By Ashlea Harvey
Ashlea has kept up a regular light exercise routine through her pregnancy, looking fit and toned in her ¾ sleeve drape top and printed leggings.
It is my view that a healthy pregnancy, means a happy baby. I have been keeping fit and active throughout my pregnancy, doing a light exercise routine three to four times a week. It seems to be working because I am feeling great and looking toned. I am very sure to listen to my body and if I feel a tweak or if something doesn’t feel comfortable, I don’t push it. I generally start with a fast 10-minute walk on the treadmill, and then head to the floor for some functional training. I do 20-second workouts with 10-second breaks in between for a total of 4 minutes, and then have a rest. I generally do 4 of these segments, totaling almost 30 minutes with rests in between. I stay away from any exercise that strains my tummy muscles, so my routine consists of anything from doing a plank on a Pilates ball, to ladies push-ups, to squats and lunges. I also do prenatal yoga once a week and enjoy the occasional swim. When I was pregnant with Hannah, I followed a similar routine and I had the most pleasant pregnancy all the way through. Getting back into shape after having her was hard work, but not nearly as hard as it would have been if I had used pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy (which is tempting).
Exercise will help with water retention, energy, aches and pains, and a good stretch will prepare you for natural birth. The thing to remember is that you don’t actually need to go to a gym to stay fit. If you peeped over my garden wall, you may see me doing a little routine of squats and lunges across the lawn while Hannah runs around at my feet. Carefully picking Hannah up is a work out in itself and she loves to be included, even lying down beside me and doing her version of push-ups.
With a little effort now, I know that I am saving myself a mountain of hard work later, at a time when I will have a little newborn to consider, and will probably be sleep deprived and exhausted!