Jane Wake - voted the UK’s No 1. Fitness Expert by The Independent on Sunday - runs Baby-A-Wake, a specialist exercise programme for mums and mums to be.
She and her team focus on ensuring women gain the maximum benefits from exercise before, during and after pregnancy.
Janes says, 'Research suggests that the right exercise can give you easier pregnancies and healthier babies.
'It also means that you are likely to suffer less from stress and depression, go back to your pre pregnancy weight, get a flatter tummy, feel more energised and feel more confident about yourself.'
Here Jane shares her tips on having a confident and active pregnancy:
- Try to do moderate activities every day. Current guidelines advise 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, however there is evidence to show that 30 – 60 minutes of activity can have a better effect.
- Never exercise to extremes - you should be doing moderate exercise which is where you feel slightly challenged but are still able to comfortably talk. Brisk walking, swimming, and light aerobic exercise are good examples.
- As your baby grows your body will start to be challenged from a more postural perspective. Training postural, sometimes known as ‘core’, muscles during pregnancy therefore can really help to relieve symptoms such as back and hip pain and help you to stay balanced.
- Pelvic floor exercises are essential during pregnancy. Do them every day and you will help to keep your back and spine strong, help to flatten your tummy post birth and also help to alleviate any problems with bladder and bowel control that are common after childbirth.
- Try this exercise to work your pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles. Sit tall and think about drawing your tail bone and pubic bone in together then drawing the pelvic floor muscle up inside you. Relax and repeat as many times as you can.
- Current guidelines advise you to avoid lying on your back in the second and third trimesters. Try to do exercises in an 'on all fours' position, on your hands and knees. Being on all fours is a comfortable position and also believed to help turn your baby into an optimal birthing position - so worth doing especially in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
- Try to stay moving right up to the very end! Research has shown that women who stay active right up to the end of their pregnancy are likely to have easier births and a quicker recovery. You will naturally need to slow down more towards the end, so listen to your body and keep moving but be careful.