I remember the first time I came across a gym ball. It was many years ago and I had joined a local gym and quite frankly it scared me to death.
Not in a Halloween kind of way, but in the sense that I have the worst balance in the world and I had this visualisation that the gym instructor would want me to do hand stands off it!
It was a massive gym about 10 minutes drive from where we lived at the time (back in 2006) and to give you an idea of size there were more than 40 treadmills and that’s without the rest of the equipment and they ran a lot of gym classes included in the price.
The first time I used a gym ball
I soon got talked into doing a small 20 minute toning class and this was the first time I had the pleasure of the gym ball. I sat on it and was rather impressed by how sturdy it was and how easy it was to use.
It also made me realise that exercise could actually be great fun and that exercise isn’t just about running on a treadmill or lifting weights.
At the time of my first use of the gym ball I was actually four stone over weight and about 2 stone heavier than what I am now and I couldn’t believe how easy it made exercise feel without me collapsing on a heap on the floor.
Even though I liked this concept of exercise we moved house (and countries) and I didn’t see a gym ball again for several years until this week.
Giving birth and the gym ball
As you know I am now in the later stages of my pregnancy and this week as I enter the 38th week everything is about getting ready for the birth. We then went to check out the maternity unit of the local hospital after my appointment with my obstetrician and had a good look around.
The rooms were massive and I was amazed of the standard of care in Portugal for pregnancy and birth compared to what was available 13 years ago when I had my son in England. There was private room after private room and I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t a private health care service.
In England when I had Kyle you were on a ward with lots of other mothers and then transferred into another room for delivery (once you were fully dilated) and then was straight back out onto a different ward about 30 minutes after birth and once you had showered.
In Portugal you went into one room to make sure you were in labour, and then once it was confirmed you stayed in the same delivery room from the point of contractions up until the baby is here. You then get moved into another room for 2 hours to spend time with your new baby. After this you move onto another ward with the other mums.
Even though they don’t offer gas & air or water births they are modern in the way of gym balls and the whole hallway of the hospital was full of them – in fact I have never seen so many gym balls before!!!!
You could even pick up a pink one for a girl and a blue one for a boy. As you can imagine I will be using the pink for a girl with my mini me due to put in an appearance within the next 3 weeks.
Six years ago, I would have rolled my eyes looking at a gym ball and not given it a chance – but with me following pregnancy yoga over these last few months I can’t wait to get started with it
I plan to have it as an aid in my labour and to help me through the hours leading up to the birth of my baby girl. It’s just a shame that something like this wasn’t available when we had our son as it can get really boring in labour when you are just stuck on a bed on your back for 12 hours.
Toning after birth and gym balls
Then after the birth when I am back on my feet I plan to buy a gym ball to help me with exercise and getting myself toned from all the flabby parts that comes with pregnancy. This will be part of other exercise that I currently have planned such as yoga, swimming, walking and eventually jogging.
Exercise is a big part of my life and has really helped me in my new healthy lifestyle that I adapted when I started My Weight Loss Dream. What I have learnt most over these last few years is that exercise can be fun, it doesn’t have to be boring and through the use of extra equipment such as gym balls you can bring a whole new world to home exercise.
This actually reminds me of years ago when my mum and dad were on their own healthy lifestyle kick. They would join a gym, and then after a few months get bored, then before I knew it they would have a huge piece of exercise equipment at home. We lived in owners’ accommodation of a block of luxury holiday flats therefore home space was limited and they used to take up so much room.
Compare this to the space that gym balls and other small equipment take up and it makes you realise that it’s much simpler to go down the route of gym accessories. Then you can double this up with the great outdoors and enjoy exercise that is natural and doesn’t end up with a gym membership that you’ll never actually use.
This blog post is sponsored by Fitness-Mad.com.
Fitness Mad is part of The Mad Group, formed in 1923, and includes our sister brands Yoga-Mad, Boxing-Mad and Pilates Mad.
We carefully select all our products to provide optimum performance and to help get the most out of your fitness and exercise routine and products are designed for commercial use and widely used by professionals, clubs and studios.
The selection of gym balls available at Fitness-Mad can provide a fantastic starting point to your gym ball routine. These can be used in a variety of uses including during labour, general exercise, pregnancy, toning and much more.