Exercising While Pregnant: How One Flitfluencer Scaled Down Her Approach

by | Jun 3, 2022 | FitMama

For many women who value their fitness, exercising while pregnant can be a significant stumbling block. Hormonal shifts can make tasks that were once easy suddenly more difficult. Such was the case for fitfluencer and lawyer Angelique van der Linde. “I did not feel like I was glowing, at all,” she says. “I expected it to be a lot easier on my body because I was so fit… having a very fit physique and then losing that – and even the drive to train – was something I had to get used to.”
Angelique felt floored by the way her body had responded to her pregnancy. “I had high hopes, but I was quickly surprised by the lack of energy, how intensely tired I was and how much strength I lost in those first few months,” she says. But during that time she learned a lot of lessons and now she is sharing them so that other #fitmamas can benefit from what she now knows.
READ MORE: These Are The Best Prenatal Vitamins For Soon-To-Be Moms, According To Experts

Lesson #1: Scale Your Workouts

Angelique is a lawyer by trade, and exercise formed an important part of her self-care; a portal to release her frustrations after a day of work. Suddenly, going as hard in a set wasn’t possible. “For the first trimester, I really scaled down my workouts,” says Angelique.
She stuck to what felt realistic to achieve: a slow cycle on the stationary bike or a stretching session. Being kinder to herself and not pushing through workouts she would have dominated before became the new priority. Where before Angelique would have longer workout sessions, her workouts became shorter, varying from 30 – 45 minutes long. “Most days, I would cycle for about 20 minutes and then add some very light weight training after that,” she says.

Switch Up Your Tools

During her pregnancy, Angelique used a Pilates ball to help maintain balance and alignment, opting to squat against a wall with the ball at her back. “The ball really helps keep your posture correct while eliminating any pressure and preventing too much weight being disbursed on your joins and ligaments,” says Angelique.
READ MORE: I Tried The Planet Fitness FitBuddy App – Here’s What I Think

Focus On Your Pelvic Floor

It might seem quite obvious, but your pelvic floor (a band of supportive muscle stretching from the tail bone to the pubic bone) is kinda, sorta a big deal in childbirth. Per the Queensland government in Australia, your pelvic floor is required to support the weight of a growing baby during pregnancy. Compounding this, your pelvic floor muscles become softened by the hormones released during pregnancy. Read: you absolutely need to strengthen them.
Angelique recognises this and agrees that it’s not discussed often enough. “Later on in pregnancy, everything feels unbelievably heavy and if those muscles are not strengthened, incontinence can easily be something you will find yourself struggling with,” she says. To this end, Angelique did loads of planking exercises and practised squeezing the area. (Wanna know exactly how to train those muscles? Read more here.)
READ MORE: The 8 Best Groin Stretches For Anyone Who Sits All Day Long

Focus On What’s Achievable

Most important tip from Angelique? This is not a time to push yourself. “If you feel tired, please don’t mistake this for weakness,” she says. “You are making a human. So, give yourself a lot of grace and kindness, you totally deserve it mama!” Amen to that!
Below, Angelique’s revealed some surprising household tools that’ll be your new best friend in your new fitness regimen. They’ll focus on important muscle groups, while not feeling overwhelming or overly challenging.

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