Meet Gaby, who found her love for exercise (and running marathons!) after moving to London and ditching unhealthy habits in favor of a better lifestyle. She's stayed true to her passion for fitness throughout her pregnancy and channels her energy to keeping her strength and stamina sky high.
What was the biggest myth told to you about pregnancy exercise, that you know (or now know) isn’t true?
The most bizarre one I heard was you can't lift anything over your head, but I knew that's just an old wives tale especially after watching videos featuring prenatal fitness experts lifting weights above their head and waving their hands about. Also, some people were warning me to go off of using weights entirely, which annoyed me as I was cleared by my own doctor who said I could continue with what I was used to - even taking HIIT exercises! - but just to go a bit slower as my pregnancy progressed.
What was your exercise routine before becoming pregnant?
Before pregnancy, I was going to about 3 mixed HIIT and circuit classes a week and then would do a Pump and Strength training class each week as well. On average, I'd get about 4-5 sessions a week in, and my goal at the time was to tone up and a drop a few pounds before my wedding.
What does your exercise routine look like now?
Now the focus has changed. It's purely strength and stamina for me, so I have a session a week with my personal trainer where we alternate between bigger compound muscle exercises, core work, and we even fit some pelvic floor in - which is important! I've been doing my own super-sets with what I've learned, which has been so beneficial for me to challenge myself in that way. I'll also do walking interval climbs on the treadmill on a regular basis. If I'm feeling like I want to do cardio and get a sweat in, I'll take a traditional circuit class, but I'll just go a bit slower as needed. Now, it's obviously not about losing weight at all, but feeling strong ahead of labour. Plus I've found that my workouts really help me sleep better at night, and I haven't suffered from the dreaded pregnancy insomnia yet and haven't experienced any chronic pain.
What has been the biggest challenge in pursuing physical fitness and exercise during pregnancy?
I wouldn't say I've been challenged but there are certain limitations to my exercise regime that I have to be more aware of. For example I am worried about diastatis recti so I had to stop certain exercises during my second trimester. But working with my PT I've learned that there are a lot safer alternatives for the exercises I typically do, it's all about finding that modification that works for me and my body.
I won't lie, it's been quite tiring being so committed to fitness but it's all about believing in yourself. I know
it's really good for me and my baby, and we'd feel rubbish without it. So we're still pushing through together!
How have you Shaped Your Pregnancy?
I focus on my strength, being resilient, and having the focus to push through an exercise. I've been following a lot of prenatal fitness influencers on Instagram that are really motivating, and the positive thoughts, stories, tips and guidance provided by the Baby2Body community has been helpful as well.
What message would you want to share with other expecting and new moms?
Be true to yourself and continue to do what makes you and your baby happy and feel good inside.
I've always been petite, but after University, I actually lived a very unhealthy lifestyle and my weight ballooned. When I moved to London I decided to make a change and started leading a healthy lifestyle, paying attention to my diet, and I found a new love of exercise. I trained for and completed the London Marathon in 2015, and I haven't looked back on that unhealthy lifestyle since and I know that's been so beneficial to this pregnancy.