| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Healthy pregnancy in Dubai

A fitness routine will help you feel good throughout your pregnancy

Personal training

If you were a fit chick pre-pregnancy, putting your feet up or taking the occasional stroll is not really going to cut it in the workout stakes, is it? And these days, everyone knows that exercise makes for a more comfortable pregnancy, an easier birth and a happier mum and bub.

Personal trainer Angelica Horvatic specialises in keeping mums-to-be fit and healthy (as well as whipping lardy blobs of new mums back into shape) and has strong views on mummy fitness. ‘Yes, pregnant ladies are in a special condition, but they’re not disabled, they’re not ill,’ she says in her no-nonsense style.

Treating mums-to-be with kid gloves is a little patronising, particularly for gals who worked out pre-bump. ‘Of course, if you’ve never exercised before, it’s not the time to train for a marathon. But if you’ve already been training for a marathon, then why not continue? Whatever you did before, you can do now – with modifications.’

Which is why you’ll see Angelica’s clients kick-boxing, sparring and lifting weights – all activities which would make many non-pregnant women wince. It’s not about dangerously over-exerting yourself, but rather listening to your body and exercising within its new limitations.

Naomi Munro trained with Angelica to help her shift the baby bulge of her first-born and stay in shape for the arrival of bub number two. She straps on a pair of boxing gloves (pink, naturally) and starts jabbing away at a punchbag. ‘If I’m going to exercise, I want to sweat and feel like I’m doing something,’ she says. ‘I need to find it challenging otherwise I get bored.’

Fair enough, but don’t you have to be careful? Of course, says Angelica. That’s why she’s on hand to monitor every move and offer encouragement along the way. She knows what’s safe and what’s not, but she’s not afraid to get tough. Certain positions on the tummy and back are out, and expectant mums shouldn’t exercise in the heat and humidity. All sessions include a lengthy warm-up and cool-down and a gradual build-up of activity, and Angelica can focus on building lower back, arm and shoulder strength (vital for when bambino arrives). Her lessons are customised to her client’s needs, as well as their mood and energy levels on the day. ‘My aim is to increase their positive energy and how they feel about themselves during the whole pregnancy and motherhood – their entire future really!’

Naomi is certainly happy. Having a personal trainer who comes to her home is both convenient and an incentive to stay in shape. ‘Angelica knows what I can and can’t do, but she also asks how everything feels, and if it doesn’t feel right, she changes it. Now I enjoy being pregnant. Pregnancy can feel like a prison sentence, but if you keep active, then you enjoy it. I feel great!’
050 227 9044. Sessions with Angelica start from Dhs250.

Time Out Dubai,

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