Karen’s news, and the benefits of dancing when pregnant

If anyone caught ‘It Takes Two’ last night (29 September, BBC2), you’ll have probably seen our very own Karen Hardy announce that she is expecting! It’s fabulous news, we’re all incredibly excited and Karen said that she is feeling great.
However, if you think Karen’s going to put her feet up anytime soon, you’d be mistaken; dancing is one of the most enjoyable and healthy activities that expectant mums can do. To illustrate the point, here are three benefits of dancing when pregnant:

It’s good for you

Doctors and midwives encourage most pregnant women to undertake some gentle exercise throughout their term. If dancing is already one of your favourite hobbies, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue when pregnant. Newcomers can similarly take up dancing so long as they choose a style that isn’t too strenuous, such as ballroom, samba and salsa.

Dancing offers many great benefits as it enables you to maintain your flexibility and fitness while receiving an aerobic workout. It strengthens the muscles and works the heart and lungs. Some styles may even work the pelvic floor muscles – something that most pregnant women are keen to improve. Most sources recommend 20-30 minutes of dancing three times per week, but the emphasis is always on maintaining fitness levels rather than trying to lose weight or improve fitness.

It’s so much fun

Swimming’s okay, but the gym gets so hot and as for jogging, you can always see in a jogger’s face that they’re not having a good time. That’s never the case with dancing. Moving around to your favourite tunes and feeling glamourous makes it such great fun; you’ll probably forget you’re even exercising.

What’s more, it is a sophisticated social activity in which you can interact with lots of like-minded people, possibly making some good friends. This promotes good mental health, which is as important in pregnancy as physical health.

Don’t believe us? Why not get in touch or request a call back so we can tell you more about our dance lessons – better still, you could claim a FREE 25 minute taster lesson to see if dancing’s for you.

It’s safe

We get asked a lot by our members whether it’s safe to dance while expecting. Rest assured it is, provided you listen to your body and adhere to any advice dispensed by your midwife. That’s not to say you don’t need to bear a few points in mind, though.

Always warm up and keep the activity fairly low-impact, so no vigorous Charlestons or hip hop. During the first trimester, it’s fine to incorporate leaping and hopping movements if you’ve been performing these previously, but tone them down from the second trimester onwards. The hormones your body creates during pregnancy will make your ligaments looser and more flexible, but some women may over-exercise as a consequence, so go easy.

As your bump grows, you’ll notice that your balance changes so it’s key that you maintain proper alignment – your dance instructor should be able to help with that, though and prevent any back pain. Essentially, listen to your body and slow down when you’ve had enough.

Whether you are an experienced dancer or someone who is looking for a nice activity to keep healthy until the big day arrives, dancing during pregnancy is one of the best ways to stay fit, have fun and get ready for that baby.
We can’t wait to meet the new addition to the Karen Hardy Studios family and wish Karen the very best health and happiness throughout her pregnancy. Time to get creative with the dance outfits!

More than a dance studio