July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
While doing my seemingly endless research into pregnancy and exercise as not only my duty as Fitness Editor on Health24 but also as a pregnant exerciser, I was lucky enough to stumble across Preggi Bellies. Imagine my surprise – an all in one package of people who understand the importance of fitness in pregnancy and who practice what they preach too.
Anyhoo, long story short, I decided to join one of their classes and see what it was all about. Not because I don’t have enough fitness-type things to do, but I’m still a bit of an exercise junkie and despite the blooming bulge of my belly I still want to try out new things on teh fitness front.
So I showed up to class, not expecting AS gruelling a workout as I’m used to with CrossFit but also not expecting to just breeze through the class. Too often have I made that rookie mistake and paid the price afterwards – and fortunately this time it was a wise decision to have made.
Preggi Bellies is one helluva workout!
It would have been easy to mistake the big-bellied women all trooping into class sporting a variety of different sized bumps disguised by different sized t-shirts as nothing more than a gentle group of softly-spoken moms-to-be who might also indulge in some afternoon tea while discussing future birthing options. But let’s make no mistake, these women are all there for the same reason – to get fit and stay fit and healthy for both their sake and the benefit of their unborn child.
Women after my own heart I tell you!
One woman was already roughly 32 weeks along, so her bump was quite big and the trainer later told me that she’d joined their class when she was 12 weeks pregnant and at that stage had never exercised in her life before… now she’s a regular in class and has actually LOST body fat from the training. She sat across from me on one of the big Pilates-style balls and despite the fact she looked ready to pop, she kept up with class and even though some of her movements were smaller than mine (and guaranteed more graceful), she didn’t stop moving once.
And neither did I.
Halfway through the class I had sweat pouring down my back and my heart rate was right up there. I kicked myself afterwards for not wearing a heart rate monitor just to see the impact, but my heart was pumping the same satisfying way it does in a spinning class.
The class began with us all on a Pilates-style ball (one day someone will make up a REAL name for them that’s universal… but for now suffice to say it’s one of those really, really big balls they use in Pilates classes ok?). The instructor, Sonja showed me how to gently…no, gently… no, no…geeeeently bounce on it while keeping my balance.
Tricky. Very tricky.
But it got better… although once I had that down we began to move on the ball WHILE bouncing. As in co-ordinated movements that required me bouncing GENTLY up and down while moving side to side with my arms and legs usually moving in different directions. It’s not easy people. I very nearly bounced out the door.
GENTLY!!! Apparently I need to practice that…
After that warmup we moved onto the step and did a mini-circuit workout which included using the step, light weights, lots of lunges and squats and even some abdominal work. Cause let’s not forget that one day this stomach will NOT be housing a growing human being and I’d like for it to return to some form of normal stomach-looking consistency.
By the end of the class, when we were all stretching the music and heavy breathing was replaced by chatter amongst the moms-to-be about their one most common trait… being knocked up. I lay there listening to these women who had all obviously been to a few classes together and all knew each other by now and shared stories of common aches and pains, pregnancy-concerns, gynae visits and scan results.
My how my life has changed
I not only knew what they were all talking about but could appreciate it too. Which made me realise that even though this sort of a class is in my mind of VITAL importance from a fitness and health point of view, it’s also so great that women from the same area who are all pregnant (or have just had a child), can chat and make friends with the parents of the kids that their kids will one day probably be friends with. Does that make sense? Read it again slowly…
Anyhoo I have now signed up with them for classes twice a week until the end of my pregnancy and I would strongly urge any women no matter how ‘early’ she thinks it is in her pregnancy or how unfit she thinks she is to check them out too. Like the Preggi Bellie peeps say,
“Pregnancy shouldn’t be the excuse, it should be the reason”
Methinks I need a t-shirt printed that says that….
From my side I will still continue to do the CrossFit and other gym stuff, but the Preggie Bellie classes are jsut too much of fun - and most importantly, they’re a great workout. And we all know I’m a sucker for a good workout…
Check them out here: Preggi Bellies.