Following on from Part I of this post which looks at fitness wear during pregnancy and what classes you might want to try, Part II looks at Yoga, Recovery or Treatments for tired limbs, and Travel
By far and away the best pregnancy yoga teachers I came across can all be found working at various Triyoga locations as well as a couple of other locations: Lolly Stirk, Erika Tourell and Kate Comer. Each teacher has a slightly different approach, and each has a wealth of experience and wisdom to offer. Every single class was infused with so much warmth, encouragement and kindness I frequently find myself wishing I could still attend!
Lolly also runs a Hypnobirthing workshop which I can’t recommend highly enough
If you’re struggling to make class timings, Tara Lee has some great DVDs you can follow at home and Movement For Modern Life has a wealth of downloadable classes via their website or App with a subscription
Recovery: Most of those post-workout aches or niggles are exacerbated in pregnancy, so recovery time becomes even more important. It may be enough to simply take a few more rest days, but if you can, I’d advocate trying one of the following to ease sore muscles and joints, especially in the third trimester
Massage – Urban Massage will send a qualified pregnancy masseuse to your house: the ultimate luxury
Reflexology – Maria Pecoff. Maria is just one of those people you want to be your friend. She’s kind, warm and full of useful information plus you’ll have the best nights sleep after a session with her so bank these while you can!
Acupuncture – I’d never tried acupuncture prior to my third trimester, but I’m a complete convert. We tend to carry a lot of tension (physical and emotional) in the shoulders anyway, but this increases during pregnancy thanks to the redistribution of weight towards the front of the body. I saw Maria Christofi at Triyoga but there are a number of good practitioners out there, often associated with wellness studios or clinics. Some the ones that have been recommended to me for Acupuncture are: The Life Centre, Octopus Clinic, and The Light Centre
Osteopathy – The Verney-Carron Health Practice. I only wish I’d found this place while I was pregnant, but I’ve been for postnatal treatments and I’m not looking back
Travel: Holidays when you’re pregnant can be incredible (relax while you can!) but they can be a little stressful if you’re used to being active. Sitting on a beach can start to get a little uncomfortable especially as your body temperature goes up, but equally some more active holidays don’t feel safe anymore. I know people that have, but I chose not to ski during my pregnancy and I opted not to swim in the sea during the first trimester although the research around the risks involved are not conclusive.
I love to travel though and was keenly aware that I wanted to make the most of baby-free holidays while I could. Some of the stuff we did do included:
Hiking – everyone knows this is a great workout, even when you’re not pregnant. Pick somewhere that has several shorter routes - so you’re not likely to get stuck if you suddenly feel you’re overdoing it – and where there are other activities if you don’t want to be active every day. We went to Italy’s Cinque Terre which comprises five villages seemingly impossibly perched along the Italian coastline between Pisa and Genoa. They’re connected by over 70 miles of hiking trails ranging from advanced climbs to a gentle stroll and each one seems more beautiful than the next. Plus the food is phenomenal – you can breakfast in one and stroll on to lunch at the next….just don’t try to find out whether the cheese on offer is pasteurized!
It sounds obvious but city breaks – everyone knows the best way to explore a city is on foot. When you’re on holiday you’re not usually in a hurry to get places or trying to travel at rush hour. We went to Florence, which I don’t know at all, and New York, where I used to live. In both places, rambling around visiting old haunts and discovering new ones, kept me active without being too much of a strain.
When it gets to the point where you don’t feel comfortable travelling overseas anymore, UK breaks with walking routes are a lovely option. We did a weekend stomping about in the New Forest, but I’ve had clients rate Cornwall and the Sussex Coast and I’m sure there are countless others.
Retreat Yourself – I didn’t try pregnancy retreats myself, but these guys come highly recommended by clients and friends. Weekends include country walks, Pregnancy Yoga and guided discussions about pregnancy and motherhood.
I hope these thoughts will be a useful resource for women looking to keep fit during pregnancy and if there’s anything not on here that you’d like to know about, drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer. Good luck, you’re all doing brilliantly! X