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Guest blog: Pregnant and keeping fit

Written by Fiona February 11 2011

The fantastic news is that my roving outdoors guest blogger Romy Beard and her partner Wes  are excepting a baby. Romy is now just over 26 weeks’ pregnant and keen to ensure she stays fit for her own benefit and for the baby’s. She writes here about how she’s been keeping fit over the last six months.

I know that keeping fit is a good idea for both me and the baby. I’ve always been pretty active so it would feel very odd not to do any exercise for nine months while I’m pregnant. However, I have listened to my body and the medics – and adjusted my fitness regime so that I do not do any damage to my own body and to avoid becoming too tired.
Here’s what I have been doing to keep fit while pregnant:

Jogging: I ran until I was about 20 weeks when the ice and snow stopped me getting out, and I was also getting quite exhausted from it. I never thought I would be running at all during pregnancy, but I found it very refreshing during the first 12 weeks when I was suffering from a mild but constant nausea. I tried all the usual tricks (eat regularly, eat plain food, ginger tea, etc) but I found that exercise was most effective. As soon as I would start moving, it would go away!

Walking: The same goes for walking. I enjoyed and even when the weather stopped me getting out into the countryside I have continued to enjoy walking in Glasgow’s Queen’s Park . I swear the hills are getting steeper by the week, though!

Swimming: This has never been my favourite sport, and while I could still do other things I would rather do them, but a few lengths here and there after a gym session have been welcoming. My newest style (which I probably haven’t done in years) is backstroke, as it gives my arms and legs the opportunity to move around, while keeping the bump nice and still. I can still swim front crawl faster than some non-pregnant people in the pool (who would have thought?!) but I find the bump is a bit pushed around when I twist to the side to breathe. My back arches and aches a bit too much when I do the breast stroke. Variety is the key here!

Rowing: Surprisingly, this worked well (on the machines in the gym) until about 22-24 weeks when the tilting back and forth just got too much. But before that it was a nice way to warm up everything and work the arms and legs properly.

Cycling: I stopped cycling on the road bike pretty much straight away because the roads around where I live are far from smooth and I just found it too bumpy. But the road bike has been in use on the turbo trainer at home. I have had to raise the front bars a bit, and find myself changing positions more than usual, but it works a treat. The gym bikes have been good too – and I still use the mountain bike (which has a bit more bounce in the tyres) to cycle to the gym.

Body Balance: One of the best forms of exercise during the pregnancy so far! I have been doing this at least once every two weeks. It’s a combination of Yoga, Thai Chi and Pilates. The Thai Chi warms everything up, and the Pilates and Yoga strengthen my back and upper body, and give me the opportunity to stretch out nicely without feeling uncomfortable. I have found it very useful with back pain. As I am nearing the third trimester, I have some days where I feel like everything is too much work (bending down, getting out of the car, etc), but surprisingly when I am doing a “down dog” and stand in a funny position with my head towards the ceiling everything feels completely fine and I don’t even notice the bump.

Romy will be blogging again about her exercise regime as she approaches the third trimester.

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