I have ridden horses my whole life and one of the hardest things about being pregnant was not being able to ride. I toyed with the idea of riding regardless, no one would know as the baby wasn't showing, but I knew I would feel terrible if I did fall off and something happened to the baby and accepted the fact that I wouldn't be able to ride for quite some time.
Riding was not just exercise for me, but also my way to unwind mentally, so I looked into other forms of exercise that I could do whilst pregnant and here are my top three:
I already practiced yoga and continued to go to my usual weekly class. I told my instructor I was pregnant as there are certain moves that aren't recommended in pregnancy, so the routine has to be adapted slightly. Also be mindful that hormones are released in pregnancy which make you more bendy than usual, so be careful not to overextend!
A gentle exercise that you can take at your own pace, but helps to maintain aerobic fitness by pushing up your heart-rate. It is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of walking, five times a week to maintain fitness levels. Whilst I was working I would take a walk around the local park in my lunch hour, this really helped as sitting at a desk for long periods made my lower back start to ache.
Normally I am not a lover of swimming, but as I got bigger I really enjoyed the support of the water helping to take the weight of the baby. I had the feeling that the baby really enjoyed the sensation as well. I tried to swim once a week and found it was a great way to get an all over work out.
I found this combination of exercises really worked for me as it maintained my fitness and helped to keep me sane. it also helped to strengthen my core muscles and pelvic floor. Many people work their pelvic floor after birth, but I was advised by a chiropractor who specialises in pregnancy that it is equally as important to work on the pelvic floor and core muscles whilst pregnant. This helps with the birth and also to promote a quicker recovery. I can certainly advocate this, as after three children I can still sneeze with no accidents!
Share below what exercise you enjoy(ed) doing most whilst pregnant and why.