why work out during pregnancy?
working out during pregnancy is different. i’m not training for a race. [miss those days!]
proudly striding around the apartment at ~ 5 weeks
i’m not going after flat abs [ha] or a tighter physique.
long gone. and for me? not compatible with fertility in the slightest.
i’m not learning even learning fun new upside-down tricks
although getting out of the car will probably feel like a trick in 6 months
so where’s the motivation?
◼ feeling better: exercise has always been [and i hope always will be!] an instant mood-lifter for me. even if i’m not getting the endorphin buzz brought on by a 10-miler, just working up a sweat in my apartment has a positive result. i tend to have MORE overall energy on days that i work out, rather than the other way around. i hope this continues to be the case!
◼ it’s actually recommended: just like avoiding deli meat and unpasteurized cheese, ACOG is recommending 30 minutes a day of activity for most pregnant women. they even specifically mention running:
Running. If you were a runner before you became pregnant, you often can keep running during pregnancy although you may have to modify your routine. Talk to your doctor about whether running during pregnancy is safe for you.
they also suggest strength training, with the hopes that it may help prevent some of the aches and pains of pregnancy.
◼ feeling like a badass: i’ll admit it: on the rare occasion that i get to pass someone while running [admittedly: this really doesn’t happen much these days!], i feel EXTRA-special awesome. and some pregnant runners like the amazing jen are lucky enough to get to do this all the time WITH a 27 week belly! [she amazes me!]
◼ speedier bounce-back: while feeling fit and in shape again quickly post-baby isn’t exactly my #1 goal for this gestation [healthy baby trumps all!], it’s an extra bonus that the workouts i do now might make this easier. after all, keeping my heart and muscles strong will allow me to resume running more easily after delivery, and i’m sure i’m going to need the extra stamina for toting around 7++ lbs of baby goodness for the many months to come afterwards.
even though i don’t have a time goal to meet or a new trick to master [although firefly, you will be mine SOMEDAY], i still have goals in mind for how i would like to continue exercising through pregnancy.
✰ continue running 3x/week or so for as long as it is comfortable. unlike jen mentioned above, i have slowed down A LOT since becoming pregnant, so i don’t necessarily think i will be able to run easily throughout the entire 9 months. however, walk/run intervals are great too [i do them sometimes already, especially on the treadmill] and i also like the elliptical these days as well, so i should have some cardiovascular challenge available to me for the duration.
✰ strength train 2x/week throughout i now have 2 prenatal dvds [one sort of like a ’30-day-shred-lite’ and another vinyasa yoga] and i am thinking of getting one more for this purpose [the perfect pregnancy workout]. if i get bored of these, i’ll go back to the weight room [emily wrote a great post on this] but for now i like having the guidance of the dvds and they are enough to make my muscles sore the next ~2 days.
✰ get my butt back to yoga and not just with the dvd! i would like to return to my beloved BP because
a) i miss it
b) i have classes left to use that i’ve already paid for
c) i know it will be MUCH harder to attend yoga class come april. [although they do have a ‘baby and me’ series that seems like a great way to meet other new moms].
so, that about covers it! with this trifecta i think i will maintain adequate cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility [not that i had any to start with] throughout the pregnancy, and be following ACOG recommendations to boot.
now with that said, time to run! i can’t believe the temperatures today + tomorrow!!
I’m very impressed by your commitment. I’m an expert at finding any excuse not to exercise, although I’m trying to get back into it again. I understand what you mean about feeling more energized on days when you exercise…for me the big challenge is just getting into the workout clothes and out the door when I’m feeling tired.
Yesterday it said the high for Durham was 63, so I was surprised when I got up this morning and saw that it had changed for 58*! I’m from Miami, so you know I bundled up this morning like it was the dead of winter!
Good for you! You know I completely agree with all of your reasons. Your plan is really smart. I think one of the reasons I’m still running is because I only run 3 days a week and never do any long runs. And you may be surprised; I’m faster and feel better running now than I did in the first trimester. Thanks for the shout-out <3
I worked out about 5x a week during my pregnancy and really listened to my body. I stopped running when it hurt and took to walking and prenatal yoga. I honestly credit it with helping my recovery both physically and mentally.