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Helen's Story

Helen Pic 1.jpeg

When I discovered I was pregnant I was thrilled, but also knew I wanted to keep active, not only for mine and baby’s health but my mind too."

I have not always been massively active, I always loved swimming, walking and enjoyed the outdoors but my passion started when I got a road bike about 8 years ago and fell in love, living in the north of England with hills and countryside on my doorstep was perfect. 

I rode 3 or 4 times a week and signed up to sportives, cycling holidays and challenges.  Unfortunately, I suffered a herniated disc, which ended up in surgery last year and nearly a year off my bike. That, with a move to Germany (without my road bike) I turned to other activities, I started bouldering regularly, skiing, hiking, yoga and more recently running.  


The active lifestyle is encouraged here, with cycling being a great way of getting about. When I discovered I was pregnant I was thrilled but also knew I wanted to keep active, not only for mine and baby’s health but my mind too.  I spoke to my doctor on my first visit about exercise and she encouraged it, only warning against free climbing! Early in my pregnancy I went skiing, not pushing myself and being extra vigilant and kept running.  Of course I read countless articles online and advice was very mixed and sometimes confusing,  but mostly there was encouragement to keep active.  With this advice, I carried on, ensuring to rest when tired (Netflix and a slice of cake, yes please!), eat and drink the right things and not to push myself.

Mostly friends have been supportive, but I have received some advice that has not been so kind and made me doubt my actions. It’s great that people offer advice, (and it’s much appreciated, maternity leggings…so comfy!) but pregnancy is already a minefield of dos and don’ts and unsolicited advice from those who have been there and done that!  I spoke to a friend who is a keen triathlete and she referred me to the Active Pregnancy Foundation.  The advice and information was clear and sensible and is a great encouragement to women who are unsure of the right thing to do.

My advice to others is, keep active, be sensible and be happy.  I know that at this stage in my pregnancy a run is still comfortable and enjoyable.  Mixed with yoga and walks I hope keeping active will benefit both me and my baby and I will continue to be active post birth.  Plus, I hope I get my road bike over here post Coronavirus and get out and explore the areas around Munich! 

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