Get your pre-pregnancy body back

Fitness Expert Dax Moy is helping London Mums once again to get our pre-pregnancy bodies back. The notorious fitness guru – most famously responsible for helping X-factor winner Michelle McManus to lose 10 stones – has turned his attention to pre- and post-natal ladies, offering tips for staying healthy and regaining pre-pregnancy bodies while staying safe and healthy.

His research into pre- and post-natal women highlighted that women want a natural healthy pregnancy, a natural and straight forward labour with no complications and, most importantly, a healthy baby.

Dax says: “I’m seeing more and more women coming through my doors because they want the fastest possible route to getting their pre-pregnancy bodies back. I want to teach women how they can stay healthy while improving their body shape. There’s a lot of pressure due to the media hype around celebrities losing weight so quickly following childbirth and I want to do my bit to help normal women whose bodies are affected by having families to ease the struggle of regaining their pre-pregnancy figures. It’s not as complex as many women think.”

During pregnancy

· Bloating and water retention: Bloating and water retention are normal during pregnancy, with about half of all pregnant women suffering. Dax says: “One of the reasons why bloating and water retention happen is related to, believe it or not, a lack of clean fresh water coming into the body. Drink more water, more regularly, and your body will stop holding onto fluids in all the least attractive of places.”

· Puffy ankles: It’s normal for ankles to swell during pregnancy when extra water is retained and additional blood circulates in the body. Dax says: “Puffy ankles (commonly referred to as cankles) are related to poor circulation more than anything else. To avoid these, you should do everything you can to ensure you’re moving about as often as you can, especially in the lower body. I know that pregnancy is tiring but try not to spend all day sitting down. Get up and move at least every 15 minutes and you’ll work wonders on your puffy tired ankles”.

· Sleep: Pregnancy has a huge effect on your hormones are as you become more oestrogen-dominant to help with the growth of the baby. Dax says: “Maximise the effects of your hormones for both you and your baby by going to bed earlier at night. Where possible, take naps so that your growth hormone and testosterone can do their job in helping you to recover from the stresses your body is under, and so that the oestrogen can do what it needs to for the baby.”

· Food intake: It’s common for women to relax their mindset when it comes to food while they’re pregnant, but as Dax explains, it’s not a great strategy for them, or their unborn baby. Dax says: “Keep processed wheat, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and processed foods at arm’s length and try to eat pre-dominantly fresh fruit, vegetables, pulses, meat, fish and eggs. Remember, the way that the body deals with pollution is through dilution, and if your diet is not clean, you’ll gain a ton of water weight. Besides, if you are bloating because your foods are toxic to your metabolism, that means that you’re giving the same toxic foods to the baby. It’s all about being sensible, and in reality, you need to be healthier than ever when you have a baby growing inside you.”

Post pregnancy

· How to exercise: Most new mums jump back into cardiovascular workouts, in an effort to lose fat quickly. According to Dax, this is not the right course of action for new mums. He says: “Perform strength-based work with either free weights or bodyweight, as cardio work is much more likely to make you lose your hard-earned muscle tissue than your fat stores. This is because of the increased cortisol you’ll be producing. Avoid this problem by using your muscles by doing push-ups, lunges, squats etc, in a circuit fashion that taxes your muscles. This way, you’ll maximise your metabolism and burn more muscle even while you sleep.”

· When to exercise: Exercise doesn’t have to be time consuming in order to be effective, you know! Even a few minutes a day is better than none. You can even exercise when sitting down in the evening to watch TV. Dax says: “Try using the ad breaks as ‘triggers’ for exercise. Every time an ad break comes on TV, get up and do a set of squats or lungs, a set of push-ups (on your knees if you must) and a set of abdominals. This’ll take you less than 2 minutes, an ad break lasts 3. Do this 4 or 5 times across the course of an evening and you’ve racked up a pretty decent workout”

· Reducing fat gain: Changing small things can really have an impact on the amount of fat your body stores, and where your body stores it. Dax says “Minimise the amount of water you drink from plastic bottles and instead opt for glass. Not many people know this, but plastic bottles leak xenoestrogens into your body which are no good for either you or your baby and definitely contribute to gaining excess fat, especially around the midsection, hips and thighs”.

Dax Moy Personal Training Studios, 21 St Albans Place, London, N1 0NX – Telephone: 0207 354 3550 and

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