People We Love: Mahri Relin of Body Connections gave us these five tips to continuing your fitness regimen even in the winter. Enjoy!
How Do You Plan to Stay Fit in Winter?
Whether you are pregnant or not, the changing seasons can require lots of change in your fitness routine. You may not be able to go outside as much, and the shortening days might affect your daily routine and make you feel a little less motivated to get up and exercise. You might need to seek new ways to exercise and not quite know where to begin. And on top of that, your body responds differently to cold weather than to warm weather.
So what do you do? The exciting reality is that new fitness classes and methods are popping up every day, and many of them are both safe and highly recommended during pregnancy. And whether you’re hard-core or looking for something more relaxing, there is some thing out there for everyone. Here are a few great tips to help you make the transition more smoothly and safely.
- Drink More Water: Just because the weather feels colder and you don’t sweat as easily, you NEED to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink water before, during, and after you exercise. If you’re worried about needing a bathroom, try scoping about your surroundings beforehand (which you might want to do anyway!).
- You Can Exercise Outside: Unless the air is extremely cold, you should be fine exercising outside. Most pregnant women’s bodies run hotter than before pregnancy, and they feel more comfortable in the cooler air. As mentioned earlier, make sure to continue drinking water, and dress in layers so that you can manage cold in addition to the warmth your body will generate as you exercise. Also be extra wary of navigating ice or snow since your center of gravity has changed, and know that it may be harder to navigate obstacles when it starts to get darker earlier in the day.
- Warm Up Your Joints: Your joints can feel extra stiff in cold weather, which can lead to poor technique and injury if you don’t warm them up properly. If you are exercising outdoors, try doing a quick indoor warm-up first. Avoid holding extreme or static stretches and instead move through your joints with a softer version of the exercise you’re about to do (like lifting each knee up and down, doing some gentle-side-to-side lunging, or circling your arms). You want to take your joints through their range of motion while increasing circulation and warmth in the muscles.
- If You Decide to Try Indoor Fitness Classes, Find Instructors Who Are Prenatal Certified: This seems like a no-brainer, but it could go such a long way for you. Many women who get general exercise guidelines from their doctors don’t know what specific exercises or positions they should avoid (or do!)during their pregnancy. And they don’t know what to expect from trimester to trimester. Take some time to consult with a fitness professional who’s an expert. Ask him or her what to avoid and also what kinds of exercise is the safest for you. You can use this information to help guide you across a range of classes and also make you feel more at ease when making fitness choices. And if you take a class from an instructor who is prenatal-educated, you will feel more comfortable pushing yourself knowing that your instructor will be looking out for you. Of course, make sure you get full clearance from your doctor before you exercise, and always tell your instructor’s that you’re pregnant!
- Listen to YOUR Body and No One Else’s: Every woman has a different experience, and some exercises that work for some women can feel very uncomfortable for others. If you are looking for new indoor classes, make your choices based on YOUR history. Stick to the kinds of things you have done before, and don’t try something radically different for the first time during pregnancy. Don’t push yourself in a class if something feels wrong to you just because the pregnant person next to you seems to be fine. And perhaps you can push much harder than she can in other exercises. (I have a pregnant trainer in her third trimester who still loves teaching our dance cardio, while one of my private clients in the same stage stopped jumping up and down several months ago.) Your body tells you everything, and your best bet when diving into fitness classes is to do what your body craves and has experienced before.
Additional tip from basq NYC- To help with winter dry skin, exfoliation is key! Try basq NYC Skin Perfecting Scrub for safe and gentle exfoliation. Added benefit = Stretch Mark Prevention.