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Liverpool PT reveals why its important to exercise during pregnancy

Holly Braithwaite, a Liverpool Personal Trainer, has revealed why she feels it’s so important to maintain your fitness levels during pregnancy for a smoother recovery.

The 36-year-old, who is the co-owner of POW8R alongside her partner Callum Webb, has always been into health and fitness, having been active and competed in showjumping from a very young age.

Liverpool PT reveals why its important to exercise during pregnancy

In 2015, Holly qualified as a Personal Trainer, completing multiple courses including a pre and post natal training programme.

Within three months of becoming a PT, Holly took on her first pregnant client, guiding and advising her on how to train best for her level of fitness throughout pregnancy.

Since then, she’s gone on to train hundreds of pregnant women, but when she launched POW8R in 2021, an online fitness app that focuses on creating sustainable and achievable healthy lifestyles, transforming habits, mindsets and fitness levels, and helping their clients with both their mental and physical health, Holly refreshed her knowledge on pre and post natal training, investing more time into broadening her knowledge.

With members from 18-60 years of age, POW8R is suitable for all, with over 600 workouts and over 600 recipes available to access at any time. 

Holly and Callum also take real-time live workouts four times a week, where users can log on and workout alongside them both. There’s also a chat box for live workouts where members can communicate to help with accountability and interaction with other members.

POW8R now works with thousands of women who want to continue to exercise throughout their pregnancy, something Holly wholeheartedly recommends. And if you haven’t trained before, she recommends keeping active by taking light walks, a prenatal yoga class or swimming.

She explained:

“I’d never recommend for someone who is pregnant to start training intensely in their pregnancy if they haven’t beforehand but staying active will keep you and baby healthy. You could take light walks, a pre-natal yoga class or swim. However, if you’ve trained regularly, and you don’t have any health issues, there is no reason why you should be scared or feel like you shouldn’t train – exercise is incredibly healthy for you and your baby for many reasons.”

In 2022, Holly fell pregnant with the couple’s first child and gave birth to the couple’s beautiful and healthy daughter Vogue in October.

Having trained at an intense level for years, Holly continued to exercise six times per week with a split of two POW8R live workouts, three either home or gym workouts and one run.

She explained:

“At the beginning of my pregnancy, I thought I’d only be able to maintain my usual workouts up until around six months, but I took each day and week as they came and listened to my body. If I needed to rest, I did, but there was no reason why I couldn’t train and so I continued to do so. It was mind over matter for me and it really is incredible what our bodies are capable of. I definitely reaped the benefits of training post birth and throughout my recovery.”

Whilst Holly had to adapt certain exercises, reduced the intensity of her training and didn’t lift as heavy, she continued to workout right up until her birth, with her waters breaking on a live POW8R workout.

Holly said:

“I had a feeling that my waters were going to break that day – but not on a live workout! It was about five minutes into the 30 minute workout and we were doing squats. I bent down when I felt this stream coming out of me! I know that labour can take hours so I just continued with the workout – it was all caught on video and now we look back and laugh. It was bound to happen to me when training hundreds of people live. Vogue wasn’t born until 24 hours later so she definitely wasn’t going to come during the class!

Holly is an advocate for training through pregnancy and is passionate about busting the myths surrounding exercise being unsafe for pregnant women.

Having completed two pre and post natal courses, she also recommends doing your own research including reading books, listening to podcasts and hearing other people’s stories to gain more knowledge on exercise during pregnancy.

Holly explained:

“There were exercises I stopped as soon as I found out I was pregnant including core exercises when on your back. I also lifted lighter than I usually would as there is a risk and for me, it’s just not a risk worth taking. My main piece of advice would be to listen to your body; it will tell you what feels right and wrong for you but if you’re unsure, always seek the help of a professional who is experienced and trained in pre and post natal exercises.”

Having worked with women who have trained right through their pregnancy either up until birth or until a few weeks before, Holly has seen them recover stronger and more quickly than women who didn’t exercise.

She added:

“Keeping your body active will help you maintain your strength and fitness levels which will make your recovery a lot easier. If you listen to your body and train according to your fitness level, you’ll be benefiting both yourself and the baby. This could be going for walks, taking a yoga class or weight training; it’s about finding what works for you. I recommend the talk test; if you have music on and you can sing to it or you can speak to someone during your workout, you’re likely to be training at the right level for you.

“If you focus on how you want to feel post birth and your recovery, this will help you maintain your training. I took seven weeks off training after birth and I still felt I had strength and stamina when I came back to exercise. This was down to the work I’d put in during pregnancy.”

POW8R supports and guides women with exercising throughout their pregnancy, with a full prenatal workout section. Or, POW8R subscribers can opt to take part in the usual workouts, with Holly advising on what they need to adapt to suit.

POW8R offers subscriptions that include monthly, quarterly, and yearly options.

READ MORE: Liverpool lifeguard shed over three stones to live a healthier and happier life

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