It’s been a long time I wrote, but trust me I have not been idle. I recently had a baby and I am glad I have some pregnancy fitness experiences to share with you. After my marriage union with my lovely husband, I began to get advice from some concerned colleagues and family about slowing down on my exercising and focusing on building a family and making babies. I wondered how exercising interfered with me achieving any of that, to my surprise some people believed that exercising was going to prevent me from conceiving. In fact, a particular ex-colleague of mine really scared me when she told me that I could just keep having miscarriages and not even know it. I did not let any of this bother me as I believed that pregnancy would happen at Gods time. Besides I had only been married for a month and still looking forward to our honeymoon. Pregnancy was certainly not on my mind at this time. To answer your first question can I conceive while exercising?
My answer is a capital YES, you can! I was exercising vigorously not even aware that I was pregnant until I missed my period. Went in for a pregnancy test and tested positive!

Fabila at 29 weeks pregnant
Having crossed the first step of conceiving and proving that one can conceive while exercising. I found myself in another dilemma. I started to get advice from very concerned people about stopping exercising all together as I could get a miscarriage, or cause some other complication. While some people were suggesting I stopped only for my first trimester, some were suggesting I stopped altogether. How is this possible? I thought to myself. I make a living from exercising and I love to be active. Was I expected to just sit at home and not lift an arm? To answer your second question: Can I exercise during all stages of pregnancy? My answer would be yes, you can. However, you must crosscheck with your doctor that it’s safe for you to do as you must bear in mind that not every woman has the same experience during pregnancy. If you are like me and you get a go ahead from your doctor, then by all means feel free to exercise. Of course there are certain tips to bear in mind while exercising, which I shall share in another post. I was actively instructing dance classes until my 27th week. I was driving myself around in Lagos traffic up until my 38th week. I did house chores, continued my personal exercise routines until labor day and so many other physical activities. Some people prefer to go slow or stop exercising during their first trimester and then resume in their second. I exercised in my first and second trimester and then slowed down in my third.

The third and final question is: What type of exercise should I do? You most likely have come across prenatal yoga and probably think that's the only exercise program you can do while pregnant. The most important question to ask yourself before starting or continuing an exercise program during preganancy is "how safe is it?" your answer should be determined based on how often you were exercising before pregnancy, whether or not you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, sometimes your age could be a determining factor. I continued to do zumba right up to my third trimester. I did a combination of zumba and body barre fitness as these were the two fitness programs I was used to prior to my being pregnant. There are definitely some exercises you would want to avoid, particularly as you progress in your pregnancy. These are exercises that target your "rectus abdominis" a.k.a your six pack muscles. Stressing this muscle in your later stages may trigger pre term labor. I know this because it happened to me. Modification is key while pregnant, You would definitely feel the changes in your body, your pace is slower, you feel heavier, so do not feel upset about not keeping up with your previous pace. Modify movements to suit your current self.

Exercising while pregnant is possible and has its benefits. One last advice is that you stick to familiar routines and listen to your body. Your goal while pregnant should be to maintain a healthy heart rate, now is not the time to hit a fitness milestone, you’ll have all the time to hit milestones once you’ve had your baby. If you are pregnant and confused about where to start, feel free to contact me and I would be happy to guide you through some appropriate exercises.

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