Pre- and Postnatal Exercise

In days long passed, it was believed that when a woman fell pregnant she was “delicate” and need to rest and take it easy. While this is a semi-truth; we as women are always delicate and should be handled with care, and a balanced amount of rest is essential; the other half of this is that we are able and capable to exercise. In fact, exercising before and after pregnancy is beneficial to mom and baby in so many ways.

It has been proven that exercise during and after pregnancy not only helps the woman to stay in shape, reduces backaches, assists to ease constipation, bloating and swelling, boosts mood and energy levels, prevents excessive weight gain, assists with better sleep and so much more…. there is quite an extensive list. Personally, the benefits that I extract from exercising before, during and after pregnancy is to aid in blood circulation.

During my first pregnancy, I developed varicose veins in my legs, the left leg being worst affected. I believe that my Pilates and running program that I adhered to during this pregnancy, along with very healthy eating, did prevent it from being as bad a it could have been. Unfortunately, with every subsequent pregnancy thereafter the vein situation did get worse. Second time around, I continued running and practising Pilates, and I added swimming and weights to the regime. (It helped that I worked as a Personal Trainer in a gym). The benefits of this were enormous, yet the veins got worse as I am genetically predisposed to them, but I do strongly believe that they are not nearly as bad as they could have been!

Fast forward to my current and fourth pregnancy, and to be honest the main reason to get my sneakers on for a workout; not to even mention having to get the training bra on in this extremely cold weather… is to relieve and prevent discomfort in my legs. I can testify that if I skip too many workout days, my legs start to swell and ache! Even a quick 20 minute HIIT or cardio session makes the world of difference. Alongside that, the other physical benefits fall in line too. Happier mom, washed dishes, clothes that still fit – to mention a few.

One does need to follow some basic guidelines though. Yes, you may feel fine, not have a belly yet and be freaking out that you might be on the way to gaining 30kg. You are pregnant though, so something IS very different with you! You are growing a human being! So, before you squeeze into your tank top, pull on your sweats and tie those laces, here are some basic guidelines to follow.

# check with your doctor first if you have any underlying or previous illness, disease or injuries.

#if you haven’t been exercising before the pregnancy, start off slowly! I would strongly suggest that you get a trainer who specialises in pre – and postnatal exercises to either get you started with a suitable program that can be progressive or to work with you through your pregnancy and beyond.

#If you are an avid fitness enthusiast, and have been working out since you can remember, just remember to take it easy, you may need to bring those plyo-jumps down to a lower impact exercise or adjust other areas of your training to accommodate your growing baby and belly and the affected ligaments that are adjusting to your changing body.

#Ensure that you nourish your body with enough, and with the correct food. You will need an adequate amount of calories, but you are not eating for two! You are, however, eating for one that is growing a baby! In the first trimester you will need an additional 300 calories (dependant on your exercise routine as well), but it is essential that the nutritional content of these additional calories are highly nutritious and not empty calories. Read: No french fries. Or cake.

You can get a lot more food when aiming for an additional 300 calories while munching on fruit and veg! You can make the meals and snacks fun and exciting, it doesn’t have to be all carrot sticks and celery. One of my all time favourite snacks is lightly salted tortilla chips (the healthy kind), dipped in smashed avo.

Being pregnant is an exciting journey! It’s so much easier to enjoy it while feeling as best as you can physically. To get to this point, you will need to make some mental and emotional decisions though! Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Find an activity that you love, that is safe and that your doctor approves of, and get moving!

How well do U know U?

How well do U know U?

Before you judge my spelling… hear me out!


How  well do you really know yourself? Some of my clients and friends are super in tune with their bodies. They are aware of when they are ovulating, can feel a cold coming or or know when to stop a workout s they may be prone to getting injured (not out of laziness!).  Then there are the other half who sheepishly admit that they are  so out of tune, that they get blindsided by a cold or strained muscle. 


There are a lot of reasons why we either never become attuned to our body, or have lost touch with ourselves. One being that we lead busy, stressful lives, which makes it hard to even hear yourself think. Oftentimes, when we do get a chance to become still and restful, either sleep or the television overtakes us. Maybe even Facebook. Or the news. 


Another problem we face, especially as women, is that we feel guilty when we take out some time for ourselves, or even worse – we spend money on ourselves! *Gasp!* Now I am not saying spend the hugest portion of your budget on yourself, but it is imperative to take good care of yourself, if your cup runs empty, how will you ever fill up your family, friend’s or even work ‘cup’. Your reserves to give are limited, so it’s imperative that you fill your cup first so that you can give out. 




Now you are probably wondering what all this has to do with getting to know yourself better. 

well, thanks to technology and some innovative businesses out there, we are able to test our DNA from the comfort of our own home, and find out exactly how our own bodies work. Specific to your own DNA. 

I find this extremely helpful in my line of work as a Health Coach and Personal Trainer. It saves time and money, and to be honest a lot of unnecessary sweat and tears (not often blood thankfully!).

Many moons ago, when did the course to become a qualified DNA testing practitioner, I did the DNA test to ascertain my fitness  profile. My results showed that my muscle fibres prefer quick burst of high intensity exercises and less reps pf heavy weights. That totally explained why, that every time I tried to pushed past doing 10km races, I would suffer from injuries. I just could not reach my goal of doing a 21km comfortably without getting injured. My body could not train as others who were built for endurance. It also saves me time knowing that I can get bang for my buck in an intensive 20 minute workout! 

So, recently I did another DNA test – which encompasses a whole lot more. 

I did it through KnowU DNA in the Cape. I am still awaiting my results as it does take some patience as the wonderful process is being done. It was quick and easy to swab and deliver my tests. 

The box that the test comes in has your very own personal membership card, alongside this compostable sheet of paper, that, when planted the seeds will germinate. I am not sure what will be growing but am excited to see. 

The test that I took will tell me a lot more about my body’s needs, functioning. detox ability and so much more! 

Get in touch if you would like to find out more!

Absence makes the heart grow….Fonda?

Absence makes the heart grow….Fonda?

After procrastinating for so long to actually start up this blog, it has taken a substantial amount of time to write a follow up post! Life has happened in the last couple of months, adding juicy titbits to my future posts, which will hopefully be in the nearer future than my past history will give insight into.

I took a sabbatical from my much loved Pilates classes, to focus on our family. Naturally, with the best intentions to continue with my exercise regime. Which, naturally, did not happen. Fast forward to a year later, I received a photo of myself from a friend, and was absolutely shocked at how much weight I had gained. Not necessarily on the scale in kilograms, but more on the scale of roundness….

I realised that I needed accountability. I either needed to give classes, or attend them. It was lucky for me that the latter happened first. I bumped into the incredibly gifted instructor who took my classes over from me when I took a break, and she offered free classes whenever I am back to joining a group again.

I went the very next evening. I suffered. I panted. I groaned. But, alas, I did not moan! I loved it, especially when the class was over. I couldn’t wait to come back for more. My body ached and pained for the first while, but I loved feeling fitter and stronger as the weeks progressed.

It made me realise that I need that accountability. I thrive on the group class set up. Not everyone does; but I do. I’ve loved Jane Fonda’s exercise videos from the earliest age I can remember exercising. Even though this does not apply to all people, what does apply is that we all need to find our movement that we enjoy. Whether solo, in a group or with your pet, when you find what you love, or motivates you, it will be far easier to stick to a constant exercise regime.

Play around (pun was sort of intended!), try out different sports and exercise classes, until you find your niche, and your chances of consistently sticking to regular exercise will increase.

It’s almost time for me to swap my Pilatso pants for Pilates pants, as I prepare for my evening class. Not where I present, but where I skunk around in the back corner and unwind, relax and recharge.

And we go live!

And we go live!

I have been threatening to start a blog in I don’t know how long, but you know what that say about good things….

We live in a time where there is so much information out there, at our finger tips. Anytime of the day. Rash? Google it. Wikipedia will tell you who the strange name belongs to on your 30 seconds game card. How to…almost anything, Youtube has got your back.

With all these great benefits, also comes some negative points. We talk via social media almost more than we do face to face. We ask the internet before we ask the professionals. We believe that if it’s on the web, it’s too. So, with this we believe (almost) everything we read. This can bring about plenty of confusion, especially when it comes to our health, fitness and nutrition.

One site will tell you do do short bursts of High Intensity exercises every day, and eat only high protein meals, while the next contradicts this saying to carbo-load before doing your long distance sport. Others say only doe a HIIT workout once a week, others say change to a vegan diet, bouncing from one extreme to the next, you don’t know which will be the best choice in finding your quick fix solution, because you seriously need to look like that fitness model before the 16th of December. Because you are tired of feeling “bleh”. You are tired of sitting on the sidelines while others swim. You are sick and tired of being (literally) sick and tired. We all put it down to working hard, having kids and no time to ourselves (to exercise or even focus on our own diets).

I know it’s tough. Once life starts happening and snowballing down that hill, it’s hard to stop and take note of where you are nutritionally, fitness and health wise. Who has that kind of extra time. Besides, the only spare time I have when the kids go down, is going to be spent watching (insert favourite program here). Mine is The Middle.

Surprisingly enough, you are not in this boat alone. There are many of us in it together! There are also many small steps we can take to make positive changes. it’s overwhelming when you get your 6 day gym plan with your measured out diet of white chicken, broccoli and rice meal plan. With a picture on the fridge of what your aim is to look like. I know, I have been there. On more than one occasion, and it’s a party I do not intend to ever attend again. No matter how much effort I put into that program and meal plan, I still don’t look like that fitness model.

I do, however, want to stay strong, fit and healthy for my family. I want to play rugby with my husband and boys. I have accepted the accompanying bruises. I want to jump on the trampoline with my toddler daughter. I love giving classes to inspirational women. I love to dance when I am all alone. I also love to enjoy a glass of wine with a friend, or to say yes to a dinner invite and I especially enjoy nodding my head with a huge grin when offered birthday cake.

Balance is key.

I would love it f you would join me on this journey of finding balance in everyday, real life. Feeling good in our bodies, but not obsessing over what they look like, weigh or what size they are. Keeping a positive attitude, finding a way to find our purpose in life and thoroughly enjoy our family and friends!

We got one life, let’s live it. Let’s strive to live well, train well and eat well.