I just want to gush for a minute about one of my passions. Exercise has made my life so much better with baby number 3. When I found out we were pregnant again, I was slightly depressed at leaving my fitness routine behind, but I have found that maintaining my habits through out pregnancy have made all the difference about how I feel. Even if you are a couch potato go out and walk! Do some prenatal yoga! I swear your body and brain will thank you!
I will admit I am not your average mom when it comes to exercise. I’m a little bit obsessed with gym time so adjusting has been a planned effort. I am writing this to share with you, how much physical activity has improved my prenatal experience. During each trimester I have made changes as needed to my program to keep myself safe and healthy. I did this by talking to my doctor, researching safe prenatal exercise, and most of all listening to my body. Now at 32 weeks I can report that I am still Spinning three times a week, although a little less intense than before. It’s worth it ladies! Plus, post work out cookies are definitely a thing. I made them a thing. Here is what I have learned:
There are major physical and mental benefits:
- Less nausea during my first trimester. Something about those endorphins really helped me keep it together. Honestly, it was the only part of the day I didn’t feel like death warmed over!
- Less hip and back aches. Actually almost none. I was plagued with pain during my first and second pregnancy, but now I have very little. Maintaining activity has kept me feeling way less achy even now at 32 weeks. This has been a revelation for me! I am sad I didn’t discover how much less my strong body hurts during my other pregnancies.
- Mental and physical release. Sometimes pregnancy can feel overwhelming and never ending. When I am getting it in at the gym, as they say, I feel like I am in control of myself for that time. That makes a huge difference for me and baby. We are both happier when momma is taking time for herself.
- More regularity. That’s right people. I am at 32 weeks and I’m not constipated. That is a miracle in and of itself. No need to explain! Sorry for the tmi, but it’s a bid deal.
Things you need to know:
- You will overheat more easily. Don’t push it when the weather is hot. I found my body had a lot less tolerance for heat even in the first trimester, so any time I wasn’t in the cool gym, I gave myself extra rest and time to cool off.
- Your muscles will take longer to recover. I have found lifting weights more challenging for that reason. I would be sore for at least a day longer because all of my nutritional resources go to baby and not my muscles. I made the decision to back off of weight training for that reason after 20 weeks, but I know lots of mommas who keep it up all the way to then end. In the end you have to decide what your goals are and how much energy you have to expend, and for me sticking with cardio was more important during this time.
- You will need a good support belt. Especially if this is your second or third pregnancy. It is hard to move when the bump isn’t secured properly. I used this one.
- You will need extra time to rest on work out days. If I know it is gym day I plan down time because I am tired. I don’t over schedule and I plan an easy dinner for the family. It can be tough on a busy schedule, but the benefits far out weigh the extra planning.
- If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it! This goes for everyone no matter what fitness level. If I feel like I need extra rest, I stayed home; if I feel like I am pushing too hard I back off; if I need to pee I pee! Haha! All jokes aside. Listen to your body. It’s important!
I want to this this blog by saying that you should always follow your doctor’s recommendation for exercise during pregnancy. There are several circumstances where physical activity should be limited during pregnancy for the safety of you and your baby. I’ve included a couple links at the bottom for more information on exercise during pregnancy.