Exercising safely while pregnant

If you were really active and worked out before your pregnancy, or if you just want to keep fit and healthy for the duration of your pregnancy, you can. You do have to take it a bit easier and there are some exercises that you have to avoid completely. Here is a guide to safely working out while you are pregnant…

Exercise tips.

Don’t overdo it and exhaust yourself, you will definitely have to slow the pace down as your pregnancy progresses or if your midwife advises you to. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously.

If you weren’t active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise class, make sure you tell the instructor that you’re pregnant and begin with a maximum of 15 minutes continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually to a maximum of four 30-minute sessions a week. Find a local gym or exercise group.

Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Exercise tips when you’re pregnant:

  • always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
  • try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing
  • avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
  • drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • if you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are
  • you might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight – some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors

Exercises to avoid.

  • don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint
  • don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo or squash
  • don’t take part in horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, because there is a risk of falling

Exercises for a fitter pregnancy.

If you are pregnant you should try to fit these exercises into your daily routine. They will strengthen your muscles so that you can carry the extra weight of pregnancy. They’ll also make joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backache and generally help you feel well.



Stomach strengthening exercises,

As your baby gets bigger, you may find that the hollow in your lower back increases and this can give you backache. These strengthen stomach (abdominal) muscles and ease backache, which can be a problem in pregnancy:

  • start in a box position (on all fours) with knees under hips, hands under shoulders, with fingers facing forward and abdominals lifted to keep your back straight
  • pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, curling the trunk and allowing your head to relax gently forward – don’t let your elbows lock
  • hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the box position
  • take care not to hollow your back: it should always return to a straight/neutral position
  • do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times, making your muscles work hard and moving your back carefully
  • only move your back as far as you can comfortably

Pelvic tilt exercises.

  • stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall
  • keep your knees soft
  • pull your tummy button towards your spine, so that your back flattens against the wall: hold for four seconds and release
  • repeat up to 10 times

Pelvic floor exercises.

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. Signs that your pelvic floor muscles are weak include leaking urine when you laugh, sneeze or cough. This helps to reduce or avoid stress incontinence after pregnancy. All pregnant women should do pelvic floor exercises, even if you’re young and not suffering from stress incontinence now.

How to do pelvic floor exercises:

  • close up your anus as if you’re trying to prevent a bowel movement
  • at the same time, draw in your vagina as if you’re gripping a tampon, and your urethra as if to stop the flow of urine
  • at first, do this exercise quickly, tightening and releasing the muscles immediately
  • then do it slowly, holding the contractions for as long as you can before you relax: try to count to 10
  • try to do three sets of eight squeezes every day: to help you remember, you could do them once at each meal

As well as these exercises, practice tightening up the pelvic floor muscles before and during coughing and sneezing.

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Exercises to do when you have children

Exercises to do when you have children

If you have a phobia of the gym, or if you are simply too busy or you have children so can’t make it to the gym, there are some simple exercises you can do at home and even with your children.

Walking – If the weather is nice, it’s wonderful to get outside and enjoy the scenery around you while you exercise. It is also good to get your children out and about, playing and chasing after them is exercise and fun. If you have a flight of stairs, go up and down them a few times. (You could even grab a load of laundry as you’re going that way anyway!) This will help to tone up your legs, while getting some low impact aerobic exercise as well. If you don’t have any stairs available, just walk around the house a few times – it may not be very exciting, but it will do the job.

Jumping Jacks – These are always fun, as they bring back memories of being a kid! Who hasn’t done jumping jacks for fun as a child? Well, surprise – they are also great cardio exercises, and good for warming up, too. This is another good one if you have children, this is just play to them and doing it together is enjoyable.

Push ups – These are probably not the most favourite exercise of many people, but while they can be hard to do, you can find easier ways to do them.  Do them on your knees, instead of keeping your legs straight. Or, do them standing up against a wall. You will be building up arm strength and working out muscles in your chest area.

Leg Lifts – These are great for building up strength and muscles in your legs. If you find it hard to do the exercises with your legs straight, try bending them slightly. This is good for toning up your thighs hips and bottom

Crunches – The best exercise for building up and strengthening abdominal muscles. When you’re just getting started, don’t worry about getting your head all the way up. So long as you’re going up until you feel the stretching of the muscles, you will see some benefit.

Jogging In Place – Jogging is a great exercise for your heart. You can jog in place at home while watching TV or listening to music. The only equipment you will require is a good pair of shoes, to eliminate any stress to your legs.

Squats – These are wonderful exercises for your legs and buttocks. You can even just try these by sitting and standing up again from a regular chair, if you’re finding them to be too difficult. As long as you’re able to do a few repetitions, you will be providing some benefit to your body.

Light Weight Lifting – No, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive weights for this! Just use whatever you can find in your house. Start out with something lighter, such as a can of peas, and work yourself up to heavier items. You can use milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles or even water jugs.

Dancing – Dancing is a wonderful exercise, which is great for your heart. Not only that, but it can lift your spirits as well, and give your overall feeling a boost. Practise some moves that you’d like to try at a club perhaps, discover some new styles of dancing.

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First Date Ready!!

First Date Ready!!

So you’ve got yourself a date, maybe it’s your first in a while or maybe you just want to try something different to make a good impression. Well here are some beauty tips you can try and some tips about how you should behave during the date…enjoy

Go for the natural beauty look, you got yourself a date and he was obviously attracted to you enough to ask to take you out. Don’t overdo it with too much lipstick, eyelashes so straight and sharp they look dangerous and 6 inch heels you can’t walk in. Apply a nice foundation with good coverage to even out your complexion, go for a mild mascara to give you a bit of volume and length but DON’T over-do it, nothing too heavy, mascara will open up your eyes so there is no need to wear eye shadow. If you do want to wear eye shadow go for a neutral colour, if you have small eyes, white eyeliner on your lower water line will open up your eyes even more and make them pop.

Now for the outfit – this is when you go to the back of your wardrobe and pull at that trusty Little Black Dress. The LBD works wonders, it hugs all the right places, covers all the places you want to hide and instantly turns you up glam, pair with a reasonable heel (and a clutch. Some chandelier earrings and a necklace should complete the look. No need for rings and bracelets, we’re going as natural as possible remember. Some ivory polish on the toes and fingers matching bracelet should complete the look. No need for rings and necklace

Now for your hair, why not try a nice try some soft bouncy curls, this is a look that works whether your hair is long or short. Just take a big barrel curler and heat for 10-15 seconds so the curls are not too tight. Be sure to use heat protecting serum, and hold with a mild but strong spritz. If you have a fringe, curl and hold in place with a bobby pin.

Now as nerve racking as a first date can be, try as hard as possible to relax…yes we are aware that there are millions of butterflies fluttering away in your tummy, but the calmer you are the more you’ll be able to enjoy this date. Have fun and go with the flow.

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Always the bridesmaid never the bride

Always the bridesmaid never the bride

Have you worn countless bridesmaid dresses, purposely designed to unflatteringly hug all the wrong places in order to ensure you don’t outshine the bride? Have you walked down innumerable aisles behind the beaming beautiful woman of the moment just wishing you were her?  Have you subjected yourself to the ridiculous demands of your crazed psychotic bridezilla best friend controlling ordering and bossing you about, and vowed to get your own back tenfold whenever your time to get married arrives.

Ok well then you are an example of always the bridesmaid and never the bride!!

Now while this probably doesn’t make you want to jump and down and sing for joy, it is not actually such a bad thing. Here are 5 great reasons why you should enjoy being the brides maid and how you can be the one walking up the aisle next…the one in the white dress that it 😉

  1. Being a bridesmaid gives you unlimited access to legions of single bachelors; think about it the best man, friends, colleagues and relatives galore. You don’t have to worry about where to find a potential husband you’re in the right place. So the next time bridezilla screams that she needs someone to go and check the groomsmen are running on schedule, volunteer yourself before she even finishes asking and while you’re there be on the lookout for someone who catches your eye. Now remember you have to look good enough to catch the fellas’ eye as well, so don’t show up to the house where the men are getting ready in your tracksuit all hot and sweaty with your hair sticking to your forehead. Who is going to want that? It might be mayhem all around you but be calm, pop that red lippie on, spritz a bit of that killer perfume and make sure you’re smiling and you’ve got a glint in your eye.


  1. Get wedding ready, ok so it’s the brides big day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in some beauty treatments and a nice hair do too. There is nothing you can do about the dress but you can make it work. Now it is very easy to go over the top, you don’t need spray tan after spray tan, long false dagger like nails and false eyelashes so heavy you can’t open your eyes. Go for the natural beauty look, there will most likely be so many desperate bachelorettes there who are totally overdone, that you will stand out just by looking normal and standing out is the goal here.


  1. The reception is a perfect place to fish for men, but remember the bait has to be attractive to the fish, so don’t get blind drunk and fall asleep on a strangers shoulder, or start crying about how single and depressed you are to someone who doesn’t know you. Men will either have a good laugh at the drunken weirdo walking around with one shoe, or just avoid you completely. Be in control, look good and mingle. Don’t be afraid to approach people, you’re a bridesmaid so walking around and asking if everyone is having a good time is totally fine. Make conversation and hopefully with a bit of luck you’ll strike up convo with the right guy.




  1. Don’t come across too desperate, you want to get married and have the happily ever after fairy-tale life with your new beau, but nobody needs to know that. If you’re scouring the wedding reception like a hawk prowling around for a victim you’ll scare people away. You managed to start conversation with a guy, that’s great, don’t start asking him if he wants marriage and kids seconds into your conversation. That is just plain scary, as hard as it may be given the situation try and just be your natural charming self and just have a good time. Not every man you talk to is going to have what you’re looking for and vice versa. So don’t treat the situation like an interview. When you relax and just take everything as it comes, that is when you will find someone.



  1. Finally don’t worry about still being single, you are free, you are not tied down, you haven’t got as many responsibilities and you are only accountable to yourself. One day you will meet someone and all that care-free freedom will soon go out the window. You are probably thinking that you would happily trade your single days for a life of domestic chores and cooking as long as you were happily married, but marriage comes with its own dramas and is not as smooth sailing and easy as you dream. Things happen when they are supposed to happen so just enjoy your life until you meet the right person. You will be amazed that as soon as you stop fretting and worrying about getting older and not being married, you will meet someone and the whole process will take its course naturally.
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5 romantic ideas for your girlfriend’s birthday

5 romantic ideas for your girlfriend’s birthday

So your girlfriend’s birthday is approaching and you want to do something different and romantic to show her how much you love her. Stuck for ideas…fear not, we’ve got five romantic ideas for you to choose from, that will have her proclaiming her dying love for you, and bragging to her friend’s months well after her birthday.

  1. Romantic Night Picnic: Sometimes is the little and inexpensive things that make the biggest impression, take the time to make a picnic with all your girlfriends favourite foods, and treats. Buy a nice thick picnic blanket so you are extra comfy. Arrange the picnic presents and food nicely, buy some tea lights and tea light holders and set them up around the picnic area; you can get some really nice ones of all different shapes and sizes, scented ones are even better. Blind fold her and lead her to the picnic area. She will love and really appreciate the thought and attention to detail you have put into it. It is much easier to buy and wrap a present, something like this shows that you have out a lot of thought and consideration into it.


  1. Hot Air Balloon Ride: A romantic hot air balloon ride for two will definitely be a new experience and probably for the both of you. Find out what’s on offer in your local area, you can start off by having a romantic dinner and then finishing it off seeing your town from a bird’s eye view. Just make sure she is not scared of heights!!



  1. Make her the envy of her work place…or uni/college: Bombard her with flowers while she’s at work, have a fresh beautiful bunch of flowers sent to her every hour while she’s at work, you can do a bunch of roses, a different colour bunch each hour, or you can start with a small bunch and then get progressively bigger as each hour passes. There is nothing a girl loves more than being spoilt on her birthday in front of all her friends. If you really want to make an impression balloons and a box of chocolates will give you even more points on the best boyfriend chart.


  1. Surprise party: This might be a tough one depending on how well you can keep secrets. Before her birthday call round all her friends and family and invite them to come to your home at a set time and date, maybe a Friday evening after she has finished work. Have a friend distract her from coming home too early, arrange a beautiful cake, get help with the decorations and when she opens the living room door, you know what to shout.



  1. Lingerie: Lingerie is an all-time favourite gift with majority of women. Women like silk especially and love the feel of it against the skin. It is actually like a gift for you too as you would get to see her dressed up in the lingerie. So how about killing two birds with one stone


Whichever you decide to do, as long as it is evident you put your effort into ensuring everything is perfect your girlfriend will appreciate it. As the old saying goes it really is the thought that counts.

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