The Pilates and fitness expert, Leah Simmons is taking pregnancy in her stride. With a baby on the way, she maintains her effortless glow and fit physique.
We wanted to know her secret and so we sat down with the expert to talk about her five non-negotiable health and fitness rituals she abides by during her pregnancy:
I went from hard core training six days a week to being flat on my back unable to even drag my sorry ass off the couch during my first trimester, so this one is a bit of a grey area as everyone’s pregnancy experience is different. Luckily for me, when I hit 10 weeks, my morning sickness miraculously disappeared and I was able to exercise again…however not everyone is so lucky. I’ve been mixing it up with strength training, Pilates, prenatal yoga, and walking. I would say if you feel like it, then moving your body in whatever way makes you feel good is amazing during pregnancy. But don’t beat yourself up if you just don’t feel like it.
2. Mindfulness and meditation
This is probably the most important for me. It’s so easy to tell someone what to feel when you’re not going through an experience yourself, and one of the biggest lessons I learnt from training new mums who just wanted to get their pre-baby bodies back is that the process is an emotional one. I’ve been through it. Your body goes through one helluva wild ride and it’s not always easy to look at yourself with love…. so learning how to be with yourself, accept yourself, cultivate that all-important self-love is everything! Kundalini yoga does it for me, but practicing daily mindfulness or meditation is also amazing. I want to show women that it’s incredible their bodies have changed… as it means they can also change back; it’s all in the way you look at it.
This is another big one and one I’m afraid I’m not that great at. I also have an incredibly active eight-year-old son and an even more active husband so "rest" isn’t something I am giving myself much of at the moment. I know though that by the beautiful third trimester, I’ll be slowing right down and prepping for some serious nesting time. Rest for me is also indulging in things that aren’t necessarily work related, like reading, cooking or playing the piano.
This is not the time to try those strange diets or jump on any faddish bandwagons (not that I do that anyway), however, a healthy balanced diet while pregnant is essential. I also know that the whole "eating for two" thing is a bit of a myth so watching your overall calorie intake is also important. My rule with nutrition is to make sure I’m getting all of my macronutrients in the healthiest way possible, so that means making sure that my protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre intake is all on point. I like to eat as organic and chemical-free as possible. Oh, and it’s imperative to make sure you’re getting enough water. You increase your blood and fluid volume by up to 4 kilos whilst pregnant so staying properly hydrated is key.
I start every morning with my morning ritual – I call it the ‘elevate liquid breakfast’ and I have it every day. It’s packed full of nutrients, proteins, good fats and carbs and it gets me going for the day ahead. Here’s the recipe for you to try it:
- 1 x frozen banana
- 1 x scoop vegan protein powder
- 1 x scoop Nuzest Good Green Stuff
- 1 x tablespoon XCT Oil
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 150ml water
5. Fashion and beauty
As the belly grows, the clothing options shrink. It’s important for me to still make an effort with my outfits even during pregnancy as I can imagine how easy it would to be fall down that slippery slope to a life of oversized t-shirts and track pants. Feeling good should come from the inside, but a polished exterior also helps…but this doesn’t mean running out and buying a whole new wardrobe either. Find a few key pieces that can work back with each other and mix and match. I would invest in a great pair of maternity jeans and some good fitting bras then you can just add in your layers. Once you’ve conquered this, take advantage of that lush pregnancy hair and glowing skin, and you’re ready to go.
For more on this topic, Tiff Hall reveals the 7 health myths you need to stop believing. Plus, Sam Wood shares his 5 easy ways to improve your gut health.
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Fitness | body+soul