You should always have a fitness goal – knowing your ‘why’ gives you something to strive for and a reason to get up and move every day. The same goes for exercise during pregnancy, with one big BUT...
Your non-pregnancy fitness goals (like leaning out, dropping centimetres or strength gains) should NOT stay the same when you’re pregnant.
If you’re planning on working out pregnant – you may even be joining us on Emily Skye FIT Pregnancy for your pregnancy workout plan and safe workouts through each trimester – it’s time to think differently about your fitness. To help you discover your new ‘why’, here are six positive and practical goals to aim for while you’re pregnant.
We know an active body is a healthy body, and that’s the case when you’re pregnant, too. Maintaining your overall fitness and stamina, core and back strength, and working your pelvic floor will all help you carry bub for 9 months, prime you for delivery and looking after the new arrival. If you’re not sure about pregnancy workout safety, the FIT Pregnancy program takes all the guesswork out of it – we'll keep you moving safely through the different stages of pregnancy.
If you work out consistently but aren’t so crash hot with your diet, now is the time to work on it! You should be hyper-focused on eating healthy, nourishing food and staying well hydrated throughout your pregnancy – for yourself and the baby.
This can be tough if you’re suffering from morning sickness, but if this is the case just keep on top of your fluids to stay hydrated and focus on nutritious foods when you can.
Need help staying on track? The FIT Pregnancy program includes an easy-to-follow meal plan and nutrition manual that will form the basis of your pregnancy nutrition.
I can’t say it enough: your pregnancy is NOT the time to aim to lose weight. By staying active with a pregnancy workout routine you can reduce EXCESSIVE gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention, however, your goal should NOT be to LOSE weight.
Instead, focus on moving when you can and enjoying regular healthy meals that will keep your energy up and baby well-nourished. Get the important things right, prepare yourself for labour and beyond, and you won’t need to worry about your weight.
Exercise can help boost your mood and energy levels. However, you will be going through A LOT of changes, so you may need a little something extra. Studies have shown that more than 20% of women have serious anxiety during pregnancy, which can impact on the health of the baby. Meditation will help to calm your mind and keep stress levels at bay – scientists say it can even help prepare you for giving birth!
So aim to make meditation and mindfulness a regular part of your pregnancy routine. And instead of running through your mega nursery shopping list at midnight, try switching off with a sleep meditation instead.
People talk about the glow you get while you’re pregnant, but they don’t often tell you how tiring it can be! Even before the physical discomfort of a growing baby makes sleep more difficult, fatigue can arrive in the early stages of pregnancy, so now is the time to get serious about your sleep. Beyond making you feel exhausted, irritable or forgetful, research suggests a lack of sleep may even impact the length of your labour.
So what do you do? For starters, go to bed earlier – don’t expect to operate on the same hours of sleep you did before you were pregnant. If you feel the need to nap during the day, go ahead – so long as it doesn’t stop you from falling asleep at night.
Exercising will help you sleep better and if it’s stress keeping you awake, try meditation. As your pregnancy progresses, you may want to invest in things like a night light, fan or extra pillows to keep you comfortable at night, too.
If you stop looking after your body and mind, and stop moving during your pregnancy, it’s going to be harder to get back to those good habits after baby arrives. So put yourself and baby first, and stay on top of your health. If any of the above goals are hard, start small – do what you can, when you can. Share your journey with a friend and if you need extra support, you’ll find it in the Emily Skye FIT community.
Always consult your healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise program, as there are some situations where exercise may not be advised. This information should be used as a guide only and should not replace the advice of your medical practitioner.
If you are struggling with nutrition, sleep or mental health during your pregnancy, consult a healthcare professional.
Women’s health physiotherapist Phoebe Armfield has over 15 years’ experience in helping women take control of their bodies into co-designing the FIT Pregnancy and FIT Post-Pregnancy programs with Emily Skye. She holds a Master of Physiotherapy, a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, is a certified Pilates Instructor (including pre and postnatal Pilates), and Certified Trainer.
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