Fitness and Pregnancy

Written April 9, 2013 (14 weeks)

Staying active was the absolute best thing for me when I was pregnant with Maya … and I’m pretty sure it will keep me healthy and fit this time, too.

My routine really hasn’t changed since becoming pregnant. What has changed is the intensity at which I work/amount of weight I lift/moves I have modified.

Here’s my typical weekly workout schedule:

Monday: 10 min warm-up cardio; 30 min. personal training

Tuesday: Body Pump in the morning; Zumba in the evening

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: Body Pump in the morning; Zumba in the evening

Friday: 10 min. warm-up cardio; 30 min. personal training

Saturday: Zumba

Sunday: Zumba

My personal trainer is also my Zumba and Body Pump instructor, so for obvious reasons, I spilled the beans early on to her — knowing that I would likely need to modify some moves. My goal is to be the strongest, fittest, healthiest pregnant woman possible 🙂

So far in Zumba I’ve cut out some of the quick twisting motions and heavy jumping moves and I just squat in place of jumps and don’t twist when doing certain choreography….. but other than drinking more water (and stopping for a mid-class bathroom break) … not much has needed to shake-up (yet). Dancing feels good–it’s something I genuinely love and, though it’s a kick-ass workout, it’s fun and social and I don’t feel miserable afterwards.

In Body Pump, I am still lifting the same amount of weight as I did for each track previously, but with greater concentration on my form (actually utilizing the mirrors to check myself — that’s what they’re there for!). I think pretty soon I won’t be able to lift as much for the back track (it’s been feeling a little too heavy lately) and soon I’ll need to lie on an incline for triceps and chest. I’ve been leaving before the abs segment and now I do push-ups against the wall. But otherwise, I should be able to continue the class throughout my pregnancy … or until it becomes too uncomfortable to do it. Again, my trainer is looking out for me and I know my body best so I won’t do anything that puts me in harm’s way.

In personal training, we do different body parts each session: back and biceps; chest and triceps; shoulders and legs. So I’ve been doing more reps and less weight for squats and my trainer has been extra-careful to check my back and form throughout. I haven’t felt inhibited during any of our sessions and am grateful my trainer is also a mom who “gets” what this whole pregnancy business is all about. I’m making sure to stay extra-hydrated between circuits since we go non-stop otherwise the full 30 minutes.

All in all, I feel lean and strong. OK, I lie: my arms/shoulders/back feel lean and strong.My middle … not so much! (Though compared to my last pregnancy, though, FWIW, in spite of little difference in starting weights, I do feel leaner overall this go around).

Thing is, working out makes me feel good and so though the early morning sessions can be a real PITA … it’s totally worth it for me to do it then so I can get it out of the way and enjoy my evenings at home with my family.

Staying active helped me only gain 25 lbs and lose them within four months last time. I am hoping to see similar results this time around, although I am gaining much quicker this go-around … we’ll see. I know my body is doing what it needs to be doing and that’s what keeps me going.

Overall, fitness is what I believe keeps me mentally and physically sane during pregnancy, when my body is literally not my own. And, it makes me happy. Love those endorphins!

How about you? Did you find it easy or hard to stay active during pregnancy?

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5 thoughts on “Fitness and Pregnancy

  1. Before discovering my pregnancy (at almost 8 weeks), I was building up as a runner and doing strength training via the Nike Training Club iPhone app (moderate weights, lots of plyos). One of my first symptoms, in retrospect, was losing all energy for this routine. When I found out I was pregnant and not merely dealing with some kind of lingering food poisoning, I gave myself permission to back off a bit. Traded running for Zumba and the NTC workouts for lower-impact strength work.

    When I felt better during the second trimester, I rotated in some kickboxing and hi/lo aerobics workout videos, (Michelle Dozois and Amy Bento are my favorites!), modifying the highest-impact plyos. By the third trimester, I was feeling heavy and clumsy enough to step back down to Zumba … which I kept up until the day before DJ was born—and the only reason I didn’t work out the day he was born was that I’d planned a “rest day” to do the weekly shopping! (I was in the middle of WalMart when I realized that yes, those were contractions!)

    I gained more weight than I wanted (almost 40 pounds), but I credit staying active with my healthy pregnancy—no blood pressure problems, no gestational diabetes (and my age and family history increased my risk of that!), and a quick, relatively easy, unmedicated delivery.

    1. You go, girl! I also remember reading (when pregnant with Maya) that moms who work out a lot during pregnancy tend to have better sleepers. Maya is a great sleeper — so I hope there’s merit to that and that #2 isn’t a nightmare 😉 Congrats on your successful pregnancy and delivery!! And three cheers for Zumba. It’s my fave!!

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