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Fitness 101: Safe exercises to do during pregnancy

 

If you’re short on time for exercise, even fitting in ten minutes here and there is worth doing. But prenatal specific classes will keep you to a regular schedule and have the added benefit of being a great place to meet other mums-to-be. Sounds like an extra incentive to get yourself and your bump moving! Here are four safe ways to exercise that are tough on flab and easy on your joints and back muscles.

Prenatal Yoga Classes
Prenatal yoga classes are very “in” and for good reason – they tone muscles, increase stamina and teach vital breathing techniques for pain and stress management down the line and all with little impact on joints.

COMO Shambhala Urban Escape has wonderfully supportive small-group pre-natal classes that are designed for each trimester. Samantha’s classes tend to be more physical – you get to try out the adventurous looking “yoga ropes” – while Sarah’s concentrate more on Kegel exercises, breathing and emotional reassurance during yoga moves that prepare you physically and emotionally for childbirth. Both classes are good, active workouts, however, and designed to complement each other.

Afterwards, why not have a coffee and compare bumps with other mums-to-be?
COMO Shambhala Urban Escape Singapore, #06-05 Forum, Orchard Rd
(6304 3552; www.singapore.comoshambhala.bz)

 

Prenatal Pilates
Prenatal pilates is a great strengthening and toning workout that focuses on good posture and the all-important core muscles in the stomach and the pelvic floor – all vital for pregnant women, as good control of these muscles will help you during labour and in recovery.

Proper Technique is key to the effectiveness of Pilates, so its important to understand each exercise, the concept of correct breathing and how to engage your core muscles before you start. Having an alert instructor on hand to make even the slightest corrections to your position as you exercise makes all the difference.

Focus Pilates recommends two one-one-one private classes to get these crucial basics correct before you join one of their small prenatal pilates classes. A mix of mat exercises are combined with work on the reformer – a machine that’s not as scary to use as it looks! – to tone and strengthen muscles while maintaining support for your back as the instructor keeps an eye on your positioning. After a few breaths into an exercise, you get the distinct impression that it’s working; and the next day, your muscles will certainly remind you of the workout.

Focus Pilates
#08-03/04 Tong Building, Orchard Road
(6733 8785;www.focuspilates.com.sg)


Personal Fitness Training

While pregnancy is not the time to go on a strict diet and embark on an all-guns-blazing fitness regime, there’s no reason to let everything go! Working together with a personal fitness instructor you can develop a tailored fitness and nutrition program to ensure you are gaining the right amount of weight in the right areas whilst keeping physically fit, staying toned and increasing stamina.

Body Temple is an all female training gym can personalise a prenatal fitness routine and nutrition programme specific to your lifestyle and needs with the bonus of providing one-on-one support and motivation to see you through. Before you start, you’ll be given a comprehensive initial assessment that incorporates a pre-screening medical questionnaire, postural assessment, movement screening and goal setting.

Exercise sessions last one hour and a dedicated instructor will coach you through a series of warming and stretching moves, core and strengthening exercises, metabolic training and lastly – and this will clinch the deal – you’ll receive a relaxing mini shoulder massage!

Body Temple
Loewen Gardens
(91008714; www.bodytemple.com.sg)

Do:

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Warm up and stretch before and after exercising.

Keep cool while exercising so your core temperature doesn’t become too raised: use damp flannels, drink cold water, avoid exercising outdoors in the midday sun.

Avoid:

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Contact sports and activities where you could easily fall such as cycling, horseback riding, rollerblading.

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Scuba diving.

χBikram or any other hot yoga. The heated room can raise body temperatures to levels that could endanger your baby

Swimming
If you are lucky enough to live in a condo with a pool, take full advantage of this luxury. Swimming is safe to do throughout your pregnancy and especially alluring in the third trimester, when only the anti-gravitational effects of water can make you feel as graceful as you once were on land.

Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout, builds stamina and has the advantage of keeping you cool while exercising – a wonderful attraction in sweaty Singapore.

To ease back muscles that have been strained by trying to compensate for the extra weight of your bump, try breaststroke. It also lengthens the chest muscles and shortens the back muscles, two areas that typically become misaligned in the third trimester as your body and posture adapt to the weight of your pregnant belly.

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