Working out while pregnant

Prenatal fitness

Knowing that I would need to eventually modify my workout routine, I did some extensive research on prenatal fitness options available in London. The option that most frequently came up was prenatal yoga. I’m not a gigantic yoga fan to begin with but given how popular it seemed as a form of exercise while pregnant, I decided to give it a go.

What. A. Snore. Saying it was low impact is the understatement of the century. I know it’s meant to be more about mindfulness and relaxation and less a workout, but it just wasn’t for me. I even went twice just to be really sure. It wasn’t great. I know people love it, and I don’t mean to discredit it or the instructors, but it was just not what I was looking for. I left feeling so disappointed. Is this really all I can do now!?

I was determined to find something else.

Prenatal Personal Training

Trying to modify my workouts on my own was proving to  be a challenge. I like group exercise and YouTube videos in my living room with hand weights just wasn’t bringing me any satisfaction. I decided to contact a couple personal training companies in search of a personal trainer qualified to instruct pregnant women.

I was very fortunate to find my trainer, Vivien. We met for an initial consultation and even though I basically interrogated her for an hour, she still seemed keen to work with me. I stressed that I needed something more challenging than an hour of cat/cow stretches and deep yogic breathing. I wanted to pick up some weights and get my heartrate up. She convinced me she was up for the job and I decided to start with 10 sessions.

Prenatal fitness

I’ve never worked with a personal trainer before so this was all new to me. I was nervous for my first session. I was worried it would be too sleepy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She absolutely kicked my ass with a killer strength session that left my quads aching for days (in a good way!) It was the hardest I’d worked out since I found out I was pregnant, and I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait for the next session.

Prenatal fitness

Sometimes we do strength workouts with weights and kettlebells. Other times, we use a resistance band or suspension training system. It may look simple but it’s hard as hell. There’s usually some low impact cardio too so I always work up a good sweat. She also incorporates some safe abdominal exercises and shows me lots of variations for doing things on my own.

Our workouts are always different and as I get bigger, she changes the plan accordingly. In our earlier sessions, we warmed up on the rower, but now I’m too big and can’t really row comfortably so we do other low impact exercises to warmup.

Prenatal fitness

The other great thing about Vivien is that because she knows that I have fitness qualifications and that I work in the fitness industry, she is continually trying to educate me and pass on her knowledge about prenatal exercise. I get a workout and lesson all in one! She comes to my office once a week and we train in the gym there. It couldn’t be more convenient. When the weather is nicer, we’ll go outside. And sometimes, she brings me breakfast. She’s great and I’m so pleased to have found her. Personal training is not cheap, but I’ve already gotten immense value – mentally and physically.

Prenatal fitness

Working with Vivien over the last six weeks or so, I’ve been able to take some of the things she’s taught me and apply them in other group exercise classes I like doing, like Orangetheory. More on that in the next post…

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