First things first, I’m not a medical professional, so please consult your doctor on any workouts you plan to do while pregnant. This is my experience with this baby and this pregnancy only. 🙂
As a miscarriage momma, I found that with both my pregnancies with Ainsley and Collins (more so Ainsley) I brought a lot of fear to my workouts. I had a lot of self-imposed rules I followed (no high impact activities, no running, obsessive about heart rate, nothing too strenuous) because I was so scared I would miscarry early on and those patterns continued into the remainder of the pregnancy. As someone who loves to sweat, it was hard for me to avoid most workouts aside from walking and very light weight training.
I’ve been thankful that for some reason, whether it’s the way I’m carrying this baby or my physical shape before getting pregnant, I’ve felt better physically doing things like running, interval-style workouts and all my usual favorites. Working out like normal has really helped me feel more normal this pregnancy, which is a gift I’m not taking for granted.
I’ve also worked hard on my mental state, to make sure that I’m approaching pregnancy fitness with a reasonable mindset – using my doctor’s guidelines rather than fears to guide what is reasonable during pregnancy. As a general rule, most of the workouts that you did before you got pregnant you can continue to do (perhaps with some modifications) while pregnant.
If you’re pregnant, and not sure where to start or how to proceed working out while pregnant, here’s a good place to start:
The old guidelines about heart rate are outdated.
Chances are you’ve heard something about heart rate and not getting your heart rate over a certain point while pregnant and exercising. Turns out, according to Mayo Clinic, that’s an outdated guideline. Your previous level of physical fitness before getting pregnant is a much more important factor. A better rule of thumb is making sure you can still carry on a conversation while doing your workouts. So if you see my running + talking to myself, that’s usually why. I’m just checking to make sure I can still speak in a full sentence.
You should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity
I find that wearing my Apple Watch is one of my favorite ways to keep myself accountable – pregnant or not – to my activity goals each day. Having a track record of activity (or lack thereof) is definitely an added boost to get in a walk or workout or just play actively with the girls outside when it’s been a less active day.
Some of my favorite formal ways to get in a workout during pregnancy are:
Beachbody on Demand // It’s no secret I love my BOD subscription. I love the workouts and ease of working out at home in the margins of my day. My favorite workouts are T25, 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme, Transform 20, and LIIFT 4.
The Balanced Life Sisterhood // I’m a member of my friend Robin’s The Balanced Life Sisterhood which is a platform that houses so many amazing pilates workouts. I’ve found Pilates to be a great compliment to what I’m already doing and maintaining strength + flexibility is so important while pregnant.
Running // Like I mentioned above, running didn’t sit well with me with either of my previous pregnancies but this time around it still feels good, 24 weeks in! I’m not sure if it’s the way I’m carrying this baby or what, but I’ve been thankful to continue to run (albeit much more slowly) this time around.
The benefits of pregnancy exercise are numerous.
Sometimes when I’m not feeling particularly motivated to exercise, I keep in mind the many benefits of staying active while pregnant. Those being:
-Reduces back aches, swelling, bloating and constipation
-Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance (great for labor!)
-May help prevent gestational diabetes
-Makes it easier for you to get back in shape post baby
Be on the lookout for warning signs.
Some of those warning signs being:
-Feeling dizzy and/or faint
-Shortness of breath before exercising
-Fluid leaking from the vagina