Ultra-marathon runner, Blackmores ambassador and Nike trainer, Bec Wilcock, announced the arrival of her adorable baby boy, Beau Patrick on her Instagram this week. Curious to know how this extreme athlete stays in shape with her first baby on board, we caught up with Bec to find out how she kept fit throughout pregnancy.
How has your pregnancy been?
I've been extremely lucky to have a textbook pregnancy with no complications. The time has flown by and watching the little guy grow has been a journey I'm honestly so thankful for.
Although I still love working out and sticking to my healthy routines, I've really taken this time to listen to my new body, embrace the change it's going through, and just enjoy this magical experience.
What has been the most surprising/ challenging aspect of pregnancy? Any advice for other women early on in their pregnancy?
Accepting that you can't control everything! Your body, emotions, and physical capabilities go through a big change (at different times) when you are pregnant. The best advice I can give is to accept these changes every day they happen; it’s all part of the experience. Some days I would just have to laugh at myself to get by, and that’s okay too!
What part have you enjoyed the most so far?
I've really enjoyed learning and experiencing just how amazing the female body is! I'm a little bit of a book worm so reading whilst the little athlete grew in my belly was my favourite thing to do.
How has your diet changed during your pregnancy?
I've had cravings for smoothies (especially Banana and Acai Smoothies) and wanted more carbohydrates. Otherwise, things have been fairly similar - I eat 6 small meals a day with lots of water in between meals. I haven't been eating for two because I don't believe you need to but I have been lenient towards myself and eating what I crave.
How has your exercise regime changed through pregnancy?
I've been training for two! So a few things changed:
- Intensity decreased; we worked at 70% of my max effort (still able to hold a conversation whilst training).
- Movements and exercises changed throughout my different trimesters. For example I stopped running at 32 weeks and found a new love for walking long distances.
- I had a "training for two" program that changed evaluated every 4-6 weeks. This worked for me because I like structure.
- We took more rest/easy days in Trimester 3.
- I listen to my body on the days I didn't feel like training.
- All warm ups and cool downs are longer for each session and include different breathing techniques.
Bec Wilcock shares her pregnancy fitness tips - 7 tips for staying fit through your pregnancy
- Know your body! When I found out I was pregnant I made a list in my diary of all the different movements and types of exercises I had been doing over the last year. This refreshed my memory and helped me not to introduce any new exercises in to my training for two program.
- Know what motivates you! I found having a weekly fitness and nutrition routine kept me motivated and mentally strong throughout my pregnancy. It also kept the bump healthy and happy too.
- Stay Hydrated! Carry a water bottle with you, whether you’re heading to the gym or going to bed.
- Know when to slow down or stop! From Trimester 1 to birth, I listened to my body and accepted the days I needed to slow down or stop.
- Workout Gear. Make sure you wear a support bra that fits your new breast size and check you’re wearing the correct shoes that are the right size, and comfortable – this can be a game changer for your whole body.
- Break up your workouts by reducing time. For example try a 30 minute walk in the morning and a 15-20 minute body weight circuit in the afternoon.
- Know your target weight. Knowing my healthy weight range guided me week to week with my pregnancy. This way if I was ever underweight or gained weight abnormally fast I could consult my doctor about it.
NOTE: Exercise lowers the risk of depression and anxiety. It also gets you ready for labor. Research shows that healthy pregnant women who exercise during pregnancy may have less risk of preterm delivery and shorter labor, less likely to need pain relief, and recover from childbirth faster.
Bec Wilcock’s pregnancy exercise program – 5 prenatal exercises to do every day/week
Baby Bump Favorite exercises:
- Resistance Training
- Running/Jogging (until 30 weeks)
- Modified HIIT sessions (working up to 70% of your max effort).
- Mobility (Stretching and foam rolling)
Top 5 Resistant Training movements (Gym or Home):
- Sumo squat (holding 1 Dumbbell or Kettlebell)
- Static Lunge with bicep curl (using Dumbbells)
- Bent over row (Dumbbells)
- Kneeling Tricep extensions (1 Dumbell)
- Bench push ups
Top 5 Floor Movements (Mobility warm up)
- Cat to cow
- Bird dog
- Hip openers
- Downward dog
- Warrior pose
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Bec Wilcock is an ultra-marathon runner, Blackmores ambassador, and Nike trainer. See more of her fitness journey and tips on her Instagram account.