Since hitting 39 weeks pregnant I’ve been a bit reluctant to go to the gym. Not only do I feel a bit self-conscious (lots of people like to comment on how big you look) but its starting to feel like hard work. My bump probably weighs a good stone (maybe more) and the shape of it just makes things more difficult. That’s not to say I’m sitting around with my feet up. No way. I’m working out at home instead in my own space, in my own time with my phone on hand. Come on baby 🙂
The Pregnancy Project contains nine discs, one for each month of pregnancy. Tracy, personal trainer to Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez focuses upon strength and flexibility especially in the arms, back, legs, and backside.
This is the first month I have used her DVD, so I’ve really enjoyed it so far – although I think doing it for the whole nine months would get pretty repetitive, despite the multiple discs. Tracy is also pregnant in this series, too, which means she’s on the same wavelength as you and not her usual toned and tiny self.
I really enjoy the arm series which gives you a serious arm burn without getting the heart rate too high and the legs and bottom exercises on your hands and knees feel really nice on your lower back – being in this position takes any pressure off the back and lets your uterus just hang.
I must admit its a far cry from my usual gym routine – even when I have been pregnant and taking it ‘easier’ so I found myself missing out some of the moves that didn’t feel good on my body and did squats or tube walking instead. I really appreciated the softer side of the workout though – it’s good that I’m listening to my body yet still keeping active.
Just a few days now hopefully. I am missing the gym, yes. BUT I feel it’s time to start taking it easier and conserve my energy for will probably be the biggest challenge of my life.
As you will already know – I’ve stayed REALLY active during my pregnancy. I’ve tried to go to the gym five to six times a week mixing resistance, stretching and cardio work. It’s definitely kept the weight gain under control and made me feel good inside and out. It really worries me seeing some pregnant women hardly able to walk with aches and pains all over their body. I know everyone is different and I am very lucky to not of suffered from any of this but I do think my exercise has helped this. Lots of people have questioned me in the gym saying ‘Are you sure you should be here?’ Of course I should. I know my limits and would never put myself or my baby in any danger. I think it would probably be more dangerous for me to stop training to be honest. I’ve been training for so long and my body physically and mentally relishes on it.
That said, since turning nine months pregnant, I know alternate my gym sessions with an hour walk – gym one day, walk the other. I can’t tell you how much I miss running so getting outdoors for a walk feels so good! I just stick my iPod on and go.
So what are the benefits of walking in late pregnancy? Well apparently walking is a wonderful and natural way to induce labor at the end of pregnancy, infact the swaying motion of your hips may ease your baby’s head into your pelvis, giving you a leg up on labor.
Walking also utilises gravity to help pull the baby down, which places gentle pressure on the cervix and encourages it to dilate. The rocking motion will also move the baby into the correct position for birth while helping to strengthen any contractions you may be having – and help them to become more regular.
Walking up and down the stairs can also be a great way to get some extra walking in, especially if you are worried about leaving the house. The action of lifting your lefts as you climb up can help the baby descent into the correct position for birth and put gentle pressure on the cervix in order to start the dilating process. Try walking on uneven surfaces, such as placing one foot on the curb and one foot on the street to. This can help rock the baby lower and encourage the cervix to dilate. Just be careful you don’t trip so hang on to your partner’s arm for safety,especially if you’ve noticed your balance has deteriorated since being pregnant.
So make sure you keep active. I’m due for a walk tomorrow – it’s a 5km loop that takes me about an hour. Who’s with me? Just make sure you take your phone, some water, wear a sports bra and listen to your body. This isn’t the time to be breaking any records.