A Fitness Pro's Top Workout Tips For Mamas-to-Be

Given that so many Fashion Mamas members are pregnant either for the first time or second round, we've asked our friend, Pilates Platinum founder Heather Dorak, to share some of her best advice for any mamas-to-be who are struggling to maintain a fitness routine. Heather also has a little one on the way herself, so she definitely gets us. Enjoy!

The days when doctors advised you to lay in bed until giving birth are long gone. Most doctors encourage you to keep up with what you are used to doing day to day as long as you can, as it is extremely beneficial both mentally and physically. Exercise can actually help fight fatigue, ensure a better night's sleep, and ease uncomfortable symptoms like constipation, making for a better overall experience for you and your bun in the oven. Plus, a quicker postpartum recovery that helps bounce your body back in no time.

Listed below are my top 8 tips for keeping up with your workout friends while starting your new journey with a little one growing inside!

Pick Something You Enjoy
Why make this more difficult than it needs to be already? If you don’t enjoy it, then you aren’t inclined to do it very often. Find something you enjoy and keep that at the top of the list. If you can be consistent with at least one thing you enjoy your consistency will trickle on into other aspects of keeping yourself moving and active.

Don’t try surfing for the first time
I know, sounds very specific but this is what I mean. Most exercises that are off-limits during pregnancy are ones you would probably have a hard time doing anyway with a belly the size of a basketball. This is not a good time to try surfing or water skiing for the first time. However, everything else you have already been doing, keep at it until it doesn’t feel comfortable anymore.

You Can Keep Jogging
Yes, you can keep jogging! This probably doesn’t mean you are going to keeping jogging off trail or hitting those inclines, but you certainly can keep up on your cardio if jogging is something you enjoy. If you are afraid you may trip and fall, head on into the gym and get jogging on the treadmill or elliptical. As your body expands with your pregnancy, switching to something less impacting like jogging on cement will be nicer on your knees with loose ligaments. 

Jump In A Dance Class
Keep yourself movin’ and shakin’ in a dance class. Dance classes are a great way to keep your soul happy too! It is a great alternative to those nights when you’d go out with your ladies on a Friday night to a nearby dance club. A dance club is probably not the best idea for you now, but a morning or afternoon dance class can fill your soul just as well. Plus you’ll burn some calories and get your heart pumping more than a Friday night.  

Listen To Your Body
At the end of the day you are the only one that knows how your body is feeling - listen to it. Don’t get discouraged and understand this may all be new to you and your body. If you think something doesn’t feel right, ask your favorite resources and your doctor. Because really it could have just been a little gas. 

It truly is one of the best forms of exercise you can do while pregnant. It is low impact, easy to modify and keep your muscles long and lean while you are feeling like a whale. Keeping up on your strength training and heart strength is great for your body, your baby and your postpartum recovery. This is one of the few exercises I know of that pregnant women have kept up with until the day they gave birth. (Yoga is a great one, too!)

Reward Yourself
If you are feeling like the last thing you want to do is exercise today, tie a reward to it that will be healthy for you too. For me a prenatal massage is like heaven on earth. Telling yourself that you get a massage but only after you workout, is enough motivation for me. Find that one thing that will get you to your workout and schedule them both back to back. First you workout then you get your reward!

Try not to hold your breath. You are likely to get dizzy much faster. This is something I have to remind myself a lot. Whether it is while I am working out or feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes something as simple as a deep breath can completely wash away a negative thought or anxiety. 

Heather Dorak is the founder of Pilates Platinum. Stay connected at @heatherdorak @pilatesplatinum.