For any women currently juggling pregnancy and fitness, we applaud you.
It’s hard enough getting yourself to the gym when it’s just one of you, let alone having to work out for two. And that’s not to mention the worries of pushing yourself too hard or doing exercises that may do more harm than good.
Eva Longoria is no stranger to the struggles of pregnancy workout. Currently seven months pregnant with her first child, the actress has posted regularly to social media to share just how hard working out whilst expecting can be.
The star captioned her Snapchat clips with a simple ‘Omg everything is so hard!’.
Wondering how she’s been getting her sweat on?
Working with trainer Salvador Garayzar, she’s been regularly using an exercise ball, hand weights, a bench and a medicine ball to stay fit, healthy and strong. If you’re still wondering what exercises are best to do whilst pregnant—it’s a minefield of misinformation—let us help.
Women’s Health UK spoke to PT and exercise expert Lee Mullins to find out.
“Carrying a baby and keeping fit is a huge responsibility, as your body is going through such an incredible process.”
“Various studies have shown that women who exercise throughout pregnancy experience easier births, a lower risk of postnatal depression, better sleep, higher energy levels and less lower back pain. The benefits of training during pregnancy are vast – but it has to be safe.”
“My four key tips to help you keep moving in a way that’s safe for both you and your baby are:”
1. TAKE IT EASY
“Nearly all of the pregnant women I train want to push themselves harder than necessary. I gently remind them that pregnancy is about ensuring you and your baby are safe; it’s not about keeping your weight down and fat off. Keep moving, sure, but make sure you do it safely.”
2. AVOID HIGH IMPACT
“Avoid situations that pose any risk or impact to the body – so leave that mountain bike in the garage for now.”
3. FOCUS ON YOUR POSTURE AND BACK
“Instead, book in some time with a qualified personal trainer who can show you exercises to help improve your posture and ensure your lower back stays strong and safe throughout your pregnancy. Try brisk walks through the park or some gentle exercise on the elliptical machine. Yoga is incredible through all stages of pregnancy, and a good yoga instructor will help you really connect with your body. ”
4. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
“Above all, listen to your body. You might be used to following a strict exercise programme, but if you’re not feeling up to it, don’t do it! Be kind to yourself, rest, move as much as you can and do as much as feels comfortable. There is plenty of time to get in shape after you have given birth. For now, focusing on staying smart and safe means you are doing everything you can to give you and your baby a beautiful birth.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health UK
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