Knocked up. Bun in the oven. Preggo. Expecting. Up the duff.
Whatever you call it, we can all agree pregnancy is a sacred time for us women. Being able to grow a baby in our bellies is pretty damn amazing. So it's of the upmost importance that we look after and nurture our bodies during this special time. Keeping fit during pregnancy is crucial to not only maintaining a healthy weight for yourself and your bub (and to help you drop those post baby kilos afterward) but to also prepare our bodies for the joys of childbirth.
There are plenty of places to exercise in Auckland that cater for pregnant women. Whether you're all about working out or...not really about working out at all, there's something on this list to suit most abilities. But as with most things pregnancy-related—it is important to check with a healthcare professional first.
So mamas, without further ado, here's a list of the best places to work out while you’re up the duff!
Swimming is said to be one of the safest forms of exercise while pregnant. It’s low impact and gentle on your rapidly expanding body and counteracts the back strain you get from carrying that big ol’ belly around. Plus the buoyancy of the water makes you feel weightless. Because let’s face it, being pregnant can make you feel like a whale at the best of times. Auckland has so many great swimming spots. It’s a little cold to attempt a beach swim, so while we’re still on the wintery side you might want to check out these indoor swimming pools.
Peak Pilates pregnancy classes
Peak Pilates offers one-on-one tailoredprogramss with a qualified instructor. You can start at any stage of your pregnancy and continue with the classes right up until your due date, ever after birth, to help strengthen, tone and drop that pregnancy weight gain. Pilates is great to help build core strength, while also helping to strengthen your back and pelvic floor muscles. Pilates also teaches you breathing and relaxation techniques, all of which can help during labour.
Auckland Pregnancy Yoga
Auckland Pregnancy Yoga is run by Gabriel Shannon—a mother of four who has sworn by yoga to get her through each childbirth. Gabriel says, “Yoga helps with the physical aspects of pregnancy and giving birth by creating a more open pelvis, more space for the baby, and alleviates some of the discomfort for the mother. Yoga also brings a calmness of mind and an awareness of breath that are invaluable tools for labour.” Gabriel offers 5-week courses, casual classes and even one-on-one lessons, however you must be out of the first trimester (12 week mark) to begin.
The gym is a great place to work out, and just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stop going, you’ll just need to take a gentler pace. It has everything you need to work out safely. We’re talkin’ trained, medical professionals, cold fans (because you don’t want to overheat your little bun in the oven) water on tap, seats and great company. Les Mills offers a heap of great classes suitable for you mums-to-be, but just make sure to stay away from anything that's gonna be too strenuous on your abdomen.
Spin classes are another great way to keep up the exercise while pregnant. You can break a sweat without putting too much pressure on your joints (and without losing balance, as the bikes are stationary). Like with any exercise while pregnant, it’s important to check with your GP or midwife to give you the go ahead first, but at Westward cycle they are happy to tailor their routines to make sure you and your precious bump are exercising in the safest way possible.
Not a fan of actually “working out”? Then walking might just be your best bet. Getting some fresh air and Vitamin D is so good for your soul (and your cardiovascular system) and Auckland has so many amazing hikes and trails to stroll along at your own pace. And when D Day arrives, it’s been said that walking can help to move those contractions along. But the best part? It doesn’t require any equipment, and it’s 100% free.
Massey Park pool
Massey Park pool offers aqua classes and aqua aerobics classes, specifically catered for pregnant women. These classes are lower impact, using lighter weights (or no weights at all in the aqua aerobics classes) with a strong focus on breathing. Most of the sessions are done in chest-deep water, which means that a pregnant woman will only experience 20-30% of her body weight—a good way to relieve stress put on joints and increase the freedom of movement, while the preggy aqua classes focus on lower abdominal stability and pelvic floor exercise. So even if you’re not the biggest fitness fan, these aqua classes might just be the perfect way to meet in the middle.
Image Credit: What To Expect When You're Expecting