As someone who pre-pregnancy went Spinning and to Insanity classes every week, I have really struggled with losing my fitness during this pregnancy. I was floored with sickness four days after I found out I was pregnant until about 13 weeks and it was all I could do to suck salty crisps on the sofa. Once I got past the constantly feeling sick phase, I knew I needed to start reintroducing exercise. I hoped the exercise would help me to accept the changes going on in my pregnant body. But after taking so much time out, I couldn’t go back to my old classes. So, when I discovered the cardio app Aaptiv with special maternity workouts on it, I thought I’d give it a try.
Aaptiv is an app you download onto your phone which offers a whole range of workouts. There are loads of non-pregnancy workouts, and each has a great playlist and the voiceover of a trainer to guide you through it. The maternity workouts include prenatal workouts split by each trimester. Each week there is a mix of strength and cardio workouts. There are stroller programmes for once you’ve got the all clear from the doctor after you’ve had the baby, which is a nice touch because we all know with a new baby it’s hard to get time to yourself to exercise. I obviously haven’t tested these yet though!
Over the last month I’ve been testing out the app’s workouts. Here’s the deal…
- There is a lot of choice within the app if you’re not pregnant. The traditional workouts include everything from 5k training to half marathon training, 7 minute quick hits, abs, strength, yoga and meditation plus many more.
- Each workout has a really good playlist. With actual songs you’ll know off the radio. Not like the couch to 5k apps I’ve used before with music you don’t know.
- Each workout is pretty short (from 7-25 mins) so good to fit in a busy schedule.
- In the maternity programme, there are a lot of treadmill workouts which is only useful if you still have a gym membership, which I currently don’t have. There are other running workouts but I couldn’t run even if I wanted to now, after being out of action for so long. So I could only do the strength workouts at home.
- I think the app is really for women who are already pretty fit. I thought I was fairly fit but I have to say, the strength workouts were pretty tough. Yes, I guess I expected them to be a bit gentler!
- The workouts are all audio. I actually didn’t realise there wouldn’t be any visuals, and sometimes I didn’t understand what I was supposed to be doing. The trainer uses technical terms for positions so you need to be gym savvy. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable having had a personal trainer in the past. But when she said the phrases “fire hydrants” and “donkey kicks” during the glute workout, I was a bit confused. The trainer describe the actions. Maybe I’m thick, but it was too quick and often I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. For that reason I felt kind of unsafe using the app, worrying if I was going to injure myself.
I always write an honest review. And I’ll be honest and say I wouldn’t actually recommend this app if you’re not particularly fit or a regular gym bunny. I think the lack of visual aids is a massive flaw and have given the app makers this feedback. I hope to see this change in the future. If you’ve managed to keep fit during the first trimester and know your “Plié squats” from your “Sumo squats” then maybe it’s for you. Aaptiv do offer a free 7 day trial if you’re interested to check out the vast range of workouts and decide for yourself whether it’s for you or not.
How I choose to keep fit during pregnancy
In addition to the app I’ve also done a couple of prenatal pilates classes from You Tube which a friend recommended. Not only are they free, there is an instructor you can watch to see if you’re doing it right. Neither of these compare to going to an actual class with a real instructor who can properly supervise you. I am looking forward to starting pregnancy yoga in September. I did it last time and loved it. Not only is it relaxing but it helps stretch out those aching back muscles. For my cardio, I’m still swimming (probably not often enough, but, every little helps) and walking. My back has been sore already so I need to be careful. We’ve just ordered a light weight pushchair so I don’t have to lug our heavy buggy out of the car when we go out.
What do or did you do to keep fit during pregnancy? Have you used any apps or do you prefer to head to the gym or a special class? I’d love to hear from you.