It’s cold, wet and windy: I couldn’t possibly exercise!…..

Nonsense! Unless we are in the middle of a tornado (which we haven’t been far away from in recent days) there is no excuse not to wrap up and carry on with your normal activities. Wear a jacket, gloves and hat and make sure you’ve got some reflective strips if you are running. If you are going to the gym or exercise class there’s certainly no excuse; it will be fine when you get there, the only problem is that motivation on cold, dark evenings!

If you couldn’t possible face venturing out then invest in a good exercise DVD, jump around to some music in your bedroom or do a workout with some dumbbells or a resistance bands.

Whatever you do try and get your heart rate up and a bit of a sweat on. In the run up to Christmas it is easy to make excuses about exercise – “I’ll get back to it in the new year”, but don’t forget – calories in and calories out need to marry up or you’ll end up a new year porker!

You’ll feel great when are you are done and all ready for those gorgeous festive frocks.

If you do make exercise a regular part of your routine then don’t beat yourself up about the occasional rest; this is the luxury of someone who makes keeping fit part of their lifestyle – there are some days when only a glass of wine and a mince pie will do, go to the gym tomorrow πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas x

Running in pregnancy

One of the most common things I hear is that it is not safe to run during pregnancy. There is no one-size-fits-all response to this. It largely depends on your pre-pregnancy fitness level and running experience.

If you have never been a runner do not start during pregnancy. If you love running, then pleeeeeeeeze don’t give it up if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy!

If you have only done a little bit of running I would suggest keeping it at a moderate intensity (jogging rather than running) and no more than 30 minutes a couple of times a week. If you haven’t done any running for at least a couple of months then do something else. If it feels at all uncomfortable then do something else.

If you are an experienced runner then there is no reason you cannot carry on running during your pregnancy. Stick to the safety advice about overheating, clothing, hydration and location.

Getting started with exercise again as a new mum

Try to get started with some small steps as soon as possible and you will reap the rewards later – that squidgy belly and those extra wobbly bits are only temporary!

You don’t have to be away from your baby; in fact your baby will love some fresh air if you can get out and do some brisk walking, aim to build up to an hour each day during the first fortnight if you feel up to it.

For the first couple of weeks focus on those all important pelvic floor and tummy muscles – these are the ones that have taken the biggest hit through pregnancy and childbirth.

Give these muscles a few minutes of attention a day with abdominal pull ins (holding your tummy in tight then releasing) and pelvic floor squeezes, 50-100 of each if you can and try and make this a permanent part of your routine for the future.