen to my body!”
- By the third trimester it will be harder to move (as well as see your feet!) so don’t try anything vigorous more than three times a week. Try and move a little every day, even if it’s just a walk to the corner shop to stock up on pickles and ice cream!
- Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles are also important as they come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. I'm doing my pelvic floor exercises whenever I'm in the car! Looking after your pelvic floor is an investment in your future.
It’s important to still live your exercise life while growing a baby! I am still keeping up with my passions by continuing to do Taekwondo, but altering my experience by not doing any full contact sparring. I'm being disciplined with top to toe stretching and mobility. Be sensible, listen to your body and make sure you're still having fun!
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