For anyone who knows me, you'll realise that exercise isn't really my 'thing'. I've had a gym membership for a few years now (which I've used on and off) and I've loved the stints I've done at Hypoxi, but as far as an ongoing fitness regime - I've never had one.
I blame my workload, and my toddler, and my relationship, and my attempt at having some down time when I get the chance. How on earth was there time to fit anything else in?
I guess being 7 months pregnant also added to the list of excuses, but when I was offered the opportunity to try out Rhythm Pilates and South African Callanetics at Club Rhythm in North Adelaide, it seemed like a good a time as any to start.
Especially when the team there told me that it would help with giving birth. Anything that helps is worth doing, right?
With the nod from my doctor, it was time to don the workout gear and hope that I didn't bump in to anyone I knew.
Well I've been going for a few weeks now and it's time to report back.
For both my Pilates and Callanetics classes, I've been lucky enough to nab two fantastic trainers who are giving me one-on-one sessions. This works really well because a regular group class wouldn't be able to focus on teaching me all the pregnancy-friendly moves, and ensuring that I'm doing everything safely for both the baby & I. I'm also quite a lot slower than the regular Joe these days, and appreciate that I can take things at my own pace.
The Rhythm Pilates classes are taken in the centre of the club, in a specialty room with STOTT PILATES® machines. It's surprisingly easy for me, as it seems that my body has retained some of it's physical memory of how it's meant to work. We're focusing on arm and leg exercises which are helping me with my flexibility and overall strength, and are helping to prepare me not only for the super physical challenge ahead of me, but for my post-baby recovery and bounce-back (do you like how optimistic I'm being here?).
My sessions go for around 45m - 1hr and I am definitely spent at the end of each one. As I mentioned though, they aren't too much for me, which I feel is extremely important, as I don't have too much energy to spare these days!
South African Callanetics
Just to be clear, we're not talking about Callisthenics here. There are no ribbons, children in make up or brightly coloured leotards allowed.
Callanetics was created in the 80s by a ballet dancer to help alleviate her back and knee pain. The pelvic floor exercises in the South African version of Callanetics lift and shape buttocks and provide core strength to reduce hip and lower back pain. I think overall, it's just another great form of exercise to help strengthen and tone your body.
Compared to the Pilates classes I'm taking, I find Callanetics to be much more challenging on my muscles. As this style of exercise uses your own body for resistance (think leg lifts etc) it's really up to you as to how hard you push yourself. My arms and legs ache after each class, but it's actually nice to think that I'm doing something positive during my pregnancy rather than just eating blocks of chocolate because 'the baby wants it'. The fact that I have a fabulous teacher (Marayka) also helps. In fact, the entire team at Club Rhythm are all wonderful so I've been lucky.
Everyone is really supportive about my pregnancy and my slow return in to the world of exercise.
Overall, I think Rhythm Pilates and Callanetics are a good combo to do, as both are low/no impact, while each targets different muscles and exercises your body in different ways. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get nearly as much out of it (pregnant) if I didn't have the one-on-one classes though as my attention span is short at the moment, and I need to be guided along in order to keep me on track.
Do I think this will help me in childbirth? Who knows, but I've still got some time left before I need to find out, so I'll keep doing my pelvic floor exercises, going to my classes and hoping for the best.
At the very least, I'm helping my body to remember that it's still got muscles and that fact will certainly help me on the other side of this 9 month journey!
Club Rhythm feels like a day spa, but operates a variety of fitness programs for those who like their self improvement to happen in style. It's located at 69-71 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide.
Rhythm Pilates (group) classes happen several times a day from Monday - Friday.
South African Callanetics (group) classes happen Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 6:15pm and Saturday at 8:30am.