I'm going to be honest here. I'd like to say that I have been working out throughout my pregnancy and I am the perfect model of health and wellness. I did start out strong, working out about 5 times a week throughout the first and start of the second trimester. Then December came. With finals week for grad school and the Christmas show hell week, something had to give. That something was working out.
At the time, I could feel the difference in my body, but I chalked it up to the hectic schedule I was attempting to maintain. I was exhausted and lacked my usual energy. I could not get myself up for a 6 am workout and the rest of my day was packed. When Christmas week came, it was time to jump back in the saddle. After that first workout, I felt 100 times better. I had energy for the day and my body felt good being used and challenged. Even my mind felt sharper and ready for the challenges of the day. Here are some tips to help you with your pregnancy workouts.
- Choose workouts that involve a lot of stretching, like yoga. Stretching can really help with pregnancy aches and pains and tightness. A good workout will stretch out your back and hips easing a lot of the tension there. If this doesn't motivate you to do the workout knowing how much better you will feel after, I don't know what will.
- Think about your post-pregnancy body. Getting back into fitness after a baby is hard. Working out throughout your pregnancy however makes it a lot easier.
- These workouts should not be super intense, high energy workouts. You don't want your heart rate to exceed 140 BPM. Light cardio and moderate weights depending on your activity level prior to pregnancy is awesome.
- Don't think of it as work or an obligation. As I said with the yoga, your mind set should be relieving pain and tension. For cardio, you can have a dance party with your kids or play my son's favorite game, "You can't get me" where I chase him around the dining room table. Go for a walk with your baby in the stroller. Anything that gets you moving.
- Remember to also lift some weights a few times a week. Your baby may pop out at 7 lbs., but that baby is going to grow fast. You want to be prepared for carrying that baby around. This is another fantastic motivator.
You don't need to go to the gym to get a workout in. In fact, there are tons of pregnancy workout DVDs that you can use. With winter weather finally here, you will not find me getting my bottom outside in the early morning to get a gym workout. I use several different DVDs, and sometimes do my own workouts depending on where I am feeling tension. Some DVDs I use are the Yoga Booty Ballet: Baby on the way DVD, and the Summer Sanders' Prenatal Workout DVD. I also use the regular Yoga Booty Ballet DVDs for Cardio. I don't find the cardio overwhelming for my pregnant self and I just leave out the exercises that require laying on your belly. While I love Jillian Michaels, she can be saved for your post-baby workouts. Those DVDs are a bit too heart pumping for the typical pregnant woman. There are so many DVDs to choose from, you can definitely find one that fits your needs. Here you can find a ton of prenatal workout DVDs: Prenatal Workout DVDs. Note if you make a purchase using this link, I will make a small commission off of your purchase.
If you need the accountability that a gym class can provide., you can set up a text group with your friends where you have to check in when you completed a workout. Each day you check in when you completed a workout and everyone gets held accountable. They don't need to be pregnant for this to work! You can also set up a workout schedule for yourself if that works for you. Or we can create a Facebook group where we check in after a workout to keep ourselves accountable.
Just remember, loosing weight is not the only reason to workout! You will feel better, relieve tension in your muscles, and clear your mind. Many times starting your day with a workout will give you the energy to get more done during your day! (And when you're pregnant, you need as much energy as you can get!!)
Here's to a fit pregnancy in 2016!!