Go for the glow

Nadine du Toit, personal trainer, life coach and founder of GloryGirl Fitness offers her essential exercise principles to keep you fit, healthy and blooming marvellous throughout your pregnancy


Whether you are a newbie to fitness or a seasoned athlete, applying these principles to your training regime will keep you and your foetus safe and healthy.

Training Buddies
This is the secret ingredient, ladies! The best way of keeping yourself motivated and accountable to get those workouts in, is to schedule weekly appointments with a friend or sign up for a pre-natal group training session. According to Cindy-Louise Moxon, expert personal trainer at GloryGirl Grow, the support, encouragement and belonging that you experience when training with other expectant mothers will keep you focused and postive about the months ahead.

Keep the Cardio current
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should be encouraged to do moderate exercise for 30 minutes or more every single day. With the UAE’s weather cooling down in the coming months, walking and swimming should be at the top of your list of cardio activities. The benefits will include keeping the heart and longs strong and stimulating blood flow and oxygen delivery to your vital organs and to your baby. A daily dose of cardiovascular action will result in a sense of wellbeing, reducing the likely hood of varicose veins and water retention!

Weights reduce the Weightiness
Contrary to popular belief, you can perform weight training while pregnant. In fact, weight training three to five days a week can be one of the most beneficial activities as long as certain criteria are followed:

Support Your Spine
Choose exercises that require you to support your spine with your core/abdominal muscles.

Use Your Muscles
Avoid using momentum to move the weights; be sure to lift and lower with your prime mover muscles.

Stay Upright
After the first trimester, avoid exercises that cause you to lie flat on your back. Exercising while flat on the back can diminish blood flow to both your brain and to your uterus and the baby. Avoid exercises that press against the stomach.

Use Higher Reps
You can still work hard, but stick with higher repetition sets (10 to 15 reps) performed at 65 to 75 per cent of your 1RM during weight training sessions.

Focus on your Core
Your core is defined as all the parts of the body except for your limbs and head. ‘Strong abs and back muscles will help ease the strain on your spine as well as on other parts of your body. Every part of you is connected, so getting the essential parts of you in good shape will have overall benefits as well’, says Lindsay Brin, master trainer and creator of the ‘Moms into Fitness’ training concept. Consulting with a fitness professional that specializes in pre- and post-natal training or a specialist Pilates instructor, will help with sculpting a stronger core, which will be beneficial during and after the labour process.
GloryGirl Grow specializes in pre- and post- natal training. Check out their monthly events at Optimal Fitness in Dubai Studio City which focus on pre- and post-natal fitness. The next event is on Saturday November 12 at 11am. Contact info@glorygirlfitness.com or info@optimalfitness.ae. (04 457 2048).

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