Prenatal Exercise, but Make it Mindful

By Ruchi Dhami

Prenatal Exercise, but Make it Mindful

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing — you’re growing a whole human within you! But while the miracle of life thing is going on, your body is going through a million different changes that can look and feel unfamiliar.

“Taking proper care of your body during pregnancy is the best way to set yourself up for an easier pregnancy and recovery,” says Christina Hathaway, founder of Long Lean Club and mega fitness babe. “Your body is working so hard in so many new ways, so maintenance during pregnancy should be your goal.” This isn’t the time to worry about increasing your exercise regime, either in frequency or intensity, or honing on changing your body shape, Christina shares.

Pregnancy is a marathon- smart, proper training throughout will help you make it to the finish line feeling your finest!

Grab your Milx bra (the ultra stretchy and moisture wicking fabric is perfect for those pre- and post-baby workouts!) and read Christina’s best tips for staying active throughout your pregnancy!

  • Be Consistent. “Consistency is key with exercise and, during pregnancy, it should be used to maintain fitness and strengthen your body against the new demands asked of it,” shares Christina. “Being consistent allows your body to really progress with a style of training and gives you a benchmark of your progress throughout pregnancy.” Find one or two activities or classes that suit your changing body best and stick to those.
  • Be Moderate. Overtraining is possible at any time, and particularly during pregnancy, it’s necessary to check in with your body and make sure you aren’t overdoing it. For those who prefer more intense workouts, Christina suggests you schedule rest days — and actually stick to them. “There is a difference between exercising intensely everyday (over-training) and moving your body every day – which is extremely healthy,” Christina says. “Move every day, but be mindful of what you are doing – maybe walking, hiking, and yoga and two or three functional training sessions is enough.”
  • Be Mindful. Christina advises to create a “brain-body connection” to bring awareness and consciousness to your own body and how it moves. This helps with balance, posture and most importantly, ensure maximum efficacy to your workouts. What does that mean for your workouts? “During pregnancy, some muscles – such as the abs, glutes, and hamstrings – elongate which makes them weaker, while some – particularly around the back, side and chest – shorten, which makes them tighter,” shares Christina. “With that in mind, I like to incorporate exercises that activate the glutes and lengthen the spine.”
  • Be Careful. John Mayer said it best: your body is a wonderland. This is especially true during pregnancy, and your changing body (and growing baby!) need a little extra TLC. Christina encourages gentle workouts throughout pregnancy: “functional training and stretching is a wonderful way to help alleviate some stress and tightness during pregnancy.” She also emphasizes proper form as means to keep your body injury-free. “With any fitness activity though, you must do it right. Forcing yourself to stretch without the brain-body connection will cause injury and stress on your body. If you aren’t training for a sport then you do not need to work on full range of motion. Tune into your body and work out how movement works for your mind, body and lifestyle.”
  • Be Fluid. Water is, of course, the holy grail for everything. But even with hydration, mindfulness is key. “Try to associate drinking water with another frequent activity or habit, like checking email,” suggests Christina. “Each time you reach for your phone, take a sip of water!”

But, what’s Christina’s number one tip for all you mamas-to-be? “Don't be too hard on yourself!” exclaims Christina. “Your body is going through so many changes — embrace every win!”

Want to get moving with Christina? Head on over to Long Lean Club’s Instagram for more tips, tricks, and inspiration!

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