Last week in my Pregnancy Series, we talked about the benefits of exercising while pregnant. Today I want to talk about how you can look chic while still being comfortable while you are exercising. While there is nothing wrong with throwing on your hubby’s oversized tee over a pair of leggings, having a few sets of stylish maternity exercise clothing is probably going to make you feel a lot more motivated to exercise, while also making you look a lot better, too!
What To Look For
Regardless of whether you are planning to keep on running, or are going to chill out at a yoga class, you want to look for items of clothing that are breathable to keep you cool, stretchy yet supportive, and hopefully something that can take you from the end of the first trimester right through to delivery and the post-partum months. If your body thermostat is anything like mine was while I was pregnant, than layering is the key. Easy layers make it easy to adjust your temperature as you heat up and cool down. I mostly wore regular, non-maternity zip-up hoodies since it was summer by the time I was really big in both pregnancies, but if you need a maternity one, check out Old Navy. Also think about what activities you are going to do. If you were a runner before you were pregnant you might still like running while you are pregnant, and your workout clothes are going to be totally different to someone like me who mainly did yoga and pilates. For the more active, you probably need “full on” active wear; for the yogalates crowd, try and find active wear pieces that are less “sporty” and can also double up as comfy and stylish loungewear.
The Yogalates Crowd
Lets start here, since this is what I was most comfortable with when I was pregnant. For the first few months, you can probably carry on wearing your regular non-maternity yoga wear, since it is by nature stretchy and fluid. After a point, though, you will spend your entire class yanking up your yoga pants as they try and migrate under your bump! At that point, you can look for outfits like these:
I love these pants from Fit For Mums, and wore them during my last pregnancy, and quite a while afterwards. I love the pants; the waist can be worn folded down during the first two trimesters (and during the last if you like pants under the bump) or rolled up for more support during the third trimester. The fabric was also nice enough that you could wear these as lounge wear as well, not just sports wear. The singlets were also great – the touch of spandex means they stretch with you as your belly grows, and then spring back into shape once the belly is gone. Add in a pair of slip-on shoes, easy to get off and on for the class, and you are all set to go.
Hardcore Fitness Fanatics
I call you guys hardcore, since I don’t think I can think of anything worse than going for a run now, let alone when I was pregnant! However, for those of you who were fitness fanatics before you were pregnant, there is a lot of research showing that it is beneficial to keep up with your exercise regime once you are pregnant, with medical guidance.
This Reebok top is breathable and moisture wicking, so it will keep and you cool and dry when you are working up a sweat. Compression pants are great when you are not pregnant, so I think they would be even better when you are are, and these ones from Old Navy are a great price. Plus, like the yoga pants, the belly can be rolled up or down, depending on how much support you want. Don’t forget some good supportive shoes, and check you fit – your foot size can increase by up to a size when you are pregnant. Make sure you are well hydrated at all times by toting along a refillable water bottle, and keep an eye on your heart rate with a quality heart rate monitor.
Wet and Wild
Exercising in water was one of my favourite and most regular fitness activity when I was pregnant. The water kept me cool, and the body’s natural buoyancy in water made me feel less ungainly. I loved swimming, deep water aqua aerobics, and even just plain water walking.
I preferred a tankini when I was pregnant since it could take me right through from the early stages of pregnancy to the post-partum period, although you can also find maternity one pieces as well. Again, make sure you take along water – when exercising in water, you often don’t seem as thirsty, but you still need it. Lastly, don’t forget some cheap and cheerful flip-flops!
As you can see, there are now stylish and chic AND practical options for all sports and all stages of pregnancy available now. So no excuses – get out there, keep fit, and stay chic!