“How are you possibly still working out?” that is probably the number one question I get behind the gender of this baby. At 38 weeks pregnant, I am still getting in a workout about 4-5 times a week. The intensity has decreased, they get a little shorter, but the important thing for me is that I am still moving. But how am I doing it is what people often wonder.
Today, I am going to share tips for working out while pregnant. Everyone is different so all of these tips might not work for you, but maybe just one can help you. Even if you are not pregnant, but are struggling to keep up with a workout routine, these might help you too.
1. Talk to your doctor & find one who fits your needs
My first tip is to talk to your doctor. If you haven’t always exercised at a high intensity, jumping into intense exercise is not a good option. It is also important that you have a doctor that understand you. There are several doctors in my practice and I know which ones support my physical activity and I mainly see them. My most favorite doctor is a cross fitter himself and understands my need and desire to keep up with my fitness. In fact, he always has something to share with me about how good exercise is for pregnant ladies and how fast their labor will and recovery will be. Being on the same page with your doctor is so important.
2. Listen to your body
If you need to rest, rest. If your body needs an extra day off, take it. This has been the hardest thing for me. Some times I know I need a day off physically, but mentally it is so difficult for me to take a day off because for me exercise is more mental than it is physical (read my post here). When I have days like this, I make sure I get some kind of movement whether it is a walk or a bike ride with the kids.
3. Have thick skin AND people who LIFT you up!
I know this sounds weird, but if you are going to be hitting up the gym or going for a run at 30+ weeks pregnant, you better have thick skin. The looks and comments you will get about exercising with that baby bump are not always the kindest. I have had to learn to have thick skin otherwise I would probably say something mean to someone. Like the lady at the front desk of my gym who makes rude comments every time I walk in to teach a class and I really want to ask her if she wants to race or go head to head on some thrusters.
It also helps when you have people who lift you up and encourage you! There are enough people who are going to tear you down not just when you are pregnant, but when you are finding your fitness. Having a good, encouraging tribe who will lift you up and encourage you is so important. Every Friday I lift with my dear friend Tracy and she has been so encouraging to me. As I am starting to slow down and decrease my weight she reminds me that it is okay. And every Friday when we are lifting we always see one of the awesome trainers, Nicky, who always has something positive to say about me being at the gym even with my growing belly. You need those people in your life to balance out for those who suck the joy out of you!
4. Fuel your body properly
Fueling your body properly when you are not pregnant is important, but it is even more important when you are pregnant. Pregnancy is not the time to be cutting calories and especially if you are trying to keep up with good, quality workouts. Make sure you are getting a good combination of protein, carbs and fat. YES, CARBS… eat them ALL OF YOU… pregnant or not!
5. Break it up if you need to
Who ever said you have to do a 45 minute workout in one setting? Some days I just don’t have it in me for 45 minutes straight. Lately I have been finding myself writing a workout and completing a round or 2 in the morning and then another couple rounds late afternoon. This not only splits it up and makes it easier for me, but that late afternoon round usually gives me a burst of energy when I need it.
6. Choose the right exercises for YOU!
Everyone experiences different aches and pains during pregnancy. Just because I can continue to lift heavy weights doesn’t mean you are able to. Just because your friend can run a half marathon while pregnant doesn’t mean you can. I have cut back on my running this pregnancy for a few reasons: I was just not enjoying it, it was hurting my hip and frankly that constant peeing sensation was annoying. If you have different health concerns or diastasis recti, your exercises might be different too. Find what works for YOU- this is not the time to get caught in the comparison game.
7. Invest in a maternity fitness wardrobe
I have just given you a reason to go shopping. It is so important to have good workout gear no matter if you are pregnant or not. Nothing is more annoying then doing a group fitness class or working out in your driveway and constantly worrying about your pants falling down or your shirts riding up. A good sports bra during pregnancy is super crucial too, plus you will wear it after especially if you plan on nursing.
8. Celebrate what you CAN do
When we are pregnant, it is so hard to recognize all the things we can’t do anymore or the things that are getting harder and hard. When I walk up the stairs carrying M, I am winded once I get to the top. I quickly remind myself that I have an extra 36 pounds on me and he is 24 pounds and I just made it to the top of my stairs so I should be giving myself (and my legs a high 5). When I am disappointed that I can’t squat as much as I used to I quickly am reminded that the quantity of my squats, but it its he fact that I am squatting that counts.
Working out while pregnant is hard. Working out while pregnant is possible. Working out while pregnant has many benefits for both you and your baby. If you need help finding out fitness can work for you during your pregnancy, follow these tips. Even if you aren’t pregnant, these tips can help you too. For me, fitness is not negotiable: it is something I must make a priority every single day in order to live my best life, give my best self and to carry out the purpose God has set for me.
Your turn- tell me!
Do (or did) you have a fitness routine when you were pregnant?
What would you add to this list?
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