Fitness enthusiast, mother, and founder/CEO of Y7 Studio, Sarah Levey (@sarah_ayako) shares her advice on how to stay fit during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Q: What are a few of your favorite fitness tips for pregnant women?
A: Just keep moving! Our bodies are going through such incredible changes, but we need to make sure we’re using that new body. My absolute favorite training tip that I learned from my trainer is to squat with 8-10 lb weights...that is the average size of a newborn and will GREATLY help you when you start picking up and holding your baby.
Q: What are a few of your favorite postpartum fitness tips?
A: Go easy on yourself. Birth is a massive undertaking for your body and you need time to heal. Being patient within those first 6-8 weeks is crucial and will allow you to be better prepared when you are ready to get back into your workout routine.
Q: What are some workouts you would avoid during pregnancy?
A: Anything that will ‘cook’ or ‘squash’ your bump. By that I mean any heated workout that raises your body temperature too much; as well as workouts that have you contracting and twisting your abdomen.
Q: What is the safest way to start a postpartum exercise routine?
A: Start with walking. It may sound boring, but just getting your blood flowing and keeping your hips active is going to give you the movement your body needs - it also is a great way to get that heart rate up a little.
Q: How often should moms exercise during pregnancy?
A: Really that is a personal choice. It's so important to listen to your body and what it needs. I saw a trainer who did a prenatal-focused class about 3x a week.
Q: How do you know if your workout is too strenuous?
A: If you are so out of breath that you cannot hold a light conversation, then it is time to slow down. Again, listen to your body — now is not the time to push yourself while exercising.
Q: Is there anything new moms should keep in mind while on their fitness journey?
A: Give yourself grace! Your body spent nine months creating life, give it time. At Doona, we understand that it can be difficult to find the time (and energy) to work out during pregnancy and the postpartum period. After all, who feels like breaking a sweat when you’re dealing with morning sickness, back pain and continually fluctuating hormones? But listening to your body, taking it slow and easy, and putting in that work will really pay off, for you and your upcoming little one.