My pregnancy diet 

As promised here is yesterday’s and today’s food diaries. I’ve had a great week – and although it’s getting to the point now where I have to eat little & often (I hate feeling too full), I’ve loved all my meals this week – especially the fajitas!

Next week I’ll post some more workouts as they have been going great too. In fact I’m sitting on the bike and writing this as we speak. No rest for the wicked!

Enjoy!

Breakfast:
Berry Breakfast Smoothie
300 ml coconut milk
½ cup of gluten free oats
½ an avocado (for a creamy texture)
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries of your choice (I like blueberries)
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Place in a blender and blend.

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Lunch:
Portion of Chilli from yesterday’s dinner topped with ½ avocado

Snack. Chopped Carrots with Gluten Free Hummus

Dinner: Chicken Fajitas using BFree Fajita Kit
(Depending on how many you are cooking for, for 1 use 1 chicken breast)
Chicken Breast
Peppers
Onion
Squeeze of lime
Slice the chicken, onions and peppers into thin strips. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut or olive oil to the pan and fry of chopped chicken. Add in thinly cut peppers and onions to the pan with the BFree Seasoning. Warm the wraps with a splash of water in the microwave for 20 seconds. Serve with BFree Salsa on top and a squeeze of lime. Wrap and enjoy.

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Breakfast:
1 cup of Gluten Free Oats (standard portion size 40g) made with water or almond milk topped with flaxseed/mixed seeds and a spoon of honey

Snack: Green smoothie: Juice of ½ a lemon, a handful of spinach, 1 pear, ¼ of a cucumber + a few mint leaves, 350 ml of water.

Lunch: Tomato Soup with BFree Super Soft Brown Roll

Snack: 2 x rice cakes with almond butter

Dinner: Sweet Potato Bean Burgers (this makes 4 burgers so could have for lunch or dinner the following day or divide by 4 to make 1 portion)
1 can of beans (I love butter beans)

1 large sweet potato
100 g of ground oats
1 clove of garlic
½ a red onion
1 carrot
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Pinch of salt & pepper
50g of breadcrumbs (made with BFree loaves)
BFree Brown Roll

For topping:
Lettuce
Tomato
Tomato relish

DIRECTIONS
Steam the sweet potato until soft. Then add it and all the other vegetables into a food processor and mix until the ingredients are chopped and mixed or just chop them into very small thin pieces and mix. Add the mixture to a bowl and add the beans, breadcrumbs and spices and mash with a potato mashed until everything is mixed. Shape into 4 burgers. Heat some coconut oil on a pan and heat. Then add the burgers and cook until they turn brown.
Serve on a BFree Soft Brown Seeded Roll with your desired toppings and a side salad.

 

25 weeks pregnant; my exercise & diet diary

This pregnancy is flying. Perhaps it me because I feel so good on it – you’ve got to love the second trimester!

Here’s some pics of me at 25 weeks. My body is changing rapidly and my tummy is definitely feeling heavier & rounder. That’s the plan I guess!

Running hasn’t felt as comfortable this week, so I will try one more time on Saturday and if I’m getting the stitch type pain that I did last weekend, I will swap my running for power-walking. I’m so pleased that I’ve managed to last this long to be honest! I’ve definitely had another growth spurt too; All I’ve wanted to eat are carbs, carbs, carbs! Hard for someone who’s never really been a bit carb eater!

This week I’ve decided to go with it BUT obviously tried to stick to whole grains & gluten free options like B Free Foods, who do the most delicious gluten-free, dairy-free wraps, rolls & bagels.

If you are in the same situation as me and craving carbs but hate the bloat that comes with them, I’ll be posting some food diaries so you can see what sort of foods I eat throughout the day.

Breakfast:
2 Eggs Scrambled with 85g of  Salmon + a handful of spinach (throw
this into the eggs while scrambling with some salt & pepper)
Snack:
A chopped apple with 1-2 tsp of almond butter
Lunch:
Turkey and Relish Sandwich
2 slices BFree Brown seeded long slice bread
1 small cooked turkey breast chopped
1 tbsp tomato relish
Handful rocket + ½ a tomato
Spread the relish on one slice of bread. Layer the turkey and cheese on the
other, add the rocket and serve.
Add a side salad to increase intake of veggies
Snack:
CO YO yogurt with 15 mixed Raspberries & Blueberries
Dinner:
Chicken and Chorizo Stew
1 Chicken Breast
1 serving of chorizo (thumb size)-make sure this is GF
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
¼ tin of Chickpeas
1 cloves of garlic
Seasoning (Mixed Herbs, Paprika, cumin, Chilli powder)
Fry of chicken and chorizo with a spoon of coconut oil and 1 cloves of garlic.
Add in your veg of choice. Add in tin of tomatoes and tomato puree and
drained can of chickpeas. Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, mixed
herbs, paprika and cumin.

My pregnancy journey; 23 weeks pregnant 

So I’m 23 weeks now (I think!), I’m seriously losing track. I’m so busy with Lacie & life, that I’m not sitting there counting the days like I did in the first pregnancy. You definitely have less time to rest, appreciate your growing baby and your body second time round.

So here’s my bump. I’m growing nicely, and feeling good. Still gym’ing most mornings, and running an hour on Saturdays & Sundays. These days I’m setting my Gym Boss for 3ish minutes on, and 45 seconds rest, which means I get regular waking intervals to keep my heart rate down and in check.

I hope to run for at least another month or so – so, if you are pregnant and thinking about running, here are my top tips…

* Only run during pregnancy if your body is used to it. I’ve run for years, run marathons, and am generally conditioned to run. Pregnancy is not the time to start anything new.

* listen to your body! A few times I’ve gone out and felt heavy, lethargic and generally not in the mood to run. Instead of pushing it, I’ve either walked or gone back home, and jumped back into bed to watch Peppa Pig with Lacie. I’m not out to break any records, just stay healthy (and sane) during my pregnancy.

* Expect to run slower than you’re used too. This can be hard for some, but not me. I’m just so happy to still be running at this point. I didn’t run when I was carrying Lacie and really missed it!

* Plan your route and know there as toilets you can stop at. I always stop for a quick wee around 20 mins into my run. Most of the time I get there and actually think ‘wow, that was a pathetic wee!’ but with extra pressure on your bladder it feels like I really need to go and then that’s all I can think about for the whole run.

* Don’t get distracted. Gone are the days when I can run and admire people’s houses, gardens, front doors and generally anything other than the path in front of me. Your gait and your balance change when you’re pregnant so it’s easy to fall over or lose your balance. I’ve meant my lesson the hard way – watch where you’re going and be mindful of every step.

* Take your phone. When I fell over I was lucky to be pretty close home (although the ten minute walk home with tears streaming down my face felt for ever!). If I’d had my phone, I could of called Mark, who probably would of come and got me, or just generally reassured me that I’m ok and to help me compose myself.

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I think that’s it! Obviously wearing the right trainers (I love Asics) and sports bra (always Cake Maternity) are a must. I always go and get re-measured when I’m pregnant because your chest changes massively when pregnant and you’re advised not to wear under wired bras and anything too restrictive.

My measurements;
Every week since finding out I was expecting I’ve been measuring myself. Here are my measurements to date. It’s a great way of not stressing about the pounds on the scale & keeping check of how your body is changing.

8 Weeks pregnant
Chest: 32.5 inches
Waist (smallest): 28
Belly Button: 29
Hips: 35.5
Legs: 19.5
Arms: 10.5

23 Weeks
Chest: 32.5 inches
Waist (smallest): 29.5 (+1.5 inches)
Belly Button: 31.5 (+2.5 inches)
Hips: 36.5 ((+1 inche)
Legs: 19.5
Arms: 10.5

 

Pregnancy; 20 weeks bump and training update

I was right; it’s a boy. It’s so weird, I just knew from the beginning and I am carrying so differently that how I did with Lacie. Did I tell you I’ve been having really vivid dreams about a little baby boy too? Strange!!

So here is my 20 weeks bump! My belly has definitely popped now (moreso at night) and to be honest, it’s thrown me – literally! I fell over twice last week, one that resulted in me going to A&E! I guess my balance is just slightly off now I have a bump and I have to slow down a little and be a bit more careful.

So what else is new? Not much really (apart from the bump of course!). I don’t have any stretch marks – I’m using this super-duper cream called Remescar Silicone Stretch Marks Scar Cream, a silicone based cream, which prevents and treats stretch marks by releasing a long lasting protective film that will cover the affected skin and I’m craving sweet stuff like nothing else. Obviously I’m trying not to cave in, and working hard at keeping my blood sugar levels in check by eating every two to three hours and having a good protein rich breakfast like a shake (recipe below) or a big plate of eggs, spinach and avocado.

My wedding ring is also still on, my belly button hasn’t popped quite yet and I’m not feeling too tired or queasy, so all is good!

Training this week has been good too – I’m walking lots and getting a good 45 minutes in in the morning. I loved my circuit this morning, which was;

45 seconds work/15 seconds rest x 4 circuits
* TRX one legged squat on right leg (alternate legs with each round)
* TRX Back pulls (these are great for posture as your boobs get bigger and heavier)
* TRX Press ups
* Side plank with arm reach on right side (alternate sides with each round)

I then finished with a 5k time trial on the bike. Great workout!

My go-to protein-rich breakfast smoothie
Try this tasty protein-rich shake to stop those pesky sugar cravings that like to sneak up on you when you are pregnant. This is a real treat at breakfast time and is really filling!

I got this recipe from the amazing Mirella Ingamells’ pregnancy e-book, which has been a huge help for me when it comes to nutrition and workout ideas….her little one is seven months now and Mirella, like me worked out throughout her whole pregnancy.

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1tbsp peanut butter
1 frozen banana
300ml rice milk
1tsp lucama powder
Handful of ice
Chia & sesame seeds (for sprinkling on top)

Literally all you do is throw it all in the blender and drink up!

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Getting ready for baby number two 

Just a quick progress photo for week 18. I’ve definitely had a few heavy days this week and training hasn’t been so energetic but nows the time to listen to my body. I must admit, I’ve felt a bit flat training wise this week, so not much to report on it really. I’m still following Gideon’s plan from KX Life but listening to my body more this week; If I need longer rest periods or to lower the weight, so be it. I’m in the gym and to me that’s all that matters and I’m happy to still be training & enjoying it.

In between training, eating, sleeping, working & being mummy, I’ve also been trying to work out in my head how to get organised for bubba number two. I’m definitely not sending Lacie to nursery any earlier than I need too, I simply just love being with her, and this is time I’m never going to get back!

That being said, I will have both of them at home with me for eight or nine months, and I’m fully aware that there’s going to be hard days, especially when I’m tired, bubba is having a clingy day (I remember them well) and Lacie wants to play and have fun.

So what’s my plan?

1st things first is; Breast feeding
I will definitely breast feed bubba all the time mark, my husband, is on Paternity leave. After that, I plan to go to bottles. I just can’t see how I’m going to be able to be at home on my own with both of them and be feeding a baby. LaCie would feed for up to 45 minutes at a time and I’m not sure how this is going to work with Lacie needing my attention as well.

So I’ve got myself organised & got a Tommee Tippee steriliser (in black to match the kitchen) and some of their Closer to Nature Advanced Comfort Bottles. Giving a bottle to a newborn is alien to me (I fed Lacie for 9 months) so I wanted to find some that made it easy to latch on to, were BPA Free and stopped air bubbles during feeding, which may lead to colic and digestion issues. I’m sure they will be absolutely fine with the bottle, millions of babies do it, but I want feeding to be as stress-free as possible so I still have the nice time that I had with Lacie. I also like these bottles because of the soft, natural-feel silicone teat. This should make it easier to switch between the breast and bottle.

Workouts
I’m lucky that Lacie sleeps in until 8ish, which allows me to go down to my home gym & get an hours workout in before she wakes. I hope bubba will do the same, so I’ve got a Tommee Tippee Digital Video monitor, which will allow me to keep a close eye on the baby whilst I workout. The monitor still has great reception in my gym, thanks to the 300m range & it has a two-way talk button option that allows me to talk to the bubba if he/she needs comforting or just needs to hear my voice as I make my way up to their room. I know this all sounds very far fetched as I just don’t know what type of baby and sleeper it’s going to be, but having a plan in my head about how I’m going to get back in shape makes me feel in control just a little. Lacie used to come into the gym with me when she was a baby so if that’s what happens with this one then that’s fine, but I will hopefully get it in to the same routine as I’ve got Lacie into. It took lots of patience, but we got there.

The monitor also comes with a temperature room display, remote nightlight and a detachable sensor pad that fits under your baby’s mattress and sounds an alarm if no movement is detected after 20 seconds.

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Prams? 
So my My next thing to thing about is a pram/buggy board/double buggy, so if anyone has any suggestions of how to get out and about with two, please send your suggestions. Lacie will be two-and-a-half once bubba is here and although she likes walking – she can’t quite manage the walk into town, an hours class, or whatever activity we are doing that day, and then a walk back! Help!!!

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A little workout for you to try
To finish off, here’s a quick 12-minute circuit that I tagged onto the end of my workout today. Was great fun and got my heart-rate up nicely….
* 45 seconds kettlebell swings
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds Squat to front kick
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds side plank – right side
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds side plank – left side
* 15 seconds rest
Repeat three times through as a continuous circuit.

As always don’t forget to check with your mid-wife and GP when exercising when pregnant – and listen to your body!!!!

Lucy and her 15-week bump

So here we go again. I have a bump forming and my body is changing.

Finding out I was pregnant was, I won’t lie, a MASSIVE shock. If you read my previous blogs, I really struggled to fall pregnant with Lacie and went to a Fertility Retreat called Simply Healing in order to fix my body and get super fertile again. I’m pleased to say it worked and stayed working. I didn’t have to go this time to conceive and literally didn’t even have to think about it. Your body is such a clever machine – especially when you give it all the right tools to work with. I can never thank Vivien and her team enough!

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So more on my bump! I was seriously smashing it body-wise before I fell pregnant this time round. I was hitting around five quality gym sessions a week, walking lots just through daily life and my diet was on-point. I still enjoyed the odd treat, but I felt like my body was responding really well. This is definitely reassuring, as I now know I can get pregnant and get my body back with hard work and dedication!

So what have I noticed this time around?

The cravings! Oh my! I’ve craved toast with lashings of butter, cheese and pickle sandwiches, Mars Bars (Yes really!) and biscuits. Anything carb’y and sweet – and basically all the things I craved when pregnant with Lacie.
For the first 12 weeks I went with it, but then at my 12 week scan promised myself I would try to get on top of things a little and introduce some juices again, some protein and good fats for breakfast and a protein-rich dinner. So far, so good!
For the last few weeks, my cravings have turned around and I’ve been enjoying eggs and avocado with feta cheese for breakfast with some Rye bread, grapefruit and nuts for snacks, salads with hummus and homemade spinach falafels for lunch and some sort of fish dinner. I’m still really off chicken and beef and green veggies but again, this happened with Lacie. It’s strange isn’t it?

Training wise, I haven’t missed one session yet! But I have been listening to my body and taking more rest periods, training for shorter periods of time, if I feel tired and using mainly body weight. I’m still running too. Just at the weekends at the moment, but again I’m running much slower than normal and taking walking rest periods after each mile. I will try to run for as long as I can, as I just love the fresh air and the freedom it gives me.

So what next? I’m going to be keeping weekly blogs of my pregnancy and training journey with pics to show how my body is changing.

I’m also going to use my knowledge and Mirella Ingamells Yummy Mummy Guide To Pregnancy, as, as I think you’d agree she looked amazing during and after her pregnancy.

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I’ll also be sharing some of my favourite pregnancy products and recipes that are (hopefully) keeping me on the straight and narrow…starting with an amazing juice i’ve been enjoying most days.

This is from a good friend called Scott McArthur, who I met at Jason Vales’s Juice Retreat in Turkey.
He delivers Cold-Pressed Raw juices to your door, and although I’m not solely just living on juices day in, day out, I am enjoying one daily as either a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.

My juice today was called Protein Power and made from:
Cucumber
Avocado
Apple
Banana
Pineapple
Wheatgrass
&
Spirulina.

A great energising mid-afternoon snack!

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And squeeze….

Pelvic floor exercises are big news for pregnant women and beyond. I’m still doing mine and Lacie is coming up to seven months – You can’t do enough.

In the early days when she was first born, I downloaded an app, called My Pff, and always did the recommended programme from the app every time I fed her. It soon became habit and when I went for my 8 week checkup with my doctor and she asked me if I was doing my pelvic floor exercises, I told her about the app and my pelvic floor schedule. She said it was a fab idea and that she would pass it on to other mums. Hopefully she did.

So what are pelvic floor exercises and why are they so important?
The pelvic floor muscles form a sling-like band that surrounds and forms the base of your vagina, anus and urethra,” explains Hugh Hanley, National Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active. “These muscles also support all your abdominal contents, and your baby will pass through them as he or she is born. Strengthening these muscles is an extremely worthwhile and important activity.”

How to do Pelvic floor exercises: 
1.       Gradually tighten the muscles that you use if you want to stop the flow of urine when going to the toilet.
2.       Try to do it without holding your breath, squeezing your buttocks together,
3.       Hold the squeeze for several seconds and then relax slowly.
4.       Now pull the muscles up tight and fast. Then relax. Then tighten them quickly again. Use clenching and opening your fist as a visual tool to help you imagine the movement.

When I’m doing moves like glute bridges in the gym, I always make sure I  pause at the top to engage my pelvic floor or when I’m doing squats I make sure I ‘zip’ up at the top to get that engagement. You can also do them whilst watching the TV, cleaning your teeth, or reading this post (try and stop yourself!) You really can’t do too many. Now off you go…squeeze!!!

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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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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

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.