The health benefits of regular exercise during pregnancy and after birth are well known, but social distancing and lockdown have made group exercise classes out of question in recent months - especially for pregnant women, who are advised to take extra precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While you might be able to find workout videos on YouTube, it’s nothing like the motivational and moral support that you get from sessions in-person, nor the quality of expertise that you get from a routine that’s tailored to your body’s specific needs by a pre- and postnatally qualified instructor.
Although nothing can replace the camaraderie and focused attention of sweating it out together in real life, UAE pre- and postnatal specialists Rebalance’s programme of group fitness classes held live on Zoom are probably the closest thing you can get to it in the time of coronavirus.
Rebalance is offering a comprehensive daily timetable of workouts that are designed to be suitable for all levels, ranging from pregnancy Pilates and C-section or pelvic-floor rehab sessions, to Carrybaby Fit classes, hardcore couples circuits and even a babywearing workout specifically for dads.
Designed to fit around newborn-care schedules, there is a class every day of the week and morning sessions begin from 8am, while the last afternoon class commences at 7pm. They cost Dh70 per session and have a limited number of participants, so that live feedback can be given and the exercises can be tailored to your specific pre- or postnatal stage and fitness level.
Here’s a rundown of the classes on offer:
*CORE CONNECT PRENATAL*
Held by pelvic floor and core specialist Tanya, this class is aimed at mums-to-be wanting to strengthen all the key muscles groups for pregnancy, labour and recovery.
*PILATES PRENATAL AND POSTNATAL*
Led by women’s health physio Neasa, this class can address specific prenatal and postnatal issues such as back pain, pelvic floor issues, prolapse etc.
*CORE CONNECT - PHASE 1 *
If you are recently postnatal or are struggling to close your abdominal separation (diastasis recti) and want more focused attention on pelvic floor, this is your class. It’s a full body workout, but aimed at early postnatal and those requiring more focus on their core muscles (e.g. Abdominal seperation, pelvic floor tightness or weakness).
*CIRCUITS - PHASE 2 *
Aimed at all levels, however if you have not done any core or pelvic floor work to start, it is advised that you start with the Core Connect classes to help you build up strength in your core.
*CARRYBABY FIT - PHASE 2*
A fun but intense babywearing class which combines strength exercises with the weight of your baby as you wear him or her in a carrier on your body. You will need to be at least 10 weeks postpartum before joining this class, but if you are experiencing weakness in the pelvic floor you should begin with one of the Core Connect classes.
*BLAST - PHASE 3*
A tough, circuit-style class combining strength and cardio for women who’ve completed their postnatal rehab.