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Pregnancy

Exercising whilst pregnant

I had planned for this blog to be more than ‘just’ a place for posting my photography and video, so in this post I thought I’d share exercise videos that I did whilst I was pregnant.

(Scroll down if you just want to see my favourite YouTube pre-natal exercise videos and not read my preramble).

Tiago’s snap of me exercising a couple of weeks before giving birth. (Yes, that is my dress rolled up – I didn’t bother changing half of the time).

We moved to Liverpool at the end of 2018 and we signed up for the gym not long after. I didn’t like going, but watching Pointless (a TV quiz show) whilst using some equipment made it somewhat tolerable. Fact: I cancelled my membership after they stopped showing it on their TVs.

I enjoyed the classes, but I didn’t like that the ones I wanted to go to were quite late in the evenings and I felt like planning my time around an exercise class wasn’t that productive. I then got pregnant after I stopped going to the gym. I had been looking forward to answering yes in a class whenever they asked if anyone was pregnant, but never mind. Covid would have cut short that experience anyways with the closure of gyms…

When we lived in London I mainly did YouTube exercise videos, as the gyms close to me were expensive/I just felt like I didn’t have time to go to one. At one point I did go to a bootcamp in a park by me, but it would take up most of my day and after meeting Tiago (and making him go with me for a bit) I realised that that wasn’t how I wanted to spend a big chunk of my weekend.

I had planned to get into pre-natal exercise earlier than I eventually did. The intention was there, but the motivation was lacking. In the end it was hip/pelvis pain that made me start, as getting a maternity pillow wasn’t enough. I wanted to just workout at home due to the ease of it.

Stretching a couple of weeks before I gave birth.

Other pregnant people I knew wanted to wait until the pains got bad enough that they got referred for physio, but I didn’t want things to get worse. Surely with physio they would just give you stretches anyways, not some magic pill that would make the pains and aches magically go away? Covid probably put a stop to most face-to-face physio appointments anyways…

Warning: I’m just a regular person sharing what exercise videos I liked whilst I was pregnant. Talk to your doctor/listen to your body about what you can and can’t do. It’s meant to make you feel better, so don’t push yourself too much. If you can’t do the complete video without stopping that’s fine – I also used to get through a lot of water during them too.

In addition, I tried to go for a walk everyday (particularly once lockdown started). The earlier you start exercising in your pregnancy, the easier you’ll (hopefully) find it. As I got more pregnant I wasn’t able to do what I could earlier on, but it wasn’t such a shock to my body as I had been doing these videos for a while. It was funny doing them the first time and thinking ‘I can’t believe I’ll be that pregnant’, but before I knew it I was more pregnant than the teachers in the videos.

I also seem to be forgetting that dancing counts as exercise – here I am dancing the day before I gave birth!

One of the hardest parts of working out at home is just getting yourself onto your mat/into your space where you exercise with the intention to exercise. Having a baby adds another hurdle to getting there, so enjoy one less block whilst you can!

Anyways, here are the YouTube videos that I did the most whilst I was pregnant.


A good one to start with

10 minutes a day is a good start if you really don’t feel up to exercising. I think my morning sickness also made exercising unappealing. I moved to longer videos after feeling like I was just getting into the video, but it was over already.


Morning

In the beginning I’d exercise just once a day – usually just in the morning. Before long though I realised it wasn’t enough and I’d exercise in the evening too.

After doing the one in the previous section for a couple of weeks at least, I moved onto doing this one pretty much every morning (after letting my muscles recover from the first time).

After a while I got bored of doing it everyday, so I started to do it every other day (alternating the next two videos on the second day).

After a while I started to do the 3 videos on a 3 day cycle.

Then after no longer finding it comfortable to sit on a chair and sitting on an exercise ball instead, a friend recommended the video below, and it became a 4 day cycle.


Evening

In the evenings I started off doing the below video (there is a morning yoga routine, which seems the same so I preferred doing different ones).

And then I wanted to try other ones, so I did this one below occasionally instead.

Then I began to alternate them each night, but after a while I knew the routines off by heart so I started to watch TV and do a mix of the two videos from memory. I found myself doing a lot more than if I was doing one of the videos.

I feel like with the videos there should be two versions – 1 for people who have never done the video before/are doing it for the 2nd or 3rd time, and then there should be one for people who don’t need the explanations. Particularly with the pilates one as once I knew it by heart I would carry on and do the routine, occasionally skipping the video forward to where it was useful to be in time.

Also I would just add my favourite stretches that were missing from the video I just did to the end of my practice – and did extra kegels when I thought about it, particularly with squats.

One last video that deserves a mention as I enjoyed it, but then managed to forget about it…

What YouTube exercise videos do you like to do?

Wishing you happy and safe exercising!


Thanks for reading!

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