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Maintaining your Fitness During Pregnancy

by: Kirsty Palmer (personal trainer)
Kirsty, take us through your pregnancy fitness regimen! What does this consist of?
I am very fortunate to be able to continue to exercise while pregnant. For me my fitness consists of bike spins, and resistance weighted sessions along with the odd walks.

How often are you exercising and has this changed over the course of your pregnancy?
I am blessed being in the fitness industry and being a personal trainer myself my fitness levels before falling pregnant were great.
The first trimester I did a lot of sleeping and exercised twice a week, because it was early stages I stuck to my normal weighted training sessions.

My second trimester was all about accepting and dealing with the sudden changes that were occurring in my body daily, I managed to get back into my exercise regime but was aware that my body couldn’t lift or move in certain ways like it use to, so I started spinning on the bike 2-3 times a week to maintain my fitness level, and walked whenever I could. When I had the energy, I performed a leg or arm weighted session which required more reps with a lower weight.

Now in this third trimester, although exhaustion is high, I still find the time to exercise daily making it my goal to move for at least 30 minutes a day. Whether it is walking, spinning, or doing half of the workout I would normally do for my weights session. I am waking up and listening to how my body feels and then choosing from those three options to exercise.
How have you stayed motivated to exercise throughout your pregnancy?
It is not just about me anymore, what I do inside and out affects my little bub, so by staying mentally and physically healthy it has allowed me to push through the challenges and keep on track.

As I am still coaching during pregnancy, I have to maintain my mental strength and stay positive to encourage clients to reach their goals and in doing so this boosts my motivation.

I also know that what I am doing now, exercise, mentally, and food wise will help me get back on track a lot faster once bub is born, which keeps me motivated to want to maintain all that I am currently doing now.

Have you experienced any weird cravings?
I am very fortunate that I haven’t experienced any weird cravings. Some days I have an urge for certain foods, but I haven’t craved anything crazy! LUCKY ME!
Do you have a post-natal exercise plan in place yet?
I sure do! I have created my own 30/30 challenge for body weight home based workouts to get my body back to basics, then from there I will be doing the next stage which will be my 4-week transformation gym-based guide, which involves weights and body weight. I honestly cannot wait to get into it once I have gained a good routine with bub.

What would we find you doing on your rest days/down-time?
Down-time is an absolute must! I like to go to the beach, walk along the hard sand, sometimes sit and just read a book and hear the waves crash, it’s so relaxing and peaceful and it’s good to just get away from reality and be somewhere to let your mind free. Some days I also just enjoy a good afternoon sleep or on those summer days relax outside the house and get my much-needed vitamin D, bub loves the sun just as much as I do.
What top tips do you have for other mothers-to-be about staying healthy during pregnancy?
My top tip would have to be to enjoy each and every single day as much as you can! Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, it’s a miracle. Love your body, feed your body with good healthy foods that will nourish you because then it will nourish your baby. Exercise to your level to continue to release those endorphins, which make you feel great. And just be in the moment, its only 9 months and it goes so fast!

Do you have pregnant clients? If so, what is their biggest about training during pregnancy and what advice do you have for them?
I have only recently started training mums, as prior to me falling pregnant I didn’t feel comfortable doing this and wasn’t able to fully understand and experience what their bodies were going through. My advice would be to listen to your body. It may seem a little hard to at first as you are still trying to adapt and accept the changes your body is going through. However, if there are days you feel tired, sleep, if there are days you feel a little dizzy and need a longer rest to get your breath back, do it. Listen to your body and it’s needs.

Are there any big ‘no no’s’ when it comes to training during pregnancy that women should be aware of?
The massive No No I would encourage any female to avoid in regards to training, is don’t suddenly start exercising and jump straight into something you haven’t been doing prior to falling pregnant, because you want to be fit and healthy. If you are a runner, continue running, if you are a weight lifter continue to lift weights. Obviously the further you go in your pregnancy you have to decrease the level of intensity and ensure your heart rate doesn’t get to high as this can affect your baby.

For those that haven’t exercised and want to suddenly be fit and healthy, I would recommend to start walking or swimming.

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