Now I would be the first person to admit that I am SUPER DUPER LAZY about exercise.
Although I was pretty fit throughout secondary school and junior college (having joined tennis first and then actually enjoyed running later) and I come from a family of boys who are pretty disciplined about working out, I really let go of staying fit during University and once I started working, my excerise regimen was basically over.
The only exercise I was okay with doing in the first five months of being pregnant were brisk-walking and just doing some light housework. My pregnancy wasn’t very stable and so in return for taking me off bed rest my gynae told me that I needed to stay off anything strenuous.
I was more than happy to oblige – Baby Sophie’s wellbeing was my number one priority and honestly, doing no exercise was no loss to me =x
But once Sophie was stable around the middle of my second trimester, wow, those body aches came fast and furious.
There would be a terrible crick in the middle of my back in the middle of the night that would leave me howling for my husband to put pressure on. Poor K had quite a lot of interrupted sleep which he graciously put down to training for the baby once she’s out, but obviously it couldn’t stay that way.
I was getting water retention, my rings wouldn’t come off some days and generally I felt my energy levels dip and I became really restless, just lying in bed all day some days because my body was so uncomfortable.
I would read up online about those super enthusiastic pregnant mums who turn up for aqua aerobics, yoga, etc or, heaven forbid, were still RUNNING during their last trimester and feel awful about myself – obviously feeling awful about myself also included, ahem, doing nothing about it at all. I mean, I would rather die than buy a maternity swim suit to go for aqua aerobics in a .. public pool. And I would have to shower both before and after – sorry, but I’m never stepping into a public swimming complex after the nightmare PE swim sessions during my junior college days. Dirty toilets, dirty pool, the overwhelming smell of chlorine.
So I think it was pretty much a godsend when I got an e-mail from Joey at Pilates Fitness asking me if I would like to try out their Pre-natal Pilates classes for mummies to be.
In return for trying it out for three months, I would blog, honestly, of course, about my experience, and so after going for about 1.5 months of sessions, here’s how it’s been for me so far !
Here were my reservations before deciding to go:
- I’m really shy about gym classes and stuff because I feel self-conscious about my body (even more so when I’m pregnant) and I’m scared of messing up the exercises and getting singled out.
- I really needed someone to send me to classes because I’ve become super neurotic about my driving – absent mindedness has been a big side effect of this pregnancy for me and I’ve found myself driving along the ECP when I was just supposed to be picking my husband up from Marine Parade 10 minutes away. -_-
- I have no gym clothes or equipment and I don’t really want to have to buy a new set of stretchy clothes or shoes which I will exclusively wear for Pilates.
- Obviously, I was in doubt about whether my back aches would really be relieved.
Here’s how it went down:
Firstly, I was pretty much delighted that Pilates Fitness’ Pre Natal Pilates is a couple thing – meaning K was invited, no – strongly encouraged – to take part. It really was super encouraging to have him there making as much of a blur fool of himself as I was and also there to assure me / help me with shifting the equipment. Don’t underestimate the importance of having your partner’s support during your pregnancy – we now approach every class with a “We’re Doing This Together” attitude and it made it really fun 🙂
Of course, 2 birds killed with one stone – K was coming with me, K would also ferry me to and fro classes 🙂 Pilates Fitness is just further down from Vivocity and very accessible by car. I did see a bus stop too but I’m not sure how many buses go there.
Next – ALL YOU NEED ARE – comfortable leggings / workout pants, a comfortable t-shirt / top, and .. just socks !
For those of you who are going – since when does Pilates have machines? Yup, I had the same reaction. The only Pilates I’d ever heard of before this was the stretching on a yoga mat kind my mum would drag me to. Pilates Fitness, however, does Reformer Pilates using weights and combining breathing techniques with the right postures to give your body a good and thorough workout.
I was worried at first about whether I would be putting a strain on myself or not be able to catch up but don’t worry, the instructor, Erlinda is SUPER patient, helpful, and clear with her instructions and will keep adjusting your weight and routines according to your personal capacity – it’s small class of 6-8 at most so she’s always around to check our backs, ask us how we are feeling, and encourage us to press on.
Clear instructions are REALLY important for me because I’ve gotten injured during Yoga before when the instructor was not clear about postures and it was a nasty experience. Erlinda is really specific – “you can feel the rounding of your back” / “necks long and high” and so easy to follow.
None of that intimidating I-am-fitter-than-you thing you see happening at bigger gyms full of health nuts, in other words.
Each session involves the actual reformer excersises on the machine, as well as breathing exercises and lots of stretching in between to relieve any tension. I was really shocked at how good I felt after just the first session – all the tension in my back melted and I slept like a baby that night and had lots of energy the next day ! And it didn’t even feel super strenuous, just like awesome stretching.
K was also raving about it – how the shell position stretches helped him get a lot of relief from a persistent ache he has at the small of his back from spending too much time in front of a computer.
Of course, the routine is tougher for the Daddies – Erlinda adjusts their “bars” and “weights” accordingly to give them more of a workout.
After each session, we’re always suffused with this feeling of well-being – I think it’s got something to do with all the endorphins released during the exercise. Plus, it’s fun and kind of cool to see other young mums to be and their husbands laughing together and you know, there’s this palpable air of excitement and contentment in the air as we all periodically rub our bellies and think of the babies inside 🙂
Post workout glow :
This is the first sponsored post I’m doing and I have made sure that I am 100 per cent honest about my experience. Although I’ve had a good experience from the first session, I decided only to blog about it after at least a month of lessons because I want to make sure that it’s not a one-off thing and really benefits me in the long run.
Right now, in my 30th week, I have way less body aches and pains than I hear other mummies-to-be describe on forums. One of the touted benefits of doing Pre Natal Pilates is an easier labour and more muscles to push, but obviously I won’t know if that’s the case until I actually give birth 🙂 But I definitely think that I am feeling a lot less clumsy and less waddly than most 30-week mums I’ve spoken to.
So… if someone as lazy and can’t be arsed like me can be bothered, all mummies to be should make time for exercise too ! Not necessarily Pilates, but whatever rocks your boat – I’m definitely going to start exercising much earlier for future pregnancies after seeing the good it has done me, K and of course, Baby Sophie.
To find out more about Pilates Fitness’ Pre-natal Pilates classes, you can go to their website here.
They have trial classes for couples from $75, I think – during my class I met a few other couples who went for one session and loved it so much they signed up straightaway.
Going for my next session tomorrow and can’t wait ! If you guys have any questions about my experience please drop me a comment here, or e-mail me / ask.fm me
Will also be working on my post about maternity clothes and what to buy – ok I know it’s months over due but .. it will happen ! We’re just done with the nursery and buying all of Baby S’s basic necessities so I’ll post about a nursery tour soon too 🙂 I know lots of first time mums to be have no idea what brands to buy / or just WHAT to buy and I’ll be putting up a checklist as well as sharing the results of my research here.