Pre-Prenatal, Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness with Anna

If you’ve been to Sweat, you’ve probably seen me there — I’m the owner and I’m also 31 weeks pregnant. At least once a day, people ask me how I’ve continued to do the things I do throughout pregnancy. There are a few key things I want to highlight which I believe have made my pregnancy a very active one.

I had a strong, consistent exercise routine prior to pregnancy. According to ACOG, you can usually continue any exercise program you had before pregnancy, provided your doctor sees no risks. Women with higher levels of fitness generally have lower instances of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, shorter labor times, reduced likelihood of C-section, quicker recoveries, and all-around healthier babies. My number one piece of advice for anyone planning a pregnancy is to get on the right track, fitness-wise, before getting pregnant. The first trimester is not the time to start training for a marathon or enroll in a hot, power yoga class. That being said, there are plenty of low-impact exercises you can do, like walking, prenatal yoga, or swimming/water aerobics, that are safe no matter your fitness level (provided your doctor says it’s ok). I’ve modified accordingly as I’ve progressed through my pregnancy. I don’t follow any hard and fast rules; instead, I listen to my body. There are things that no longer feel right, like backbends and deep twists, to name a few. If you’ve seen me in class as a student, you’ve probably noticed I modify almost everything. I’ve altered my fitness goals over the past 31 weeks, which now center around having a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery. Whether or not you’re pregnant, this is a great mindset to take with you. If you’re new to fitness, returning from an injury or a seasoned practitioner, tune into your body and do what feels right. Give yourself time for recovery and know that you don’t have to do every single exercise or posture the teacher cues. You could also try Lily’s myofascial release class on Tuesday or Carol’s slow flow + yoga nidra class on Wednesday evening. That’s what I love about this studio — you can get all facets of a well-rounded fitness routine! I’ve focused on strengthening the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles with a holistic approach. This one is a no-brainer for most women, and is typically the top concern I hear from my prenatal clients. But there’s more than one approach to strengthening the pelvic floor than by just doing kegels (boring!). In my yoga practice, I’ve added lots of lunges, yogi squats, goddess poses and balancing postures — anything that forces me to activate the muscles of the lumbo-pelvic hip complex (aka the core). When you consider the anatomy of the core, the pelvic floor complex plays an integral part. With strength training, I no longer lift heavy; instead, I’ve added in more isometric holds and light, muscular endurance exercises (high rep, low weight). Of course, I spend a lot of time stretching what feels tight, especially the piriformis and hamstrings, but I don’t neglect strengthening those muscles either. I still do upper body strength training, as well as 30-45 minutes of cardio on my Peloton five days a week! Bonus Tip – I drink lots and lots of water and make fruits & veggies a part of every meal! This one is no-brainer. Whether you’re pregnant or not, you should be drinking enough water that your urine is clear to light yellow. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. If you know you’re coming to a hot class at Sweat, start hydrating early in the day to preemptively replenish lost fluids. Fruits and veggies are a great way to get more water as well. Do I sometimes eat Chic-Fil-A though? Yes, of course. It’s about balance 🙂 I hope these tips are helpful, no matter where you’re at in your fitness journey! You can view my schedule on my instructor profile and my teaching schedule on our instructor page! I also offer prenatal yoga, personal training and private yoga. I love giving women the tools to become more confident in their fitness journeys so they can lead happier, healthier and fulfilling lives. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! Slide into my DM’s on IG @anna_mooreofthis

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