Fitness is really personal, especially (especially!) during pregnancy. Some people like to go super hard, others like to take it easy, and whatever it is that is right for you is simply that: right for you. As long as your doctor approves!
For me (and I’m sure all moms), all I cared about was the health and wellness of the baby which meant taking it down a few notches when it came to hitting up the gym. I’m one of those people that usually works out to my limit – the crazier the class or the harder the workout the better – but during pregnancy this didn’t feel right and could have serious risks. Instead of sticking to my usual course, I made the conscious decision to let go of my need for a daily intense endorphin rush and dropped my obsession with being super fit. I would stay fit, but the pregnancy version of fit that mitigated risk while benefiting delivery and our overall health.
As a general rule of thumb, I tried to workout 3-4 times per week and didn’t go to any heated classes or anything that felt too intense – again, this is just what felt right for me. I took a break from boxing, dance, spin, etc. because anything too sweaty or bouncy made me feel ill and overly exhausted.
Here is what my pregnancy workout routine looked like throughout each trimester:
I was REALLY sick for the first five months so there were a lot of cancellations, and I never felt bad about missing a workout or put myself down for it. The priority was listening to my body and resting up. When I didn’t make it, I’d peel myself off the floor (I know, soooo dramatic! But really that’s what life was like…) and get outside for long walks or hikes – the fresh air helped and moving my body always made me feel better. After a walk, if I had the energy, I’d do some free weights at home either on my own or with the guidance of an online video.
When I did make it to a workout, there wasn’t a TON of change other than dialing it way back with the intensity and taking longer breaks. I continued to focus on strength, flexibility and stamina which meant doing a reasonable amount of cardio, light abs while I still could, and traditional weight training for arms/legs with lighter weights.
This is when things got tricky because I became very aware of the baby and had to start modifying. I didn’t feel comfortable doing anything that involved laying on my back (byeeee, pilates!), running turned to walking/hiking, I began taking even longer rests, lowered the amount of weight but increased reps, and often found myself saying, “this doesn’t feel right, I’m not going to do this.” The second I felt compromised, I eased off, even if the teacher/trainer said that whatever we were doing was perfectly fine. It just wasn’t worth potentially hurting myself (any injury can reallllllly make it harder on delivery) or compromising my pregnancy in any way.
3rd Trimester (current status!):
I’m all about that pre-natal yoga life! I practice with my doula or at local yoga places and I love that it’s all focused on benefiting delivery. Besides yoga, I love a good long walk, swimming if I have the chance to be around a pool, lifting light weights, and doing tons of squats (great for delivery apparently!).
What about you? Any pregnancy workout tips?