I’m 20 weeks pregnant with baby #2. It hasn’t been terrible, but I hadn’t been feeling the “glow”. More like “blah”.
I decided to go and check out Brisbane’s first PreKanga classes in North Lakes – fun and gentle prenatal exercise for expectant mummas. I’m not the exercise-type, at all. I count picking toys up off the ground and hanging the washing as my daily exercise ;-). But at 20 weeks pregnant, I was well into second trimester and still desperately waiting for the promised energy boost, so I was willing to try anything!
I am happy to report that Pre-Kanga was totally worth going to. It’s 4 days later as I’m writing this and I’m overall still feeling the energy and self-esteem boost. I even felt so good that I took my first belly shot of the pregnancy. AND posted it to social media :-O.
Check that post-workout bliss! ;-)
What is Pre-Kanga?
Pre-Kanga is an hour-long group workout class designed specifically for pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy, if you have clearance from your doctor). Instructors are trained in issues specific to pregnant women and only choose exercises that are gentle and safe.
The class starts with stretching and warm ups on yoga mats (with awesome foam rollers and balls to massage out knots), then moves into a few dance tracks to get your arms and legs really pumping, before finishing off with more stretching and some pelvic floor work.
If you’ve done Kangatraining before with your previous babies (where you exercise with bub in a carrier), you’ll find a lot of similarities between the two. Lots of gentle warm up/down on mats and fun workouts to music that makes you want to move!
Sneaky shot I took of our amazing instructor Brooke changing up the tracks between moves. Brooke is also expecting her second baby!
Why do I recommend PreKanga as an awesome Pre-Natal exercise option? Ohhh so many reasons… here we go…
1) It’s Safe
When you’re pregnant, you need to take extra care of yourself and baby when working out. Especially if, like me, you’re not overly active to begin with. With all the changes your body goes through, certain exercises are best saved for when you’re fully recovered after childbirth. The instructors are trained in safety for pregnancy and Brooke regularly reminded us to only work out to our comfort levels throughout the session.
2)The Intensity is Just Right
The PreKanga session really eased me into the work out, giving me enough time to work up a bit of a sweat and increased heartrate so that I felt like I was doing something, but not anywhere near discomfort. I felt a tiny bit sore for a couple of days afterwards (mostly from stretching out some muscles that I don’t use much!), but not in an unpleasant way at all. There are plenty of opportunities to take a break/drink, and each exercise is very low-impact. It felt like the hour went super quickly and I could have easily gone for at least another 30 minutes without running out of energy.
3) It’s Fun
What could be more fun than a roomful of dancing pregnant ladies? Exactly. ;-). Brooke chose modern, upbeat music that made us feel great and get moving. We had plenty of laughs and a good time moving our bodies.
4) It has Variety
You’re not stuck doing the same repetitive exercise repeatedly. So even if you hate squats (raise your hand!), you won’t be doing them for more than a minute or two before the class moves on to another dance track, stretch, or something else. There is no chance of boredom at PreKanga! Brooke also changes up the dance tracks every few weeks with new songs and moves so that even if you attend weekly, there’ll be something new just around the corner.
5) It Preps You for a Natural Birth (If you want one)
Natural child birth is something that can take some preparation (for most women!). Keeping healthy and active is one part of that. Many of the moves we did at PreKanga are very useful in strengthening and/or loosening different parts of a pregnant woman’s body to help it through a smoother first and second stage. Some of the particularly helpful moves we did were functional movements, pelvic floor strengthing exercises, pelvic swings, and squats, plus general leg and core strengthening exercises.
6) Make Preggo Friends!
When I was pregnant for the first time, I have to admit that it was a pretty lonely experience. I hardly knew anyone in my social circles expecting a baby, and my source of connection was mainly in online forums. This time, especially with PreKanga, my experience is so much better. Having other expectant mums that you can talk to and share experiences with is totally enriching. And the best part is that we’re all on this journey together – soon we’ll all be heading into the next (and often hardest stage) of caring for a newborn, and I’m looking forward to being able to encourage other new mums and enjoy their support too.
7) Get Time Out (from work, home, or kiddies!)
Not gonna lie. A HUGE reason why PreKanga was so great for me is because it got me out of the house and off the hook for possibly the worst hours of the evening. I didn’t have to deal with an overtired baby after dinner, shower him, brush his teeth, etc. I really needed that time out, because it can be non-stop. Unfortunately, he was still awake when I got home, but he was so tired that he went to sleep for me pretty quickly (sorry husband – one day he’ll do it for you too!). Either way, the evening class means that partners can watch children and mums with day jobs can attend.
8) Relax with Your Body’s Changes
Getting pregnant can be kind of scary for many different reasons, not least of all because of all the changes that happen to your body. Sometimes, it can feel a bit out of your control. Working on your fitness during pregnancy can really help with this feeling. It can also help that everyone else in the class is going through similar changes to their bodies and so you can relax to go with it a bit more. :-)
9) It’s Not a Huge Commitment
An hour-long class each week is not a huge amount of time. You can even get one-off passes so that you’re not committed to go back the next week unless you want to. You don’t have to commit to anything – just take things as they come (sometimes that’s all you can do with the ups and downs of pregnancy!). The best thing you can do is just give it a go at least once to find out if it’s right for you.
10) Transition into Kangatraining Post-Partum!
Once baby is born and you’ve recovered from the delivery, you’ll be pretty keen to get out of the house again and possibly even do some exercise (trust me, it is possible!). The great thing about PreKanga is that it leads perfectly into Kangatraining where you can bring bub along in a baby carrier. You’ll probably even be able to return to the same location, instructor, and friends you made at PreKanga. If you bought a discounted bulk-pass to PreKanga, you can use it for Kangatraining too. Winning!
Happy baby-growing and pregnant glowing!
P.S. Pregnant, in North-Brisbane, and want to try Pre-Kanga Pre-Natal Exercise? Join me and the other ladies at PreKanga North Lakes with the amazing Brooke! All the details on pricing, times, etc. are here.
P.P.S. Already had the baby? Awesome! You’ll want to check out Kangatraining then. You’ll love it. Trust me!
Copyright Brooke Maree © 2017
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