Baby Steps to fitness

Between nausea, food aversions, and total exhaustion, exercise can feel like the absolute last thing you want to do when you’re pregnant. But as long as both mum-to- be and bub are healthy, you can aim for 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate physical activity each week. We spoke to local wellness providers who specialise in pre- and post-baby exercise to learn more.

young mother walking with baby carriage parkNot only is exercise ok during pregnancy, but staying active supports the health of both you and your growing baby. “The benefits of exercising during pregnancy are enormous,” says Victoria Harrison, a pregnancy and postpartum exercise specialist and owner of Stronger You With Victoria. “It’s been linked to lower risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, fewer birthing complications, reduced back and pelvic pain, and can even improve your mental wellbeing.”

Exercising throughout your pregnancy may also help you get ready for the next stage, says Alice Zikou, studio owner of Fluidform Rozelle. “Connecting with the breath helps prepare for labour and birth both physically and mentally by reducing stress and enabling relaxation,” she says.

What’s more, remaining physically active while pregnant may help you have a quicker recovery, plus make it easier to start exercising again after you’ve given birth — which many new mums can do gradually after the 6-week postnatal health check, according to the Department of Health and Aged Care.

With several local wellness providers focusing on women’s health, continuing a fitness routine while pregnant or easing back into exercise after birth, doesn’t have to be difficult.

DURING PREGNANCY

1. Take a class at Fluidform Pilates Rozelle.
With the exception of Jumpboard, all classes at this bright and sunny Rozelle studio are prenatal-safe.yoga mat

2. Connect with your breath.
Victoria recommends connection breaths to relax and bond with your baby. In a comfortable seated position, place one hand on your belly and the other on your heart. Take slow, deep breaths. In through your nose, feeling your belly rise. Hold your breath for a moment, then exhale through your mouth. As you breathe, focus on connecting with your abdominal muscles.

3. Stretch it out at prenatal yoga.
You’ll leave the Saturday morning Prenatal class at Soul Agenda Yoga feeling strong and blissfully relaxed.

4. Book a massage.
Ease sore muscles after a workout and de-stress with a 60- or 90-minute prenatal massage at Nature’s Energy Day Spa & Bathhouse. During pregnancy, regular massage may help relieve joint pain, swelling, and even insomnia, research shows. POSTNATAL

5. Go for a pram walk.
The Bay Run’s 7-kilometre walking track around Iron Cove is flat and perfectly pram-friendly. The foreshore walk from Balmain Wharf to Ballast Point Park in Birchgrove and back is a shorter (but very scenic) 1.6-kilometre option. Now open, the new Rozelle Parklands offers 14 kilometres of walking paths.

6. Get strong with baby in tow.
Stronger You With Victoria offers biweekly Mums & Bubs classes in her Balmain studio that are designed to help women gain strength through slow, controlled exercise.

7. Do your Deadbugs.
This is another simple but effective at-home move new mums can try, Victoria says. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your legs so your knees are directly above your hips, bending your arms so your hands are above your shoulders. Engage your core and lower your right arm and left leg towards the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, lowering your left arm and right leg.

8. Take your little one to a yoga class.
In addition to their range of breathwork and wellness offerings, Beattie Street Health Studio has a Parents and Babes yoga class at 10:30am on Fridays.

strongeryou.au
fluidformpilates.com
soulagenda.com.au
naturesenergy.com.au
beattiestreet.health

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