Top tips for training while pregnant

As a Journalist, I get to talk to some really interesting experts so I had to share these pregnancy  tips for training while pregnant from Hugh Hanley, National Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active. 
I’ve been a member of Virgin Active for over 10 years now, I love their Bromley gym, which is literally minutes from my house. I got so much support when working out there whilst pregnant. The personal trainers were always encouraging and telling me I looked fab, even though I felt like a whale.
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I can’t stress how glad I am that I stayed active throughout my whole pregnancy, and would definately do it again if I ever had another child. It made more energetic, happier and often put a stop to my morning sickness. It stopped me piling on unnecessary weight too! 

Here are some top tips from Hugh, which should help you to exercise safely when you’re expecting….

·         Drink plenty of fluids, before, during and after any exercise, and avoid overheating. Be sure to always warm-up and cool down

·         Wear loose fitting clothing, and comfortable non slip supportive shoes.

·         Keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute

·         Past the first trimester, avoid exercising flat on your back – the weight of your uterus reduces the blood and oxygen flow to your baby.

·         During aerobic exercise, you will find that you have less oxygen available, so lower the intensity of your normal routine.

·         Your metabolism speeds up during pregnancy, so remember to eat a well-balanced diet.

·         Your body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy. This hormone softens joints and ligaments to make the birth process easier, so be careful not to overextend joints that may result in injury

·         Do pelvic floor exercises every day and you’ll help keep your back and spine strong, flatten your tummy post birth, and alleviate the problems with bladder and bowel control that are common after childbirth. 

“Lastly make sure you listen to your body and if at any time during exercise you feel extremely fatigued, faint, dizzy, lightheaded or clammy, stop exercising and cool down,” says Hugh.
“The key tip here is that you need to listen to your body and based on what your body’s telling you, figure out a level of activity that works for you.”

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Time to Wean…Sweet Potato day

My baby turned 6 months today. I still can’t believe how much joy she brings into our lives. She’s great fun, even on those teething days!

Up until now I’ve exclusively breast fed her so weaning feels a bit alien to me. I was very overwhelmed by it all, but actually they say ‘food before one is fun’, so I’ve relaxed a little and am just going to experiment with her and give her the purest foods I can. ‘Healthy Mummy, Healthy Baby’ and all that!
So today I started my little munchkin off with some sweet potato, which is full of vitamin A, C and potassium.
She wasn’t impressed to start with but I’m definitely going to keep trying and stick to that particular food for three to your days so her taste buds can adapt.

To make it I boiled a sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon then blended with some breast milk to make it extra creamy…20140725-203830-74310605.jpg

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As it’s six months since I had her I thought it would be rude not to post a progress photo. I’m getting regular workouts in these days, even if it means waking up a little early or having her in the gym with me. It’s definitely all about consistency so if you aren’t seeing results as quick as you would like then don’t give up. It will come! As always give me a shout if you have any questions….

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KX Pregnancy Programme

You’ve probably heard me talk about Gideon & KX Life a few times now. KX is the most amazing gym in Chelsea with great staff, a great atmosphere – and a great spa!
Gideon, my PT there has always been on hand to give me top-notch advice, whether it’s about pregnancy, working out post-baby and even the best formula to try when bottle feeding Lacie. He’s a walking health & fitness manual and someone I’ve trusted with my training pre and post baby.
As soon as I had Lacie and got the go ahead from the doctors to exercise again, I saw Gids straight away and have been seeing him on a monthly basis ever since. He’s given me a fantastic workout plan to follow three to four times a week, and although it’s nothing like what I was doing pre-pregnancy (we’re working up to that!) I love doing it every week and can really notice the difference with my posture, muscle-tone and weak areas like my glutes and shoulders. He’s one of the only trainers that truly listens to me and truly knows my body and A-type personality – and knows how to keep me occupied training wise. I certainly don’t want to overdo things again and get stuck in the ‘Over-Training, Let’s Abuse My Body Rut’!
Since training with Gids throughout my entire pregnancy, KX have launched a Pregnancy Support Programme, which not only looks after your nutrition and training but also physiotherapy and osteopathy; things tend to move a lot in during pregnancy due to a surge of relaxin and the extra weight your body has to handle.

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The programme took over a year to get together, as, as usual they wanted to collaborate with the best experts in the industry and provide the best information and service possible. Not only are they working with nutritionist and author of ‘The Health Delusion: How to Achieve Exceptional Health in the 21st Century,’ Glen Matten but, also Simon Rice and Boniface Verney-Carron, who can provide private spa-based physical therapy sessions.

So what type of exercises does Gideon have me doing?
A Turkish Get Up is the move that starts my programme off. This helps switch on my nervous system, switch on every single muscle in my body and helps me warm up and ease myself into my session. I’ve gone from using a 8kg Kettlebell to a 12kg and we’ve since progressed it so I do an internal and external rotation and a press in each position. It’s so challenging and I really have to connect my body to my brain during every position but I love it and once I’ve done this move a few times, I feel soooo ready to start my session!

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I’m also doing side lunges with a gliding disc to work my entire lower body, including those pesky inner thighs, back pulls with a resistance band to help pull my shoulders back (I feel so hunched over since having Lacie), lunges with a Kettlebell press for shoulder stability and a toned bottom and thighs side planks, one-legged Kettlebell deadlifts and renegade rows. Each session takes about 45 minutes, which is perfect for squeezing in the morning before Lacie wakes me up and generally keeps me busy for the rest of the day!

lunge

I would urge anyone in the Chelsea area (or beyond) to contact KX if they are pregnant and scared to train or really want to be well looked after. Not only will you be trained in a fantastic environment but you can also indulge in the spa afterwards and have anything from a pregnancy massage to a Hydra facial. Their changing rooms are awesome too….there’s big fluffy white towels, dressing gowns, hair brushes, toothbrushes, candles and gorgeous toiletries. It makes going to the gym a real pleasure even if I do miss my little cherub….

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Hooray for Fisher Price

The best thing about having a gym at home is that I don’t have to leave Lacie to workout, and the worst thing about having a gym at home is that Lacie sometimes has to come in with me – which I can imagine can get pretty boring for her. This is why I love Fisher-Price and their huge range of toys for babies (and toddlers – and children of lots of ages for that matter!. They have definitely helped keep her entertained whilst I finish my workout.

And Stretch….

Look Mummy I’m stretching too!

The American company, which was founded in 1930 has sooooooo many cool products on their website (they have created approximately 5,000 different toys), that I can guarantee I will be a customer for a very long time, especially after Lacie fell in love with the ever so colourful Newborn-to-Toddler Portable Rocker – just one of the fabulous products she has in her playroom.

The rocker, which has two overhead toys to encourage interactive play keeps her really entertained as she loves grabbing the lion and shaking it until it rattles. She also loves looking behind her and trying to grab the colourful animals printed on the material – I haven’t got the heart to tell her that she will never be able to grab and pull these :) It”s all good learning though!
She also like sleeping in it, so as she gets tired I take the toys off, pop on the calming vibrations and recline the chair by folding the feet in, which makes the chair rock and soothes her into a comfortable deep sleep. This then allows me to finish my workout or eat my breakfast – my workouts obviously make her really tired….it’s a hard life!

The chair is designed for newborns to toddlers up to 18 kg, so I’ll defiantly be keeping hold of this for a while, as it has so many functions and it also folds away easily so I can store it when she not using it. I especially love the bright colours and the fact that it changes from a rocker to stationary seat with fold-out kickstand. Babies need so many toys,so the fact that Lacie can eat, sleep and play in this, saves us some space. I not sure my husband will ever get over the fact that he has another female in the house creating clutter. I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse!!

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Fisher Price Rainforest Infant to Toddler Rocker; £69.99

Time to Wean

Just as I get my head around breast feeding, sleeping patterns and general routine, motherhood has thrown another curveball at me – weaning.
As Lacie reaches five months I know that it won’t be long until she’s on solids so I’ve been doing my research and of course looking at products that I’m going to need for her.
Asides from books, different colour vegetables and a highchair (I will get into that later), I found some cool little cups, bowls and spoons that I had to share with you. Who would of thought spoon shopping could be so exciting?!

I can’t tell you how excited I waste come across the Baby Ducks Sippy Cup on Borngifted.co.uk. Not only does it look like a mini Starbucks cup but its also BPA free and will be perfect for Lacie to drink her water from. She will fit in nicely with those regular ‘Mummy and Baby’ coffee mornings!

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 15.39.16Baby Ducks Sippy Cup, £6.99; Borngifted.co.uk

This plate is also super cool. Also known as Ms Food Face, the plate can make meal times great fun, especially if your little one is fussy! The Plate features a face in which you can decorate with food, for example why not give Ms Food Face some broccoli style earrings or an asparagus fringe? Let your child use their imagination and experiment with colourful fruit and veg to make their plate more exciting? I’ll definitely be using this when Lacie is a bit older – although I’m going to try my best to make sure she’e not a fussy eater like I was when I was little!

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Ms Food Face, £11.99; Borngifted.co.uk

I can imagine that weaning can be particularly messy. I’ve also noticed that when I give Lacie water from her sippy cup, she likes to spit it back out again. That’s fine as it’s clear – but what happens when she decides to spit out some bright orange sweet potato on to her pretty clothes? Say hello to the Close Parent Coverable bib. It’s long sleeved and will cover your baby from their neck to their knees, making it perfect for catching any stray food. It comes in sizes 6-18 months and comes in loads of funky colours, making meal times more fun and definitely less stressful. No one wants to be changing outfits at every meal time…

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Close Coverable Bib, £7.99; www.closeparent.com

When exploring the Close website, I also came across this waterproof, wipe clean and stain resistant play mat, which is designed to go on the floor at meal times and catch straying food. What I love is that it’s machine washable, with a waterproof and stain resistant side that will be perfect for nappy off time (my husband is a bit over-protective of our cream carpets!) and meal times! It’s foldable too and also has a soft fleecy side too, so after dinner, you can simply flip it over and enjoy some playtime before bed. I’ve noticed that baby stuff takes up a lot of room, so having something that does two jobs and also folds up is just perfect! It’s nice and pink too!

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Playmat, £32.99; closeparent.com

Last but not least, these Heat Sensitive bowls are genius! They feature special heat sensitive material, which indicates when the food is too hot and gradually changes colour as your baby’s food reaches an appropriate temperature. It also has easy grip rubber handles, that make the bowls easy to hold and move around safely!
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Heat Sensitive Bowls, £9.99; Fisher-price.com

My day……..

I haven’t given you an insight into my day for a while now so thought I would share my day today. It’s been a fun one, full of smiles, training, good food and of course quality time with my little angel!

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To start my day off I had scrambled eggs with broccoli and a sprinkle of goats cheese.
I’ve really taken charge of my eating lately as I’ll be weaning Lacie in a few weeks time and won’t have the whole breast feeding excuse to eat what I like anymore. I thought if I rein it in now then it won’t be so much of a shock to the system. I don’t like change…and I’ll be honest the whole weaning process is scaring me slightly!

I then ventured to my local Virgin Active - my second home!
Today I played around with this interesting looking ball – also known as a Weightedi Ball, a functional piece of kit that’s a but like a medicine ball but squishy! You can kneel on it to do core moves like bird dogs or put your feet on it and use as a platform for things like glute bridges and lunges. I used it for a which warm up to help me engage my core and switch on my glutes and  away I went.

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I love my local Virgin Active - I only go once a week (twice as I take Lacie swimming on Tuesdays) as all the other times I use the great outdoors and my home gym in my garden whilst Lacie is sleeping or in the pram,  so when I do go, I really go to town. After my warm up I did a metabolic circuit compromising of a push exercise, followed by a pull exercise, a lower body exercise, plyometric jumping move and then finished off with a isometric exercise to really burn my muscles out. I repeated this circuit three times and Jeez I’m aching already! Yay! Feel the burn! They have a great selection of kit in the gym, so I found myself a spot and kitted myself out with a barbell, plyometric platform and a TRX. The hour flew by!

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When I go home, I fed Lacie and then made myself a chicken salad followed by some sparkling water with lemon, which helps to take the edge of my after meal cravings..

In the afternoon as Lacie cat napped I then caught up on a few emails and features before taking her to a school that I teach gymnastics at to meet all the children. Needless to say, they loved her and she enjoyed the attention. I then came home and had a few of my favourite RawLicious Raw Artisian Bread Crackers spread with Organic Butter to take the edge of my hunger whilst Lacie played in her favourite Fisher Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat and attempted to eat a carrot. I’m trying to give her things to experiment with at the moment so when it comes to weaning putting food in her mouth isn’t totally alien. She definitely seemed to like it!
carrot

For dinner I had a salmon fillet (lots of good fats!) with broccoli, carrots, sweetcorn and green beans. I love filling up on vegetables at dinner time. I then had a few RawLicious Date & Cashew Snackaroons, which by the way are sooooooo delicious and free from wheat, gluten, sugar, refined salt or anything artificial. You must give them a try they are made from coconuts, dates, nuts, raisins, ginger and vanilla powder. No nasties in sight!

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Get your abs back; Slendertone – Does it really work?

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned hard work when it comes to getting back in shape.
The problem is hard work takes time, and when there’s a five-month old baby involved there’s not much spare time for me or my workouts.Thankfully Lacie is now sleeping from 9:30- 7am, which means I can usually squeeze an hours workout in before she wakes. I usually warm up and then do a full body workout using my body weight and dumbbells.
I do this 4-5 times a week and thankfully the hard work has paid off. I’m back in my post-baby wardrobe and my measurements are back to what they were before baby.Like most new Mums though I’ve had to work extra hard on my tum – but then again not too hard as I suffered from ab separation (diastasis recti), which means only light core work for me – and no sit ups, as these can make your diastasis recti worse by causing your abdominal wall to bulge out upon exertion.
Thankfully I’ve been lucky enough to use some amazing ab-toning products to give my tum a helping hand.

Now these certainly don’t do all the hard work for you, you still have to eat and exercise well, but they complement my sessions and mean I can see to my motherly duties and still work my abs. I would love to work my abs more at the end if each session but I always run out of time – really I should do them at the beginning at the session but I get too caught up with other exercises like squats and stuff which according to Charles Poliquin, can work your abs anyway.

Here are by top tips and products for getting your abs back.
Now despite what my hubby (and mum) thinks, I still have a bit to go until I’ve got my ‘usual’ abs back, but if I’m honest with you, getting to that point is not my main priority anymore – if it takes me six months to get there, then so be it. I just want to be fit and healthy for my little girl and look good in my skinny jeans. These days I’m much more relaxed about my training and eating and will pat myself on the back everyday for creating a perfect little girl. Not only did she grow in my body but for the past five months she’s grown exclusively from my milk – that’s a bigger achievement than having abs and that perfect body! It’s funny how much inner peace you get from loving your own child!
Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff, here’s those top tips and products as promised..I’ve been using these for a good 30 days and I’m so excited about sharing the results!

Slender Tone
Wow, I remember stealing my Mum’s Slender Tone when I was 18 and trying to tone my tum for a girls holiday. I always remember it being pretty uncomfortable as your abs contracted away but thankfully things have moved on because I’ve just tested one for a good month and it wasn’t painful at all – just a weird feeling I suppose. It was more than bearable than I thought and I even ached a few days after the first few goes…a nice pain that I haven’t felt for a while since having to turn my training down a notch or two.

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So how does it work?
Basically the Slender Tone uses Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology, which stimulates the nerves and activates the body’s natural muscle movements, toning and strengthening the muscles in the process. According to Slender Tone, wearing the belt for just 20 minutes a day provides a complete abdominal workout – which is the equivalent of 120 sit-ups – without the neck pain!

What I loved about the Slender Tone Abs Belt is it’s discrete, easy to use, convenient and is has a sensible plan in the manual for you to follow so you can up the intensity slowly and sensibly. You simply select the programme you want then gradually increase the intensity to a level that suits you.
I found it was best to find a level that is bear able, then as that level becomes comfortable (level 30 for me) then move up in increments of 10. It was so easy to go about my daily chores whilst wearing the belt, plus it was easy to put on and off and it was comfortable enough to leave on after the programme had finished until I had time to take it off again.
What I don’t like about the belt and the whole Slender Tone concept is that some people can think it’s a quick fix and that they don’t have to eat right and work out alongside using the belt. You do! To get the best results, I used the belt five times a week for at least 30 minute each time and ate well and exercised too. I simply used the belt to compliment my usual healthy habits to give me a helping hand – it worked!

Over all I lost two inches off waist and I’m now back to my pre-pregnancy 26 1/2 inch waist. I have some muscle tone back and feel confident again with my stomach.
So will I continue to use it? Yup I certainly will. The intensity goes up to 150 and I’m only at 70, so I have a long way to go before I even reach that and have lots more wear out of the belt. Who’d thought you could be working your abs whilst washing up? It’s great! It doesn’t affect my time with Lacie and it feels like every time I wear it and workout out, I’m one step closer to my goal. It really is all about consistency.

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To find out more about Slender Tone, please visit www.slendertone.com. The abs belt is currently on sale at £119! They also have lots more products on offer  and I’m really looking forward to testing their shorts, which can help you trim your thighs and butt. Yes please! I’ll of course let you know how it goes!

Mama Mio Get Waisted
Another product I would highly recommend for helping blitz your mummy tummy is Mama Mio Get Waisted.
It contains NINE ingredients which are designed to help combat fat deposits, tighten your tum, reduce puffiness, and – most importantly – maximise lipolysis, which is the way your body breaks down the fat stored in fat cells; giving you slim fat cells and a slimmer silhouette.
I can’t say that I say a huge difference when using this for 30 days. I didn’t suffer from stretch marks after my pregnancy or too much loose skin so it was hard to judge. I did however feel like my tummy was tighter when using this alongside the slender tone belt. I made sure I put it on every night before bed…every little bit helps…right?

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Activating my TVA morning & night
What I have leant since being busy as a mummy, is that you don’t need a gym to activate your core…you can work your core muscles also known as your  TVA (transversus abdomens) while lying in bed or sitting on the sofa.
To do this simply breath in deeply, letting your chest expand, then as you exhales , pulling in your tummy all the way around and holding it in for a couple of seconds, then releasing.

Gaining control over your TVA and working it as often as possible is key to having a flat tum after you have had your baby, then once  your tummy is stronger and your diastasis has closed you can begin a wider variety of more intense abdominal exercises like the plank & crunches etc.
I try to do this as much as possible in the day as well as do my pelvic floor exercises. The way to remember is to do it every time I feed Lacie. It’s now become a habit and means I do these at least four times a day, which can make a huge difference to your physique.

Pregnancy fitness: 2nd trimester strength training

I’ve been really lucky to be able to write some informative blogs for the children’s shop Kiddicare. I love this shop and brought most of Lacie’s baby clothing, furniture and pram from here, so its a real honour to be writing for them.
Basically all my blogs are about how to exercise safely through pregnancy. I am going to share all these blogs with you over the next few weeks so all you beautiful pregnant ladies feel confident to carry on exercising. Here’s my fourth blog – ‘Second trimester strength training.’
I remember this was the trimester well; I really got my energy back and felt great. I had my 12-week scan and suddenly my morning (and afternoon) sickness just switched off and I got my energy back.
Yes I had days when I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep so I did it. I did also find that on those tired days that some gentle exercise was great for my energy levels and pulling me out of my lull.

* As always please drop me an email or message me if you need a hand or have any queries…*

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You’re in the prime of pregnancy during weeks 12 to 26, so it’s a great time to maximise your strength workouts to benefit yourself and your bubba.

I have designed this mini workout to help strengthen the joints for your major muscle groups like your legs, upper body and arms and to help reduce the risk of injuries related to the extra force and weight you will be carrying. Working the legs in particular will help offset stress related aches and pains in your knees, lower back and hips.

Remember labour and pushing during delivery can be that little bit easier if you’ve developed strong legs and a powerful core so by during this workout three to four times a week you should be well equipped and prepared for your last trimester.

Most of these moves at home or at a gym with minimal equipment, but just make sure you’re never out of breath or holding your breath, as this can elevate your blood pressure and starve your body of oxygen, which isn’t safe for you or the baby.

Make sure you warm up well with some marching on the spot, and doing moves like arms circles, ankle circles and gentle squats or a walk round the block to prepare your body for exercise – it will take a little bit longer than it used to because your cardiovascular system won’t react as it used too. Give yourself around 10 to 15 minutes and make it very gradual to allow your body to adjust.

The Workout
1. Assisted step into wide squat
Reps 10 each leg
Sets 3
Stand with your feet and knees together, with your right hand resting on a barre, sturdy chair or fixed item like a fireplace or kitchen workout.
Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lower into a squat with your knees and feet turned out.
Make sure you keep your body upright and that your right knee does not extend past your toes, which will place pressure on your knees.
Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one rep.

* A wider squat will accommodate your bump, whilst helping to build strong legs and glutes and tone the inner thighs. Just don’t too low!* Image

2. Tricep dips
Reps 12
Sets 3
Sit on the edge of a bench or chair and place your palms facedown next to your thighs, fingers gripping the edge.
Place your feet on the floor in front of you, knees bent.
Keeping your arms straight, scoot forward until your hips and bottom are in front of the seat.
Bend your elbows and lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
Push back to start.

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* A great move for targeting the backs of the arms, plus tricep strength makes it easier to push yourself up and turn yourself over, whilst taking the pressure of your abs.*

3. Ballet Calf Raises
Reps 15
Sets 3
Stand with your heels together so your feet form a V shape and hold onto a barre, sturdy chair or fixed item like a fireplace or kitchen worktop.
Keeping your heels together and toes out wide, engage your abs as you raise up onto your toes.
Pause for a second and lower slowly.

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This exercise will help keep your calve and ankles shapely, especially if you are prone to water retention. It will work your bottom and hips too.*

4. Back Pulls
Reps 12
Sets 3
Loop a resistance band (available from £4.99 at USAPro) at chest height around a door or something like the banisters and walk back until you feel tension in the band with your arms out in front of you.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly pull the handles towards chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return slowly to start making sure you take control of the band, which will want to ping back into your starting position.

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* This posture-correcting exercise will work your upper back and help to pull your shoulders back, so you stand up straighter. You may find as you get bigger that your shoulders will roll inwards making you look hunched.*

Plank on your knees

Reps Hold for 30 seconds
Sets 2
Kneel on the floor, then shift your weight forward and place your elbows down on the floor, so they are directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your back straight as you rest on your knees and elbows.
Hold for 30 seconds, keeping your abs tight while you breathe.

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* This move will gently strengthen your core, which will helps protect your lower back, while helping your abs to recover quicker
after birth* 

 Stretch it out

Mermaid stretch
Hold for 10-15 seconds on each side.
Sit up tall with your knees crossed, then place your left hand on the floor next to you and slowly bend over to the left side.
If you feel that you can go in to a deeper stretch, put your elbow down on the floor, and continue to stretch over and hold for 10-15 seconds on each side.
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* This stretch will help the abdominal muscles loosen, especially your side abs (your obliques) which will need to be stretched out to help create space more space for your growing baby.*

Don’t forget!

As always, make sure you get the go-ahead from your doctor before you start exercising and listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right then stop. Make sure you are also fully hydrated and that your exercise in cool and comfortable conditions

CO YO hits Tescos……

 

I’m a huge fan of CO YO yogurt. I had it throughout my pregnancy and ever since. It’s dairy-free, sugar-free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Soya Free and is made from 99% pure coconut – I can’t wait to give it Lacie once she starts eating food, there is so much you can do with it and it’s simply delicious!
So you can imagine my delight and everyone else’s when CO YO announced yesterday that it will be stocked in 416 stores around the UK. I only tend to buy it when I’m in London, which is not very often at the moment especially as I’m on maternity leave.

LR RT CO YO1318

After some digging around I managed to get the list of stores that CO YO will be stocked in. It will be available from 16th June and online at http://www.tesco.com too! How exciting!

Here is the list of stores… I really hope there is one near you!

ABERDEEN EXTRA

ABINGDON EXTRA

ABERDARE

ALTRINCHAM EXTRA

AMERSHAM

ALLERTON ROAD

ALDERSHOT

ANDOVER EXTRA

ASHFORD C/FOOT EXTRA

AYLESBURY EXTRA

ASHFORD PRK FRM EXTRA

ALLOA EXTRA

AYLESBURY 2

AYR EXTRA

ASHBY DE LA ZCH EXTRA

ASHFORD MIDDLSX EXTRA

BAGULEY EXTRA

BALDOCK EXTRA

BANBURY EXTRA

BAR HILL CAMBS EXTRA

BATHGATE BLACKBURN RD

BARNSLEY EXT

BARKING

BASILDON EXTRA

BARKINGSIDE

BASINGSTOKE

BASILDON 2

BARNSTAPLE

BEDFORD 1

BARROW EXTRA

BIDSTON MOSS EXTRA

BISHOPS STORTFORD

BOGNOR

BLACKPOOL CLIFTON EXT

BLACKBURN

BEDFORD EXTRA

BOSTON

BRACKNELL NORTH

BLANDFORD FORUM

WEMBLEY EXTRA

BOREHAMWOOD EXTRA

OSTERLEY EXTRA

BRENT CROSS HENDON WY

BRACKNELL

BRISTOL EAST EXTRA

BRISLINGTON EXTRA

BURY

BRISTOL 2

BROMLEY BY BOW

BRIDGEND EXTRA

BURSLEDON TWRS EXTRA

BROOKLANDS EXTRA

BUCKINGHAM

BURGESS HILL

BOURNEMOUTH EXTRA

BURY ST EDMUNDS

BISHOPS CLEEVE

BEVERLEY

BRAINTREE MARKS FARM

GALLIONS REACH EXTRA

BURNLEY EXTRA

BATLEY EXTRA

ANTRIM MASSRNE EXTRA

BROADSTAIRS EXTRA

BRIGHOUSE BRADFORD RD

CARLISLE 2

CAMBRIDGE N/MARKET RD

CARDIFF EXTRA

CARDIFF PENGAM EXTRA

CATTERICK GARRISON

CHESTER

CHICHESTER EXTRA

CHEPSTOW

CHESTER BROUGHTON EXT

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Pregnancy fitness: 2nd trimester cardio

I’ve been really lucky to be able to write some informative blogs for the children’s shop Kiddicare. I love this shop and brought most of Lacie’s baby clothing, furniture and pram from here, so its a real honour to be writing for them.
Basically all my blogs are about how to exercise safely through pregnancy. I am going to share all these blogs with you over the next few weeks so all you beautiful pregnant ladies feel confident to carry on exercising. Here’s my third blog – ‘Cardio during your second trimester.’ I remember this was the trimester I really got my energy back and felt great. Yes I had days when I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep so I did it. I did also find that on those tired days that some gentle exercise was great for my energy levels and pulling me out of my lull.

* As always please drop me an email or message me if you need a hand or have any queries…*

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Now you’ve got your energy back, let’s get into the swing of some regular exercise. Here’s how to exercise safely between weeks 12 and 26 of your pregnancy.

Yay – you should start feeling better by the second trimester. Your body finally understands what it’s doing, and your hormones and energy levels have leveled out, making things feel that little bit easier.
If you didn’t get to the gym much in your first trimester, don’t panic, you should be proud of yourself for listening to your body and letting your body protect your precious baby. So now your interest in fitness – and other things has come back, lets pick up where you left off and take advantage of this new found energy!

Things to remember

When it comes to doing cardio in your second trimester, you still NEED to very much listen to your body and keep the intensity down. This is not the time to be increasing your fitness levels. Simply put, it’s the time to be maintaining them and keeping those feel good endorphins circulating the body.

One thing to remember whether you are opting to swim, power walk, use the cross trainer or the exercise bike is that you’ll sweat more easily during this trimester. This is down to an increase in weight and also because your core temperature would have risen about one-degree. This increase in sweat is a way of cooling you off and of course keeping your bubba in the safe zone. Your main mission here is to make sure you stay well hydrated, you’ll be surprised at how much fluid you lose through sweat and you need to keep your body hydrated to avoid dizziness, mental fog, headaches, muscle cramping and nausea.
So what can you do that’s safe?

Walking
Walking is still a great form of exercise during this trimester. It poses very few risks and will keep the heart rate nice and steady. As before make sure you are wearing a good sports bra to cater for your growing chest and get properly fitted shoes that provide good support. It’s also worth remembering that your center of gravity and gait will change very quickly, so stick a flat terrain with little obstacles – you don’t want to trip over. You’ll be surprised at how clumsy you can get.
I love wearing a pedometer or Garmin when walking. It monitors the time on your feet and the distance covered – those miles soon add up!

Swimming
If you like swimming, you should be able to continue swimming well into your second trimester without any difficulty. The cool-water will feel really nice as your body temperature increases, plus the water supports your joints, especially as relaxin, the hormone that released to loosen your hip joints and prepare you for labor starts to surge.
Just be careful not to jerk your legs, when doing breaststroke as this will put pressure on your hips and pelvis. You should also avoid backstroke to improve fetal positioning.
Three swims per week of 20-40 minutes is enough for you to reap the aerobic benefits of swimming with no adverse effects on your body or baby, but remember that if you begin to get short of breath during swims, slow down your pace and stay near the edge or shallow end of the pool until you feel that you’ve recovered.

Stationary cycling
Your balance and center of gravity will still be out, so I would ditch the outdoor bike and stick to stationary cycling now until the baby is born. It’s not worth the risk, especially since your pelvis is no longer protecting your uterus.
When sitting on the stationary bike, make sure you are sitting nice and upright, which will make it easier to breathe, and move the seat to a comfortable position (usually hip height) to stop your knees from opening too far. Make sure you keep an eye on your temperature too and don’t work out so hard that you feel exhausted and light headed. This totally defeats the purpose of a fit and healthy pregnancy!

Anything else?
As always listen to your body throughout your whole session and beyond and of you experience any of the following STOP and seek medical advice.
Pain in the back or pelvis
Exhaustion (much worse than fatigue)
Dizziness
Chest pain
Hyperventilation
Severe headache
Heart palpitations
Contractions that persist long after exercise
Calf swelling
Irregular heart beat.

And don’t forget to make sure you get the go-ahead from your doctor before you start exercising and listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right then stop.