Lucy Miller talks pregnancy fitness

1 October 2013

Since doing my first Sleek Technique Class, I haven’t stopped raving about it. I’m a right gym bunny – qualified to teach the Barre Method, Kettlebells, Circuit Training and Gymnastics but not pre and post-pregnant women, however since falling pregnant (www.fitnessandthebump.com) with my first child in May 2013, my fitness training has had to take a slight step back. I’ve had to say goodbye to plyometrics, interval sprints and weight lifting and hello to more gentle exercise like yoga, ballet Sleek Technique and TRX. That’s not to say I’m not doing my best to stay in the best shape possible though. I promised myself that I wouldn’t let myself go when I fell pregnant just because ‘I could.’

When I met Flik and Victoria at a press event back in July I was plagued with fatigue and nausea and missing my workouts. I was still hitting the gym when I could but running to the toilets with sickness mid-workout was not fun. I didn’t feel myself and worried that I was getting a bit soft and squishy, so when they told me about Sleek Technique I was so happy; A low intensity workout, that I could do at home and potentially look like them (I wish – they both have body’s to die for!) sounded perfect. I wouldn’t have to dress my growing bump in my usual gym attire (which when I first started to show felt ridiculous!), workout within arms reach of the toilet or get bored in my own company. This was right up my street. The 30-minute Ballet Bootcamp, was in the morning, when my energy levels are usually at their highest and just the right pace and intensity for me and bump. Yes, I still did near enough everything that all the other class members but Flik was fab at modifying certain moves to accommodate me without me feeling awkward or useless. I’m not used to NOT being able to do stuff! Their classes are great and super fun and challenged my body without too much stress and strain.

Working out during my pregnancy is vital for me. It makes me get up in the morning, when I could easily sleep for England, it helps boost my energy levels and gives me hope that I will bounce back into shape that little bit easier once the baby is here. It also keeps my diet in check. If I’m working out for two, then I certainly won’t eat for two – what a waste of time and effort! I’m investing in mine health and my baby’s health and hoping that I’m setting a good example to her already. Moving your body, bump or not feels good! My mid-wife and doctor also advocates me exercising, which is great. At first I was scared. I asked them and numerous experts if exercising would harm the baby and as long as I do it sensibly and listen to my body the answer is no. In fact researchers have found that doing regular exercise may be good for a growing fetus’ health – and may even help a baby get a healthier start in life. Regular exercise should make my labor and delivery that little bit easier too. One thing that has always stuck in my head, especially when I’m tempted to miss a session is the fact that someone training for a marathon (26-mile run), will more than likely train for around four to six months to get through this testing challenge. What’s not to say that you shouldn’t treat your labor as a marathon? Most marathons will take you four to six hours to run, and most labors will probably be longer than this – maybe double the time. I don’t wish to scare you – but you need stamina and endurance for birth. That’s why training my body to be the healthiest mother possible is so important to me. My weight is also going to increase (most women will put on 25-25lbs during pregnancy), so strong legs are a must. My body is going to have to go through labor, so a strong heart and willpower and determination is a must, and I will more than likely be carrying my baby for hours on end with a heavy bag on tow, so again strong arms, shoulders and back are a must too. I guessed that if I can prepare for all this now, then I should be in the best possible shape when she does come so I can relish every single minute of motherhood. So who’s with me? You don’t need to go mad. A daily walk, yoga or Sleek Technique class is more than enough to get those feel good endorphins flowing around the body. It should make it that little bit easier to fit in your jeans once the baby is born too. Muscles have memory so start training them now. It’s not too late!

*Always consult your doctor before undergoing any exercise plan, especially when pregnant, and always listen to your body and stay hydrated and cool when exercising to help protect your growing foetus.*

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