Nell has continued exercising throughout her pregnancy – only stopping jogging at 7 months. Here is what she says about her current exercise routine in the final months of her pregnancy:
“I’m not regimented but I make sure I get an hour at the gym on most days. I now do only 15 to 30 minutes of cardio followed usually by walking lunges carrying weights (these can be done without weights if preferred), wide leg squats (everything is with a wide stance now as my belly gets in the way – I tend to look like a sumo wrestler when I pick things up from the floor!), lateral pull-downs, bent-over rows, bent-over flies, tricep dips, bicep curls and a few basic stretches.
Every few days I try to do power-walking outside, doing hill repeats. It’s so much more enjoyable to do this outside and easier to squeeze into my day. This is great exercise to work your glutes as well. Kegel exercise, which helps to strengthen the pelvic floor, is one of the most important for all women to do, especially when pregnant and after childbirth.
I also swim occasionally and my belly is making me more buoyant.”
While this seems a little extreme, Nell was extremely fit prior to falling pregnant and is taking advice from her doctor and says:
“I am 39, perfectly healthy and haven’t had any pregnancy complications, so my doctors say there is just no reason to ‘put my feet up’, even now. But, aside from loving exercise, I also know I am doing what is best for my baby and preparing my body for labour and tending to a newborn.”
She does sound a little judgey at times with comments like:
“NHS guidelines advise half an hour a day of a ‘moderately intensive activity’ such as swimming or brisk walking. To be honest, I get a 30-minute brisk walk on the school run, which should be a bare minimum.”
I do agree with her that it is good to exercise while pregnant – especially since it usually helps to relieve stress and may help to keep the amount of weight gained in check. But we definitely shouldn’t hold Nell up as the standard to keep up with – she is super fit and at the extreme end of exercising during pregnancy. And remember, have a chat to your doctor or obstetrician before beginning any exercise during pregnancy.