How To Safely Practice Yoga Throughout Your Pregnancy

AMY WILLIAMS MBE The 2010 Vancouver Games Saw Former British Skeleton Racer Amy Win Britain’s First Solo Winter Olympics Gold Medal For 30 Years. She Practised Yoga Daily throughout pregnancy, right up until labour day

‘I retired from competitive skeleton racing in 2012, but I still train and I’m always trying new sports and taking on new challenges. When I was pregnant with my son Oscar, now 16 months, there was no question that I’d stay active throughout. I’ve sustained a lot of injuries throughout my career and aad lots of operations, so in recent years I’ve been doing yoga to look after my body. I kept this up in pregnancy, practising every day right up until birth. I also jogged until about 25 weeks, switching to powerwalking when it got to uncomfortable (and when I got fed up of the weird looks I’d get for running with a bump!). I’m sure staying fit and active during pregnancy really helped with the birth.’ bump!). I’m sure fit and.

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TAKE YOUR TIME

‘I could barely walk for two to three weeks after having Oscar, let alone exercise. I had lots of internal and external stitches and I needed to heal. Athletes always put pressure on themselves, but I knew I had to listen to my body and not push too hard. I used to have a six-pack but pregnancy left me with significant ab separation. People expect you to spring back into shape when you’re in the public eye but the reality is you’re exhausted, you’re up all night – it’s hard. I’d say it was 10 months before I really felt like me again. They say it takes nine months to grow a baby and at least nine more to get your body back. You have to recover, so don’t rush it.’

How To Safely Practice Yoga Throughout Your Pregnancy

EMBRACE YOUR MINI WORKOUT BUDDY

‘I’m self-employed, so I had no maternity leave. I was back to my work as a presenter and speaker and Oscar came too (luckily, I had my mum for support as well). The biggest challenge to fitness post­ partum was knowing what to do with Oscar – there were no gyms near me with AmyW illiams atthe iCandy for Land Rover press launch childcare. One night I was up feeding Oscar around 3am, scrolling through Instagram for ideas, and I came across a group called Bath Yummy Mummies. They’re a group of like-minded mums who meet to exercise and bring their babies along in their prams or car seats. I went along to a class and it was perfect. I loved the tact there was no pressure – you could stop to teed or comfort your baby when you needed to – and I never felt judged tor being an athlete who wasn’t instantly back in shape. I tried running at about 14 weeks and it was too soon, and that was OK. It was great to have that sisterhood tor support and encouragement.’

ALWAYS HAVE GOALS

‘My goal is to get back to peak fitness before we start trying for baby number two. I was about to go on Ninja Warrior but I sprained my ankle badly in training, which was frustrating. And I was due to take part in the Ride London cycle event this summer but my back didn’t like it. I will find a new challenge as soon as my ankle is better. I’m now training at Dion Trigg’s gym and that’s very much a Ninja Warrior-style set up (he’s a former contestant). At first though, set tiny goals. Maybe just to get outside every day, then walking around the block, then add five minutes a day.’

DON’T BE A PUSHY PARENT

‘My parents were never pushy; they just supported my interests and helped me achieve my goals. Oscar loves being outdoors and active already, so we’ll definitely keep that up as a family. I’d love him to be sporty but we’ll see what he wants to do. It children get the chance to try lots of sports, they’ll find their own way.’

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