I need to start off by saying I’m not looking for head pats. I’m certainly not the only woman who’s worked out throughout my pregnancies, and there’s nothing special about it. If I can do it, you can do it too. But, that said, I’m not a medical professional, so always consult your OB to ensure working out through your pregnancy is given the green light.
Hello fellow mommas! I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with my third baby and could not be more ready. I have no idea what to expect of our life once we bring this baby home, but I do know that I am pretty over being pregnant. This pregnancy has definitely been the hardest for me, from extreme ‘morning’ sickness to sciatica. I’m trying not to complain as I know it could be so much worse, and unfortunately is for so many moms. But, I’m happy to be at the very end.
One of the only things that’s made this pregnancy tolerable is regularly working out. I worked out quite often prior to getting pregnant this time, so I hoped to continue that during my pregnancy. I’m happy to say that I am still working out now! I’ve had to keep a few things in mind to make it to this point. There are a lot of perks to working out while pregnant!
Listen To Your Body
My cardio of choice is running. It is much harder for me to sneak in running with young kids, but I still always prioritize a long run on Saturday mornings. However, I find it so incredibly uncomfortable to run while pregnant. Even before I have a prominent bump, it is uncomfortable to feel my belly bouncing and jiggling around. That said, I have several friends that continue to run well into their third trimester! The common stance among doctors is that you can continue running (safely) if you did prior to pregnancy. So, I technically could continue running – but my body tells me otherwise. So, I listen. The same goes for any jumping or more intense cardio. By listening to my body, I am not putting it into distress. But if you feel good, then do it!
Beginning at 33 weeks, I was feeling much more out of breath throughout my workouts and decided to stop doing any weight lifting workouts. I have switched to a heavy focus on yoga and pilates. My body is feeling so much better, and I’m hoping the switch to deeper stretching will help during delivery and recovery!
I work out at home right now because it works for my situation. I do enjoy it for the most part. I stream workout programs on my computer and it offers me a great variety of workouts depending on what I’m in the mood for. That said, I often have to modify at least one move in the workout. This is about knowing your limits and knowing what is safe while pregnant. To me, this is also a reason why it is important not to start any new workout programs while pregnant. Sometimes, modifying means using lighter weights. Other times, it’s about not laying on my back or belly. Luckily, many workout videos now offer a modification track to their original workout that makes it easy to follow along. For example, this may mean stepping instead of hopping.
Take More Frequent Breaks
This goes along with above – listen to your body. Be sure to drink plenty of water and rest often, even if it’s only for a few moves or a few seconds. Odds are, you’re not an Olympic athlete, and you won’t make or break your progress just for cutting a move short by a few reps here and there. Also, if you’re like me and need to work out while your kids are home and awake with you, odds are you’ll need to take breaks to help them at some point. Why does my son only need to rush to the bathroom when I’m knee-deep into a workout?!
Monitor Your Heart Rate
One of the most important changes I’ve made while working out during my pregnancy is to monitor my heart rate. My heart rate monitor actually broke a few months ago, so now I simply check in by taking my pulse on my wrist. By having a ball park figure throughout my workout, I am able to better check in with myself and how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling good but my heart rate is skyrocketing, I will typically give myself a few seconds break. But if I’m feeling short of breath and my heart rate is higher, I’ll usually pause the video and sit down for a few minutes with a glass of cold water.
Above all, be sure to consult with your OBGYN about any workouts you are considering doing before you start!
Do you work out when you’re pregnant? What exercises do you enjoy?