For women, pregnancy could be one of the most wonderful moments in life. It could also be the most challenging due to the physical and emotional changes, especially your sleep schedule.
Louise Calderon-Tan, a 25-year-old CrossFit Level 1 trainer at Lifthard Philippines, knows how hard it is to balance keeping fit and having a baby, but it is doable! Louise knows being fit is especially important during infanticipation and pregnancy, yes, you can work out when you are pregnant, but not intensive workouts okay!
When Louise found out she was pregnant with her first born, she slowed down her fitness regime but did not totally give up. “Before I got pregnant, my workout was all about intensity. I would train for hours getting myself ready for CrossFit competitions,” she reveals. For the first and second trimesters, Louise still did the same training as she normally would, “but with less intensity,” she emphasizes.
By the third trimesters, she slowed down and did more of yoga and labor preparation exercises instead of intensive exercise. Because Louise maintained her program, she gained a mere 10 lbs (roughly 4.5kg), making her total weight only 145 lbs (66 kg) at the peak of her pregnancy, that is really fit for a pregnant mum! Usually, women who are pregnant neglect working out and they gain weight really fast when they’re pregnant.
“Being a fitness coach helped me to get to know my body. While I was pregnant, I was more aware of how to listen to my body, learning what it can and can’t handle. Being a fitness coach also helped me make healthier food choices,” she explains.
Although Louise did exercise and do yoga throughout her pregnancy, she did not plunge into exercise right after giving birth! It took her a month before she hit the gym again, opting to spend those precious firsts with her baby boy Lucas.
“One of the things you lose when getting pregnant is the core strength. I started working out again at four weeks postpartum, focusing on core strengthening exercises,” she says.
Do not think that Louise got back into shape overnight, it took her a while to do it, with the adjustments, late nights, and additional responsibilities. “I did not know that it was going to be difficult trying to get back into shape, especially since I worked out all throughout my pregnancy. I also did not realize that my body was going to feel really weak,” she sighs.
Just like an angel, Louise has chosen to help fellow moms be healthier and fitter, she is now taking prenatal and postnatal courses to arm herself with the right knowledge. I wish she was in Malaysia! “I’m really passionate about helping people get healthy and fit,” she says with a smile.
Louise reminds women, moms especially, shouldn’t neglect the fitness aspect of their lives, even if it’s just 10 or 15 or 30 minutes daily, Louise encourages mums to move it! “I know how difficult it can be to find the time to work out,” she says sympathetically, “but I also know that when we do take action to strengthen our bodies, there will be a positive impact on our daily lives as persons and mothers.”
Just like Louise said, taking care of one’s family while staying fit is doable. Here are some of her suggestions:
1. First things first.
“Try to workout first thing in the morning. If you waited until the afternoon, it’ll be more likely for you to skip the workout.”
2. Schedule your workouts.
“Schedule it as a part of your day and make it a non-negotiable.”
3. Be kind to yourself.
“Don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level or your supposed lack of willpower. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to learn and improve.”
4. Check your expectations.
“Expecting too much too soon can lead to frustrations. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t do.”
5. Include your kids in your workout.
“While it’s important to have your alone time, there are plenty of ways to combine fitness and family.”
6. Get a workout buddy.
“Someone who can motivate you and keep you accountable — and vice versa!”
Ladies, don’t wait any longer! Get off your butt and hit the gym or start working out at home! It will be beneficial to your future too!!