Expecting a bundle of joy and a little confused by various (often contradictory) theories about exercise during pregnancy? Vicki Anstey, founder of Barreworks, is here to help with some words of encouragement for mums to be.
At Barreworks we offer ballet inspired fitness classes in a beautiful, purpose-built studio in Richmond. With some modification to account for your changing needs at different stages of your pregnancy, classes are entirely suitable (and highly recommended!) so long as you have no pre-existing conditions or contra-indications to exercise as advised by your GP or care-giver. You can read feedback from mums and mums to be here.
With your GP’s approval, there is no reason why you shouldn’t exercise all the way through your pregnancy whenever you feel up to it. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why you should and many of our clients have taken classes right up until the day before labour starts.
The benefits of regular exercise during pregnancy include:
- Preparation for pregnancy and labour (labour is strenuous, you need to get fit for it!)
- Combatting morning sickness
- Leaner, lighter, healthier babies (which often means a quicker labour too)
- A faster return to your pre-pregnancy weight
- Increase in self-confidence and positivity
- Time for you to relax, unwind, de-stress and connect with your body
Specific benefits of Barreworks classes during pregnancy:
- Increasing your core strength will help your body cater to and support your growing baby
- Working on your balance and posture will help you with your increasing bump
- Achieving and/or maintaining good strength in all parts of your body will allow you to perform functional, daily movements with ease (getting out of the bath, up for the sofa, squatting down to pick something up…)
- Engaging and strengthening abdominals to help you feel prepared for labour
- Improving stamina and cardio-vascular fitness to equip you for birth and the hard work that follows!
- Your pelvic floor muscles will benefit helping management and prevention of incontinence
A three step plan to working out during pregnancy:
- Check with your GP. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise class during pregnancy, to ask for advice and to put your mind at rest. If you have been exercising prior to pregnancy, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to continue, but we don’t advise taking up a brand new (and challenging) fitness regime after around 20 weeks.
- Tell the instructor. Flag to your fitness instructor that you are pregnant and let them know how far along you are, so they can suggest tweaks to the workout if required.
- Listen to your body. If a movement feels uncomfortable or over strenuous, stop. You know your body best and it’s important to respect its needs. Remember to stay well hydrated, your baby cannot monitor its own temperature, so if you over-heat, the baby will too.
At Barreworks, we take every individual’s needs into account and you will be fully supervised during every class you take. We don’t run dedicated pre and ante-natal classes because we find that most clients enjoy being able to take a ‘regular‘ Barreworks class with other clients, to remain challenged and reminded of the fact that being pregnant does not need to limit your exercise regime.
Instead, we do a full screening before you begin taking classes and make minor modifications, where required as you progress through your pregnancy and/or if you encounter any limitations to your movement. Instructors are fully trained in pre and ante-natal exercise. We also provide support materials for you to take home so that you feel well-informed about what your body is able to do at each stage of the pregnancy.
Our classes are held in a supportive, fun and challenging environment and our clients leave each session feeling empowered, strong and proud of what they have achieved! For more information about the benefits of barre workouts or to book a class today, visit www.barreworks.co.uk.