As the Duchess of Cambridge nears the end of her pregnancy, fitness experts advise that effective physical activity during pregnancy will help to lose the pounds once the baby is born.
With many new mums under pressure to get back into pre-baby shape as soon as possible, the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) is advising expectant mums to create a fitness regime that is specifically designed to enhance their health while pregnant. It will also help them to get back into shape after their pregnancy.
Sarah Bolitho, a REPs registered trainer specialising in ante- and post-natal exercise, said: “The Duchess of Cornwall will have found out by now that during pregnancy a woman’s body is working very hard to create a baby and this can be physically exhausting as it takes a lot of energy. It is also a tiring time emotionally for many women as they may be anxious about their health, or the health of the baby. These factors mean that exercise is often the last thing on a mum-to-be’s mind, yet it has so many benefits it should be promoted as much as healthy eating during pregnancy. There are now so many activity options to choose from that there is bound to be something that you find appealing, from swimming, ante natal classes, walking groups, the gym or even yoga.”
REPs includes a category for fitness professionals that work specifically in ante- and post-natal activity. The Register advises women to seek out specialists who can give tailored advice for pregnant women, ensuring fitness regimes are both safe and effective.
Greg Small, REPs Operations Manager, said: “The decision to take up the services of an registered exercise professional shouldn’t be left to chance. Whether you’re using a gym instructor, yoga teacher, pilates instructor or group-exercise-to-music instructor, you should always ask whether they are a REPs member before beginning your session. In-depth knowledge of ways to exercise in a way that is beneficial to both you and your baby is extremely important.”
Sarah Bolitho’s top active tips for a healthier pregnancy
* Focus on building activity into your daily life. Take a short walk every day, or take the stairs instead of the lift.
* If you exercise a lot, or you’re an athlete, then accept that for nine months your training routine will be different, and focus on learning new ways to be active.
* As pregnancy progresses you should taper down the amount and intensity of activity so that by the middle of the third trimester you are exercising at around 70% of your pre-pregnancy levels.
* Always listen to your body and if you feel you need to cut back more then do, or swap to a more gentle form of activity.
* If you attend classes or the gym, make sure your instructor is qualified in working with ante- and post-natal women, is a member of REPs, and has appropriate insurance.