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Finding the time and energy to exercise is hard at the best of times – let alone when you’re pregnant and dealing with morning sickness and a tiredness unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.

If exercise hasn’t been part of your life before becoming pregnant, Melbourne Obstetrician Dr Vicki Woodward says there are two good reasons to start.

“One is, we’re going to become a role model for a child in the future, so we want this to be part of our lifestyle and become a habit, and secondly it’s going to help your body cope with the demands of pregnancy,” she says.

But that doesn’t mean going from nothing to running a marathon.

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“Start with some gentle stretching exercises, gentle low-impact cardio – swimming or some walking – just to establish a base level of fitness,” she says. “This is partly for labour, which is where a woman’s focus is during pregnancy, but also just to cope with the rigours of a changing body shape and to maintain sensible weight gain.”

Dr Woodward added if you were already pounding the pavement or hitting the gym before becoming pregnant, then keep it up: “It’s about maintaining your base level of fitness but it’s also important for your mental health.

“For women who exercise regularly, it often becomes a really integral part of staying sane with a busy lifestyle – it’s a great outlet.

“So continuing that is really important as well as maintaining that base level of fitness so you can come back to exercise afterwards.”

Dr Woodward says any exercise is beneficial when done correctly, but your regular workouts may need a few tweaks during pregnancy.

“Try to avoid things that will make you very, very hot,” she says.

“That encompasses a whole range of things, like not exercising flat chat on a really hot day and it’s probably best to avoid really hot yoga rooms.”

For those who prefer lifting weights to pounding the pavement, Dr Woodward says it’s ok to keep training but the right technique is vital.

“Turn the focus towards pelvic floor strength and technique, so drop your weights down and just lift light weights, or lift a bar without weights and work on your technique,” Dr Woodward says.

In terms of what you can do during pregnancy, Dr Woodward says all cardio is beneficial.

“Bike riding is great, particularly on a stationary bike – I always remind women your centre of gravity will change if you’re on a road bike so just be aware of that.

“Swimming is excellent, as is running and walking.”

Of course, always consult a medical professional before starting your exercise journey. Then it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you and making sure you have some comfortable clothes to work out in – which is where BornFit pregnancy leggings can help!

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BornFit is an Australian maternity activewear brand specialising in premium, fashion-forward pregnancy leggings for exercise and everyday wear.

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BornFit’s Essential Pregnancy Tights provide light compression that supports the belly, smooths out lumps and bumps and won’t go see-through when you bend over – always awkward in downward dog!

The waistband has been specially designed so it can be folded to sit under or over the bump. The double fabric panel provides amazing support and there are no seams on the inside panel to irritate the skin on your belly.

Not only will you live in these leggings during your pregnancy, they provide great support post-partum and the high waistband covers the belly for discreet breast feeding when you’re out and about.

Get yours at bornfit.com.au – you’ll kick yourself for not finding them sooner!

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