As a newly pregnant woman, I have found that the most common advice is “don’t move too much, sleep a lot, and remember you’re eating for two.” While I’m sure most advice given to pregnant women is dispensed with good intentions, that specific combination sounds like a recipe for a health disaster, and it well and truly is!
Many people are under the impression that pregnant women shouldn’t exercise in order to protect their unborn child. However, the truth is that exercise during pregnancy actually helps you better manage labor and get back into shape more quickly afterwards. Studies have also shows that exercise during pregnancy may actually help in fetal development.
Laurence Arca-Bathe faced the same misconceptions about exercise during pregnancy when she was pregnant and found that trainers were too afraid to work with her for liability issues. Frustrated, she decided to take matters into her own hands and set up Urban Energy Fitness in 2009 to help expectant mums and women who have just delivered stay in shape. Today, the fitness company focuses on both pre & post natal fitness along with marathon training.
I booked my first prenatal fitness session today through The Curve, and as I exercised regularly before pregnancy and have stayed active throughout my first few months, I expected a prenatal class to be a breeze. What my mind hadn’t come to terms with yet is that my body is not capable of the same energy exertion now as pre-pregnancy! I was in for a shock.
The session that I attended took place in Safa Park, but classes are also available at The Palm Jumeirah. The instructor Zoe separated the women into pre & post natal groups as the exercises were different. She then guided us through several sets of circuits for the duration of an hour, which included squats, planks, lunges, deadlifts, and even kettleball swings! While she was extremely careful and aware of everyone’s personal situation, she definitely wasn’t lenient! I appreciated her attentiveness and the small class size, as it meant she was always double checking my form to ensure I don’t injure myself.
By the end of the class my legs were on fire and sweat was dripping down my face. I was really tired, but it felt SO good to do a full hour workout again, and I felt safe with Zoe’s supervision. What’s lovely about the class is the mix of women, as having new mums in the group also helps expectant ones have a goal in mind for post-pregnancy. If you’re a new mum, you don’t even have to worry about getting a baby sitter for the duration of the class. Bring your baby along and a member of the Urban Energy team will look after her along with the other children. That’s what I call amazing service!
Activity: Pre & Post Natal Fitness
Provider: Urban Energy Fitness
Location: Safa Park or Palm Jumeirah Park
Timing: Safa Park: Sun & Tues at 10:00. Palm Jumeirah: Sun 18:30, Tues 18:30, Fri 09:00
Duration: 1 hours
Price: 85 AED
Book it: Safa Park or Palm Jumeirah Park. A 10 session package is also available for a 100 AED discount.