It is your first trimester, you may be feeling like crap, that is ok.
First and foremost, do not beat yourself up for not keeping active or eating bags of crisps if it’s the only thing you can stomach.
IT IS OK!!!
However, if you are feeling good within yourself, it's great to keep active!
Why do I encourage all my clients who are pregnant to keep active during their pregnancy?
I tell all my clients and those who come to me for advice that it is an extremely positive thing to keep active during your pregnancy. If you have been exercising beforehand you can continue to do this, however please take on the following advice.
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, speak with your doctor or your midwife before performing any sort of activity.
When it comes to exercising:
- Be careful not to overheat when training
- Try to avoid contact sports
- Listen to your body, you know how much you can push yourself and stop if you feel uncomfortable or something doesn't feel right
- Keep fluids in. Exercising can lead to sweating, so make sure you have a drink and keep hydrated throughout your activity
- Ensure you warm up and warm down in the first trimester, you may be feeling tired and prone to feeling faint when getting up due to low blood pressure, this is normal but just be aware of it when you are training.
You may feel tired, sick or both and that you really don't have the energy to do anything. If that is the case, PLEASE do not beat yourself up about it.
Hitting the gym, or doing a home workout may be the last thing on your mind - even if you can't face doing that try and get outside and go for a gentle walk, go swimming or try Yoga and go at your own pace.
As I mentioned before in a previous blog, I was one of those annoying people who did not experience any symptoms, which can be stressful in itself but if you do feel run down and tired there isn't a lot you can do about it, unfortunately. You just have to keep faith that as the time goes on you will get better.
I have a friend Carly who is currently pregnant and cannot keep anything down bless her.
Her food has consisted of toast and more toast; if this is you just know that it will get better, just hang in there.
For those of you who have exercised prior to finding out you were pregnant, you can still continue to do so, with some slight modifications.
Always ensure that you warm up and down, this is essential for you, and should be a mixture of a gentle walk and stretching. The hormone Relaxin will also start to come into effect, making you more flexible so it is important not to overstretch past your normal range of motion during exercises.
I hope this has brought you a little peace of mind, as always do not hesitate to get in touch if you want any additional advice.
Busting myths when it comes to pregnancy
If you are reading this it more than likely means that you are pregnant!!
However are you concerned about what you should or should not be doing?
You can go online and see what is what but this can be a minefield when it comes to pregnancy, there are so many conflicting articles out there: I am here to help put some of those to bed and your mind at rest.
When it comes to pregnancy, your health and fitness should go hand in hand with that.
Women used to be afraid of training during pregnancy; we were told that we had to rest up and that any kind of exercise was bad for us.
This is not true at all and exercise during pregnancy actually provides a great number of benefits:
- Improved circulation
- Reduced swelling
- Reduced leg cramps
- Reduced muscular discomforts
- Easier, shorter labours
- Help to maintain fitness
- Improved body awareness
- Quicker post-natal recovery
- Eased gastrointestinal discomforts
- Reduced maternal weight gain
- Reduced labour pain • Reduced risk of lower back pain
- Offset postural imbalances
- Better self-image
Some of you may have already been exercising before you found out you were expecting, some of you may not have done any sort of physical exercise beforehand, so let's first of all debunk some of those myths around exercise and nutrition.
Myth 1: If you haven't exercised before you got pregnant, it is not a good time to start.
Truth: Pregnancy is the perfect time to get active, I have not come across anything in a medical journal where is says exercise such as walking is unsafe. The thing that you should be worried about is not being active as inactivity can lead to excess weight gain and high blood pressure. Experts agree, when you're expecting it's important to keep moving: Pregnant women who exercise have less back pain, more energy, a better body image and, post-delivery, a faster return to their pre-pregnancy shape.
Myth 2: You should not lift weights while pregnant.
Truth: Now, this IS dependent on the person. I would not tell one of my clients who had never picked up weights before to start squatting and deadlifting 50 kg but if you are use to lifting weights, then carry on doing so. If you are new to weights you can still pick them up but just ensure you perfect the best technique through watching the videos - See my membership site or ask a qualified trainer and choose a weight that is not going to cause you any discomfort. If you are unsure at all seek medical advice before exercising.
Myth 3: You need to stop exercising as intensely.
Truth: I don't recommend sprinting the 100 metres time and time again but you can maintain the programme you were following beforehand as long as your doctor or midwife gives you the all clear to do so. If there are no complications us ladies can continue to exercise to a high level throughout our pregnancy. You know your body better than anyone so be aware of how you are feeling throughout your exercises and act accordingly. In early pregnancy raising your body temperature can be damaging to your little one, so ensure you keep those fluids in - don't exercise in the heat to the point where you are that out of breath that you can't talk! Make sure you can talk comfortably when exercising and if you do have days when you don't feel as energetic just take a day's rest! Listen to your body!
Myth 4: Running is a no go area.
Truth: Your little bundle of joy is safely tucked inside you while you are jogging away so as long as there is no pain in your joints and ligaments you should continue running. While pregnancy isn't the time to start training for a marathon, experienced runners can continue running, as long as they stick to level terrain (to reduce the risk of falls) and limit the distance if they feel tired. Eventually though, even people who run marathon as forced to stop running due to the discomfort in the later stages of their pregnancy. If this is the case, just swap to the cross trainer.
Myth 5: You should not work your abs.
Truth: This is a topic I wanted to touch upon as I have been asked this so many times. Doing crunches and sit-ups on your back is a no go area after your first trimester. Your uterus will be growing and can compress the vena cava, the major vessel that returns blood to your heart, which can in turn make you feel dizzy. If you want to work your core there are still a number of ways that you can do this; you can do the plank, which is a GREAT exercise and you can do this until your tummy touches the ground! Another is standing up and inhaling and drawing your naval towards your spine. Yoga and Pilates are highly recommended through pregnancy but as always check with your doctor and midwife first. You will be glad you worked your core when it comes to labour believe me!
Myth 6: You should eat for two.
Truth: This is one of the top excuses I hear for eating more during pregnancy, Yes, you're eating for two but that doesn't mean two adult-sized servings are necessary. The average woman with a normal weight pre-pregnancy needs only about 300 extra calories per day to promote her baby's growth. That's roughly the number of calories in a glass of skimmed milk and half a sandwich. A woman of normal weight should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy -- less if she's overweight. It's difficult to drop extra pregnancy pounds after birth. Also, women who gain more than 50 pounds when they're carrying just one child have a higher risk of a caesarean section or a difficult vaginal birth
I hope this puts your mind at rest and of course, if you have any additional questions please get in contact with me.
Lydia – Ashina founder