Monday, 19 March 2012

A Guest on Monday - Claire Mockridge

If you're a pregnant lady out there then todays guest blog post is definitely something you need to read. Claire Mockridge has joined us today with some great hints & tips on how to stay healthy during pregnancy and beyond. Here's what she had to say

"Hello there.  I’m Claire Mockridge, an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert who’s helped over 800 pregnant and postnatal women keep and stay fit during pregnancy and after birth.

Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits, not just to you, but to your unborn baby.  There’s definitely truth in the saying “Fitter mums, have fitter babies”, so no doubt you’ve already made the first step to giving your unborn baby the BEST start in life by staying as active as possible.

When you study the anatomical and physiological changes that occur in a pregnant person’s body, what happens to you is really quite dramatic.  Sorry – did I scare you a bit there?!  It really is a life-changing experience.

The postural changes that occur in a pregnant person’s body are numerous eg your shoulders start to round forwards, your hips get tighter, your back gets more of an excessive lumbar curve, your gluteals weaken.  This makes exercising during pregnancy, and doing so under the guidance of an Ante/Postnatal Expert like myself, very important.

I’m not sure if any of you are suffering with back ache right now, but, my tip for the day would be to get up and move, every 30 minutes or as often as you can, to avoid that “ceasing up” feeling!  Seriously – off you go!

So, what are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy?

a)      it improves your circulation to stop you suffering with cramp, heart burn or indigestion

b)      reduced pregnancy aches and pains eg back ache, sciatica, stiff shoulders etc

c)       combat excessive weight gain if you’re doing the right types of exercise 3-5 times a week

d)      helps you maintain your fitness level if you’re doing 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular fitness 3-5 times a week

e)      helps you maintain a strong heart and lungs to prepare you physically for labour

f)       helps you focus on your breathing during labour

g)      keeps muscles strong and toned to help you with the physical demands of motherhood when baby arrives

h)      improves your general well-being and lifts your mood

i)        helps fight insomnia

j)        helps you relax and de-stress after a long day

k)      gives you some ME time

l)        aids your postnatal recovery

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it’s given you some motivation, to get you up and about and be a little more active throughout your day-to-day activities.  Simple things like taking a walk at lunch time, doing a swim after work, going for a cycle ride with your family etc, all count to your recommended weekly exercise target of 20-30 minutes of exercise, 3-5 times a week.

One thing I do notice is, clients who exercise with me during pregnancy, have a speedier postnatal recovery, because they’ve remained active throughout their pregnancy.  Exercise can’t guarantee you a short labour, I’m afraid, but what it can do is help your body withstand the physical demands of labour, for longer, because your cardiovascular system is in tip-top shape.  Something to think about, isn’t it?

I teach Ante/Postnatal Fitness and Pilates classes for pregnant women here in my local area and I often have clients return to me for their second and third pregnancies which is lovely.  If you can’t find an exercise class nearby and you’re thinking about exercising at home, and want to make sure you’re:

a) doing the right type of exercise, and

b) you’re doing enough exercise to make a difference, you’ll be pleased to know I have a very good solution.

My Pregnancy Fitness DVD - “Don’t let your BUMP get in the way” is every busy mum-to-be’s answer to exercising safely and effectively throughout pregnancy.

If you’d like to order your copy, click here:

The DVD is jam-packed full of over 2 hours of footage and includes 3 x cardio sections, 3 x toning segments, 3 x Pilates workouts, focus on pelvic floor, 2 x stretching sequences and the all important relaxation section.

I promise you won’t get bored with this DVD, as variety is the theme.  It’s every busy pregnant woman’s answer to staying in shape, safely and effectively.

The beauty of the DVD is that you can mix and match the exercises you want to do.  For example, you could complete one entire workout eg 1 x cardio, 1 x toning and 1 x Pilates section; or just pop the DVD and focus on one particular Pilates section that you want to master, for example.  The options are endless.

If you have a question about exercising during pregnancy, or after birth, do get in touch.  My Pre/Postnatal Fitness Blog answers FAQs about exercising here:

Or, connect with me here:

Take care now.

Claire Mockridge"

Well I hope you've enjoyed that and don't forget that even if you're not pregnant then please make sure you pass on these invaluable hints and tips to any friends that are.

For those of you with pregnant friends don't forget that we've got some fabulous baby shower party boxes with everything you need to celebrate! It couldn't be easier. If you want to have a chat about these then just get in touch.

Claire and I would love your comments on our blog post. If you want to chat with either of us please get in touch. Any comments you want to leave on here for Claire I will make sure they get passed on.

Keep smiling my friends.


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