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best tips for fitness during pregnancy

Wow a lot can certainly change in a couple of months! Since we last caught up with personal trainer and all round superwoman, Shelby, from The Movement, she’s gotten married and become a beautiful mumma to-be! To get the low-down about her journey to motherhood and to hear her top tips for staying healthy and fit during pregnancy, our very own Vanessa from Hyperluxe Dunsborough sat down with her for a chat.

1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! How has being pregnant changed your body so far and are you embracing these changes?

It has shown me just how incredible our bodies are! I am still so blown away with how the female body has the energy to grow a human! 90% of the time I am embracing the changes and loving being pregnant. I feel like I know my body quite well and so am noticing each incredible little change! There is the small 10% that misses the feeling of being able to push myself to the limits in a workout! In those 10% times where I am feeling a little sorry for myself while everyone in the gym is gasping for air I try to acknowledge the feeling not ignore it..then move on! I can still do so much!

2. In the early stages of pregnancy, expecting mums often feel run down and sick. How do you recommend getting through workouts during this stage?

Oh definitely! I was lucky enough not to get any sickness but I became the Queen of Naps especially after a workout! I highly recommend listening to your body - you’ll know when you can and can’t push it through a workout. On the days where I felt great - I did a workout in the gym. On the days where I couldn’t push my body I took a walk on the beach. Having a Garmin fitness tracker or some kind of sports watch definitely helps, no matter how I was feeling I tried to get those 10,000 steps in.. then I took a nap!

3. Since finding out you were expecting, what has been the biggest change in your fitness routine?

My mindset has changed from wanting to be the fittest and strongest to wanting to be the healthiest person I can be for the baby and for me. It’s so important to stay healthy during your pregnancy with exercise and nutrition. I take a greens powder drink every morning and I know when I am having it that it so good for the baby and for me! My strength training has dropped to 50% of the weight it was and I have increased the amount of cardio I am doing, I feel safe doing lower impact movements. I also do RPM twice a week, I find this a great way to be able to push myself safely.

4. In your opinion, what are the key shifts to make in your training when you are pregnant?

What are the exercises to skip and exercises to add during pregnancy? It depends on what stage of the pregnancy you are up to. During the first 12 weeks you just want to keep your baby safe so its not smart to go testing your 1 rep max’s! I continued to do classes at The Movement, keeping my heart rate steady and dropping my weights back. Now though as I am entering the second half of my pregnancy I have more energy to exercise daily, however I have had to pull back on core exercises such as kipping pull ups and sit ups to protect the separation of the abdominals. I have added in some pilate movements and put aside at least 20 minutes a day to stretch!

fitness tips during pregnancy
5. Should a woman change her exercise routine as her pregnancy progresses?

Absolutely. It is totally normal and I encourage pregnant women to continue exercising like they were doing previously to falling pregnant, however as the pregnancy progresses we have to listen to our bodies and keep our babies and our bodies safe. In the first trimester it’s just important to pay attention to the new energy limits you have. Even if you have morning sickness or other discomforts getting up and moving will often make you feel better, however if a small walk is all you can manage that’s enough. As you enter into the second trimester, it can be time to pull back on the high impact core exercises such as sit ups and kipping movements to protect the abdominals. Just try to move the body when you have the energy too!

6. Other than training at The Movement South West, what other types of fitness are you engaging in throughout your pregnancy?

I have definitely found a new love for long walks, especially on the sand! I have tried to start each day with a 5km beach walk, listening to positive pregnancy podcasts! It’s the best way to start the day! My bike has also been getting a lot more use - its been summer so I have tried to ride around Dunsborough as much as possible to get the body moving some more!

7. Have you noticed your diet changing, are you getting any cravings and how are you dealing with these?

The cravings were REAL! I definitely wanted salt, especially in the first few months! I am not going to lie, there were a couple of days where I ate things I hadn’t eaten in years! But as crazy as it sounds I had to have a good chat to myself about how I was going to deal with them. I set myself some nutrition guidelines. I:

  • Started using myfitnesspal to keep myself accountable for the food I was eating each day. I set my macro nutrient goals to ensure I am getting the goodness and energy my body needs to grow this healthy baby!
  • Made sure I had vegetables or a hearty salad with every meal. 
  • Had a greens drink every morning to help get the nutrients in first thing!
  • Annnnd I had to get all the bread out of the house! 

8. What are your must-have maternity workout clothes?

Lilybod leggings have been my saviour, they don’t have a tight waistband so they stop the cutting in as the belly starts to grow! I thankfully haven’t hit the maternity section yet, although there are some 2XU ones i am eyeing off in Hyperluxe!

9. Finally, do you have any non-fitness related advice for other expectant mums you’d love to share whilst you’re all on this crazy journey together?

The biggest advice I have learnt so far is to create our own pregnancy stories. You get given 1001 different pieces of different advice and it usually all comes from a good place however no one is you and some women can’t help share their negative stories with you! No one can create your pregnancy journey. When everyone started telling me their negative stories like “ you are going to be SO tired and sick - oh just wait for the morning sickness.” I decided my story was going to be my own. Each day I tell myself “ I have woken up with all the energy I need to get through my day, I am healthy and happy to be pregnant.” Or when people started to talk to me about labour - there was some horror stories!I I decided my story was going to be mine - I don’t have a plan on how I want it all to go but instead of allowing them to instill fear into my pregnancy I started to draft my own positive story.

I am excited about going into labour! It is going to be the most incredible experience of my life! If the thousands and thousands of women before me have done it..I can do it too! Instead of taking the fear of other women - do it your way! Oh and listen to your body, it knows you better than anyone else - push it when you can and slow down when its needs you too, naps are life. ;)

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