Looking to keep fit during pregnancy or get back into shape after giving birth? Getting active along with other mamas has never been easier with this outdoor group fitness class.
We all know how important exercise is for our health. And, pregnancy and post-pregnancy are no different; in fact, the benefits of exercise are seemingly endless for expectant and new mums – from helping to prepare for pregnancy, childbirth and the physical changes that follow to increased energy levels, mood boosts and better sleep.
And, while new mums and mums-to-be will likely have to modify their pre-pregnancy exercise regimes to accommodate growing bumps, and the physical changes from pregnancy and birth, it’s just as crucial for them to keep active during pregnancy and motherhood, according to Jantien Kroese-van den Berg of Mom in Balance Singapore. The fitness company offers island-wide outdoor workouts for pregnant women, new mums and any women who want to get in shape in a supportive and social environment.
Having trained more than 45,000 members worldwide in the past decade, Mom in Balance knows a thing or two about working with pre- and post-natal clients. In fact, the workouts are designed in conjunction with gynaecologists and pelvic floor specialists to ensure women are working out responsibly at every stage of their pre- or post-natal journeys, and beyond.
The Mom in Balance Pregnant workout is suitable for all fitness levels and aims to keep participants fit and energetic throughout their pregnancies. Tailored specifically for expectant mums, the total-body workouts combine strength training, cardio and relaxation.
“The flow is fun, challenging and never boring,” says Jantien of the low- and high-impact exercise programme. “Time flies, even though it’s a 60-minute workout!”
“Another important aspect to consider as your pregnancy progresses is the fact that your pelvic floor muscles are enduring extra pressure,” says Jantien. “These muscles support your urinary channel, bladder and womb, and will absorb all the extra pressure on your underbelly during physical pressure. If you start training your pelvic floor muscles before and after delivery, you’re likely to have fewer complications with incontinence. That’s why we educate women on how to train their pelvic floor muscles and why it’s important.”
“Many women don’t understand how important core strength is to their bodies, especially after having kids,” says Jantien. “It’s so important to start moving again soon after delivery. Motherhood is a workout in itself – carrying prams, groceries and babies, and awkward breastfeeding positions for hours – so it’s vital to get your core strength back, and build up your arm and leg muscles.” She adds, “However, the first six weeks should be very moderate – only walking and pelvic floor exercises are advised.”
The “Back in Shape” programme for postnatal mums can be done from six to eight weeks postpartum, or after exercise has been cleared by a doctor.
“Not only is moving good for you as a new mum but it’s also a great way to get out of the house and meet other mums; sharing the experience with them and knowing you have peers who are taking ‘me-time’ seriously,” says Jantien. “A good mum is a happy mum. De-attaching is sometimes very helpful, and that’s why we encourage working mums to join us for evening or weekend sessions.”
“Whenever the girls are ready and fully recovered from c-sections or natural births, around four to six months postpartum, they can move to our bootcamp class. Here, we stimulate healthy and fit mums so they can combine work with family, and be sociable with friends but still cope with less sleep. A strong and healthy body really gives you the energy to be at your best,” says Jantien.
Hear from Swedish expat, Rebecka Strandlund, who has been training with Mom in Balance for the past year:
“I started training with Mom in Balance about a year ago when I was 15 weeks pregnant. Since I had a rough first trimester with a lot of morning sickness, I felt very isolated and was craving both exercise and social interaction with other women in the same situation. As a first-time mum I felt a little unsure of what kinds of exercise I was allowed to do, so I really wanted some help from a professional. Then, I saw that many women in the expat Facebook groups had recommended Mom in Balance for pregnancy workouts, and decided to give it a go.
Since day one, Mom in Balance made me sweat, laugh and squat! The trainers are extremely professional, and the workouts are a perfect balance between strength and cardio – and we go for coffee afterwards! I worked out three to four days a week with Mom in Balance from 15 weeks until the day before my baby was born at 38 weeks. My goal was to feel great during the whole pregnancy and I really did. As soon as my OB cleared me for exercise at six weeks postpartum, I joined Mom in Balance’s Back in Shape classes and had great help from the trainers to make sure I was building my strength back the right way. I’m so happy that I joined them a year ago, and I still enjoy both the diverse workouts and the social coffee moments!”
Hear from Filipino expat and mum, Marie-Joy, who trains with Mom in Balance regularly:
“Since training with Mom in Balance, I’ve felt much better not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. I used to be a homebound mom, just going out if I had to run an errand or do something with my husband. But, after joining the Mom in Balance workout, it all changed. I’ve become an active person, and I’ve met new friends with whom I share not only the sweaty fat-burning sessions but also the laughter and mommy talks at the after-workout coffees.
Above all, I’m feeling great with myself again – losing weight, getting stronger and healthier, and feeling more confident and positive. I’ll surely continue burning fat and burning the negativity inside me!”
Mom in Balance classes are held at Botanic Gardens Bukit Timah Gate, Botanic Gardens Tanglin Gate, East Coast Park, Fort Canning Park, Telok Kurau Park and West Coast Park.
For more details, visit mominbalance.com/singapore. EL readers can use the promo code “SGEXPAT” to get a free trial class!
Like this? See our health & fitness section