Exercising during pregnancy is often a contentious issue, and it’s always something that should be approached with caution – do make sure you contact your GP or health advisor before starting any new regimes. Expectant mothers are often bombarded with contradictory theories about exercise throughout their pregnancy, being made to feel guilty for doing ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ by opposing sources. Vicki Anstey, founder of ballet inspired fitness classes Barreworks, says the answer is simple – stay active but listen to your body because you know it best!

Vicki explains: “Most women will benefit hugely from exercising throughout their pregnancy, whenever they feel up to it. In fact, many of our clients have taken classes right up until the day before labour begins! However, it’s of course important to listen to your body and modify workouts for your changing needs if necessary. Barreworks classes at our beautiful studio in Richmond, are entirely suitable as long as you have the go ahead from your GP.”

How can exercise support you during pregnancy?

  • Preparation for pregnancy and labour
  • Combatting morning sickness
  • Leaner, lighter, healthier babies
  • A faster return to your pre-pregnancy weight
  • Increase in self-confidence and positivity
  • Time for you to relax, unwind, de-stress and connect with your body

How can Barreworks specifically support you during pregnancy?

  • Increasing your core strength will help your body cater to and support your growing baby
  • Working on your balance and posture will help you with your increasing bump
  • Achieving and/or maintaining good strength in all parts of your body will allow you to perform functional, daily movements with ease
  • Engaging and strengthening abdominals to help you feel prepared for labour
  • Improving stamina and cardio-vascular fitness to equip you for birth and the hard work that follows!
  • Your pelvic floor muscles will benefit helping management and prevention of incontinence

How should I prepare to workout during pregnancy?

  • Check with your GP. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise class during pregnancy, to ask for advice and to put your mind at rest. If you have been exercising prior to pregnancy, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to continue, but we wouldn’t advise any clients to start a brand new fitness regime after around 20 weeks.
  • Tell the instructor. Flag to your fitness instructor as soon as you know that you are pregnant and let them know how far along you are, so they can suggest tweaks to the workout if required. A good instructor will be discrete and supportive at this exciting time in your life, adapting to your changing needs.
  • Listen to your body. If a movement feels uncomfortable or over strenuous, stop. You know your body best and it’s important to respect its needs. Remember to stay well hydrated, your baby cannot monitor its own temperature, so if you over-heat, the baby will too.

Vicki adds: “We don’t run dedicated pre and ante-natal classes because we find that most clients enjoy being able to take a ‘regular‘ Barreworks class with other clients, to remain challenged and reminded of the fact that being pregnant does not need to limit your exercise regime. We will always take every individual’s needs into account, making minor modifications if required. We’re proud that our classes are held in a supportive, fun and challenging environment and clients leave feeling empowered and proud of what they have achieved!”

For more information about the benefits of barre workouts or to book a class today, visit www.barreworks.co.uk.

Twitter: @bodyofadancer