Exercising during pregnancy has long been recognised by obstetricians and gynaecologists as both safe and beneficial (for mom and baby). However, your body goes through some SERIOUS physical and hormonal changes and it’ll soon dawn on you that you’ll have to tweak your exercise regime. What you could do pre-pregnancy is not quite the same as what you can do during pregnancy, and let’s face it, hitting the gym isn’t quite as alluring as it might previously have been.
So, what’s the trick to staying motivated and active for 9 months? Our fav fit mama and MC at this year’s The Baby Show & #MeetUp, Letshego Zulu, gave us her six top alternative ways to keep your bun in shape (and have fun at the same time):
1/ Dive into an aqua aerobics class
‘’Contrary to what you may think. Aqua aerobics is not about swimming,’’ says Letshego. ‘’It’s the performance of aerobic exercise in a swimming pool. It is a type of resistance training, typically in waist deep water. It’s gentle on those stretching ligaments which makes it a perfect low impact activity for expecting moms”.
2/ Skip the pavement and walk laps in the pool
‘’Walking outside, especially in the South African heat can be really uncomfortable for pregnant ladies’’ says Letshego. ‘’Its important to not over heat when you pregnant. Walking laps in a pool not only maintains tone, but will keep you cool too!’’
3/ Shake that booty in dance classes
Who doesn’t like to dance? “Dancing has a wide range of benefits both physically, and mentally. Its proven to improve the condition of your heart and lungs, increase your muscular strength, and aerobic fitness. More importantly, it’s fun and will put a smile on your face — a great way to keep mum and growing baby happy!’’
4/ Try Pop Up Gym
‘’Pop Up Gym makes any space and place, available for exercise,’’ says Letshego. They are not only extremely fun but they teach you that your office, a parking lot, your living room, a hotel room, the garden or even the beach can be a fun place to exercise. “The Pop Up Gym experience not only takes in to consideration expectant moms’ needs, but also welcomes toddlers and young families too” she explains.
5/ Start your day with a Secret Sunrise
‘’Secret Sunrise is a global movement that aims to unite the world through dance. It gets you up and out of your comfort zone feeling complete freedom and self expression. Watch the sun rise while dancing your heart out wearing earphones — its liberating’’.
6/ Sign up for Preggi Bellies classes
‘’There is something really amazing about bouncing on balls surrounded by fellow pregnant mums. Preggie Bellies is an exercise programme that combines the mediBall, weights and step work, in pregnancy, for a regular controlled cardiovascular workout combined with resistance training and pregnancy specific core stabilisation. It’s also a great way to connect with like-minded people.’’
FYI — If you’re looking for more fit mama tips, catch Letshego at The Baby Show & #MeetUp this weekend (September 28 to 30, at Kyalami International Convention Centre).