At 37 weeks pregnant tomorrow, I get a lot of crazy looks walking into the gym or running down the street, but I am okay with that. I also have people who have brought me to tears when they tell me how much I inspire them, or that they didn’t quit their last set because they looked at me and realized they had no excuses, and even one lady took a picture of me to send to her daughter.
During my first pregnancy I worked out for a long time as well, but it wasn’t as often, the intensity lacked and I really just gave up. I didn’t give up because I had orders from the doctor: I gave up because I got frustrated with what I physically couldn’t do. I was too focused on the limitations pregnancy was giving me instead of focusing on what my strong, amazing body could do.
Here my list of things that have helped me stay fit this time around:
1. Talk with your doctor and be honest. First and foremost, ALWAYS make sure your exercise is okay with your doctor and be completely honest with what you are doing and plan on doing. My doctor is aware that I still jump on boxes and in the air and lift weights.
2. Stop comparing yourself. Comparing yourself gets you no where. Don’t do it: not to your non pregnant friends, not to the last pregnancy and not to other pregnant women.
3. Praise your body for what it can do. There are so many things we feel like we cannot do because we are pregnant- stop worrying about those. Instead focus on all the great things your body is doing at this point- growing another human being isn’t easy.
4. Surround yourself with positive people. Being around people who put your changing body down or criticize your efforts to stay fit while pregnant does not do you any good. Instead, surround yourself with people who lift you up and support your activity lifestyle and hold you accountable. I am so blessed to have a core group of “fit friends” who meet me for workouts, and encourage me to keep going.
5. Involve your husband. My husband knows my goals and on days I’m not feeling it he’ll say let’s go for a bike ride, or just a walk- 9 times out of 10 that will get my blood going and I’ll do more.
6. Just move. A walk is better than nothing, 10 push-ups are better than none, and increasing your heart rate no matter how is the best thing you can do.
7. Don’t give up- modify. Can’t do a full 45 Minute high intensity workout? What about 10 minutes in the morning,
10 minutes in the evening. Don’t allow your pregnancy be an excuse to quit, instead modify your workouts and the exercises you are doing.
8. Set goals. Set monthly and weekly goals. For me, I have a fitness journal that I keep track of my goals for the month and the week. This is where I also “schedule” my workouts. Some of my recent goals have included drinking 1 gallon of water a day, getting in Piyo two times a week, and walking for at least 20 minutes a day.
9. Get comfortable. Buy some workout clothes that fit you and make you feel comfortable. Working out in your too tight pre-pregnancy shorts and shirt that barely covers your belly doesn’t make staying fit while pregnant fun.
10. Remember your why. Simple as that.