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8 ways to get motivated for prenatal exercise (when you’re feeling anything but)

I don’t know about you, but I always find the weather affects my mood. It’s far easier to feel motivated and happy when the sun is shining than when it’s cold, grey or raining. Am I right?The funny thing is, we all know how much better we feel after doing some exercise. So why do we resist it so much, when we know it’s the very thing that will shift our mood? Here are 8 simple ways you can get your asana on (that’s yoga-talk for doing your workout!) when you’re not feeling motivated.

1. Put your gear on

This is seriously one of my best tips. If you’re not feeling like exercising, you can trick yourself by saying “I’ll just put my clothes on and then see how I feel”. It’s incredible but this works for me every. single. time. I instantly feel like exercising when I’m wearing my yoga clothes – try it!

2. Do it with a friend (or ask someone to keep you accountable)

Do you have a pregnant friend or new mum friend you can do the class together with? You’re more likely to show up if you know someone else is expecting you there. Otherwise, ask your partner to keep you accountable and give you a (gentle and kind) nudge in the right direction when your motivation is wavering.

3. Mix it up

Routine can become boring so mix it up and try a different class at a different time of day. Like prenatal pilates at lunchtime instead of prenatal yoga in the evening. Or check out a different teacher. We have the best pregnancy yoga teachers here at Mother Nurture Yoga, so why not check out them all?

4. Music

They say that music is medicine so use it to lift your mood. It’s hard to stay low when you pump up the volume and dance around to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams or “Don’t worry, be happy” (Do it, it works!) If you’re looking for something to inspire your yoga practice, check out our Mother Nurture Yoga playlists on Spotify – we have something for everyone to set the mood for your virtual pregnancy yoga practice.

5. Schedule it in

I’m a great believer in scheduling things in to make them happen. I know I’m much more likely to do that prenatal pilates class if I commit to doing it at 5.30pm – 6.30pm, rather than some vague “yeah I’ll do some pilates today”. That’s why livestream classes are great for procrastinators! Or if you know your day is going to get busy and you might get railroaded into working late, do your yoga in the morning by choosing from one of over 60 prenatal classes in our on-demand library. Access to this library comes free with all our virtual unlimited memberships. You won’t find such a comprehensive library of prenatal yoga, pilates and yogalates classes anywhere else in the world.

6. Reward yourself

Promise yourself a treat – like a candlelit bath or an early night – in exchange for doing your exercise. The treat will feel doubly good!

7. Just breathe

Often a low mood can be shifted by some simple deep breathing! I love Tai Chi which combines deep breathing with hand movements to shift energy. Try this for 3 minutes to see the incredible affect it can have:

Stand with feet hip width apart, hands by your sides and a soft bend in your knees. Breathe in through your nose as you lift your arms out to the sides and up, joining the palms together above your head. Breathe out through your mouth as you lower your hands back down to your sides. No need to be rigid – allow your hands and fingers to relax. Be present and mindful – enjoying the flow of the movement and the breath through your whole body.

3. Sleep

You’ll be much less motivated to exercise if you’re feeling tired, irritable and run down – so give yourself the best chance of success by getting enough sleep each night. I know that’s often easier said than done when you’ve got aching hips, cramping calf muscles and a baby pushing down on your bladder!Afternoon naps are one of the perks of pregnancy and postpartum! If you’re body’s telling you it’s tired, it’s time to listen.

Other tips for better sleep: Avoid caffeine after 5pm, switch off any technology at least an hour before bed, have a warm shower or bath, meditate or do some breathing, and try to get to bed at the same time each night.

I hope these ideas inspire you to get onto your mat and do some pregnancy yoga, because I know you’ll feel just great afterwards! What works for you? Leave a comment below to share your ideas.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! The perinatal period has many, many weird and wonderful symptoms.For pregnancy yoga classes online or in-person, the most important thing is that you keep communication open with your yoga teacher for each and every class. This might mean showing up to class early enough to have a private chat or calling the office beforehand so the notes on your file can be updated. Same goes for mums and bubs yoga classes.While we do our best to remember, your teacher is only human so don’t assume she can remember everything about you. A quick check-in each class is helpful from both sides.One final thing – never feel embarrassed about talking to your teacher! Because we specialise in pregnancy, birth and new mums, trust us, we’ve heard it all before and are here to help you. Our main priority is always to keep you and your baby safe, so we much prefer you to talk to us

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