So, I wrote this blog the day before I went unexpectedly into labor. Clearly, I was not able to post it the next day as I had planned. However, I figure I might as well post it now. I just went through the photos and it is laughable how big and pregnant I am..errr was… Anyways, I think I look like a pregnant cow in these pictures, but I’m sharing them anyways. After all I was 9 months pregnant so I should look big and pregnant. Also, I started doing yoga again about a week ago (yay, for being able to do light workouts!) and I think doing it both before and after delivery have been so helpful, mentally and physically. Enjoy.
Alright, I am so close to the end of this pregnancy I can hardly stand it! It sucks not knowing when and basically being told that you could have the baby anywhere between 37 and 41 weeks…that is a HUGE time frame. I am still sticking to my goal and working out 5-6 days a week, but I have got to say that I’m ready to be done with my pregnancy workouts! It is tough stuff at this point.
I’m somehow still pushing through the Asylum Volume 2 with Husband (with LOTS of modifications…I basically run in place, do lots of push-up, squats and planks and just try to keep moving for the full hour). Anyways, but what I much prefer doing, and still squeeze in on our “off days” is prenatal yoga. Now, that I only have a few weeks left (supposedly) I am trying to incorporate more and more yoga to my workouts before the little one arrives.
Need to know why yoga is an awesome exercise for pregnant women (and all people)? There are LOTS of reasons, here’s a few:
Yoga helps you and teaches you to relax, helps you stay fit, teaches you to breathe properly (helpful during labor), improves sleep, decreases anxiety, increases strength, reduces lower back pain, can prevent nausea, lessens the risk of preterm labor, keeps you flexible, improves balance and aids circulation.
Convinced? Then, try some of my favorite yoga poses! Here’s my 10 Minutes (or more) of Prenatal Yoga.
Hold each pose for a minute!
(Oh, and I took these photos in the nursery before we were even close to being finished, AND I thought it would be cool to look all natural with no makeup and messy hair, but turns out to not look so cool..oh well!)
5. Warrior 1
6. Warrior 2
7. Warrior 3
*You should put your head down over your leg to complete this pose.
9. Cat and Cow
I looked absolutely horrendous in the photos of “cat and cow” so those will not be included. You can click here to see what it should look like.
Don’t forget to be safe when working out while pregnant!
*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!
As of today I am 35 weeks and 6 days pregnant, or exactly 29 days until my due date! No wonder I am feeling as big as a house, lethargic and uncomfortable. As always, one thing that always helps my body and my mood feel better is a good workout. At almost 9 months pregnant, I need to take it a little easier than the previous months and use lots of modifications. The important thing is to keep moving!
Before being pregnant I was under the impression that a pregnant woman is not able to workout her abs. However, I’ve done my research since then and learned that not only can I still workout my abs and core, but it’s actually very beneficial during the pregnancy. Of course, there are a few rules that should be followed: No crunches, no lying on your back after the first trimester, and if it hurts, (in a bad way) stop.
A few benefits of strong abs and core during pregnancy? Strong abs support the spine which supports the weight of the baby and decreases lower back pain during pregnancy. A strong core aids in labor and delivery and recovery. Remember that working out your core during pregnancy is not about getting a flatter tummy; it’s about working your transverse abdominals and pelvic floor to prepare your body for what is to come during the next 40 weeks.
Like my previous “10 Minute Workout” posts I will not be using any equipment. I want these workouts to be accessible to each of you, no matter where you may be or what you have available. However, I would like to say that having a stability during pregnancy is very very helpful, especially for ab and core exercises.
Here is Hilarie’s “Ten Minute Prenatal Ab and Core Workout”
Knee Lifts (2 minutes)
I loved this exercise even before becoming pregnant! Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, raise both arms in the air and lift your right knee towards your chest while bringing your elbows down towards your knee. Switch and do the left knee. Repeat these knee lifts to the front for one minute. Remember to tighten your ab muscles (think “hug your baby”…as cheesy as that may sound) as you lift your knees up. NOW, turn your hips slightly out and lift your knee up towards your armpit and elbow down towards your knee for side knee lifts. Switch knees between each lift and repeat for a minute. To modify, try raising your knees half of the way up (this may be necessary once your belly gets too big!). For a challenge, well…I’m a little stumped with this one…maybe add ankle or wrist weights?
Planks (2 minutes)
Alright, ladies you should know this one! Get in plank position (push-up position). I use straight arms, but you can plank on your elbows as well. Keep you head, neck, spine and tailbone in a straight line (no saggy bum, or butts in the air!). Now hold for minute! Here’s the fun part… Put your weight on your right elbow; lift your left arm straight up towards the ceiling and turn your plank on it’s side and hold for 30 seconds. Switch and hold the opposite side for 30 seconds. To modify, put those knees down. You will still reap all the core benefits! For a challenge, lift one leg (good luck if you are trying this on the side planks!) Just keep in mind that balance is a little trickier in your third trimester.
Superman (one minute)
Go to your hands in knees, but keep your core tight so there is not too much strain on your lower back. Lift your left arm up and out and your right leg straight out behind you and off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and switch sides. Continue this motion for one minute. To modify, you can put your foot down when it reaches to the back or only hold each move for 2 or 3 seconds. For a challenge, try the Warrior 3 pose! I don’t recommend this unless you have been doing this since before becoming pregnant. It’s important to have good balance and a strong core during this exercise.
Rotational Squats (1 minute)
I love squats, so this is one of my favorite exercises in this routine. Open your legs wide, wider than shoulder width, and squat. Try to keep your back straight, hips tucked under, eyes up and butt back. (Lots to think about!) Squat down to almost 90 degrees; no lower. When you come up rotate, or twist your upper body and arms to one side. Squat down again, come up and rotate to the opposite side. Do for one minute. To modify, skip the rotating, put your hands on your hips and only squat. OR, skip the squats and only rotate from side to side, working those obliques. For a challenge, hold a kettle ball.
Pelvic tilts (1 minute)
This one is a perfect exercise because it’s not strenuous at all, but it strengthens your abs, decreases back pain during pregnancy and labor, improves your posture and makes delivery easier. Just stand straight with your back against a wall. Tilt your hips forward. You’ll know you are doing it right if you are also pressing the small of your back against the wall. Repeat this motion for the next minute. No need to modify or increase this one. But, if it is uncomfortable to stand you can do the same thing on all fours.
Incline push-ups (1 minute)
Find a safe and sturdy place for your incline push-ups. You can use steps if you have them, place a few heavy-duty books against the wall, use a sturdy coffee table or just use the wall itself. Get in your push-up/plank position. Keep your head, neck and hips aligned and begin your push-ups. Try them for a minute. If you need a break, go to child’s pose, count to 5 and try it again. To modify, bring your knees down or do the wall push-ups (if you aren’t already). For a challenge, skip the incline altogether you over-achiever!
Switch Lifts (1 minute)
Go to your back, but do not lay flat. Instead, rest back on your elbows. Bend your knees and lift one leg. Switch legs and continue to repeat while also holding your core tight. Do for one minute. Again, there aren’t good modifications or challenges for this, especially if you are in your third trimester. You don’t want to overwork or hurt your abs.
Leg extensions (1 minute)
Stay down on your back and elbows and keep your knees bent. Tilt both knees to one side and extend them all the way out towards the corner. Switch sides and repeat. Continue for one minute. To modify, only extend halfway. For a challenge, hold the extension for 5 seconds.
All done! You did it! Woohoo! Now, don’t forget your cardio! It’s so important to get at least 30 minutes of cardio in a day…but if you are getting in that much even a few days a week in your third trimester then give yourself a pat on the back! If you need an idea for cardio, try swimming! Head to a local gym with a heated pool (unless you are one of those lucky people who live somewhere warm this time of year…hate you by the way) and jump in! Being in the water while pregnant is the best feeling ever! You do not feel pregnant or heavy at all, it’s so so great. Great exercise too.
Also, don’t forget these very important tips while doing any prenatal exercise.
Be sure to check out my other 10 Minute Prenatal Workouts: booty and arms. Let me now what you think, and what else you’d like to see!
Today I am exactly 35 weeks pregnant! 5 weeks to go…about a month…or 35 days…OR even less! (Just no more than that, please.) I think I have begun nesting. Either that or I’m becoming incredibly more controlling and have developed OCD. I still get Braxton Hicks contractions all the time and they make life pretty uncomfortable. My goal over the next month is to finish the nursery, the office, the guest room (OK the entire house), make a couple more frozen meals, pack my hospital bag and try to keep the house clean because who wants to bring home their new baby to a dirty house? Not this incredibly controlling, OCD, very pregnant lady. Oh, and I’d like to have several posts saved up for the blog!
Here are the latest stats:
Weight: I think I’ve gained about 23 pounds…more than I hoped for at this point, but whatever…I’m pregnant AND just survived the holidays!
Stretch Marks: Only a couple on the ladies…glad they aren’t anywhere else.
Looking Forward to: finishing her nursery
Missing: I really miss moving around like a normal person. Every action; getting up, sitting down, working out, sweeping, cooking, whatever, takes me at least twice as long as it used to.
Challenges: (See above) Also, eating a full meal is difficult. I get full super first and almost always get heartburn. I’m also always hungry. I’m trying to eat smaller meals all throughout the day, but it’s hard to not eat more than I can handle.
Appetite/Cravings: I haven’t been craving anything in particular… although I did want ice cream at about midnight last night.
Sleep: I sleep best after 7am for some reason. I toss and turn and get up all night, but once the sun is up I feel ready to sleep.
Emotions: I can tell I am getting more emotional and more sentimental the closer we get to Luna’s arrival. I cried yesterday because Husband was just being so sweet and cute… an hour later I cried because I missed my Mom and my girlfriends in Texas. I’m also feeling more anxious about the big day!
Movement: Everyday I think she can’t possible be more active and everyday she proves me wrong. This girl can move!
Exercise: It is soooo not easy, but I’m still working out 5-6 days a weeks. Some days I feel awful and want to skip it, but I always feel better once I finish.
Today I am 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant… which means I have about 8 weeks (hopefully a little less!) left. The last few days have been so full of travel, family and friends that I haven’t even had a chance to take my “32 weeks” photo, which I totally planned on doing. I had to settle for a pic from my Mom’s phone for this one.
Two days ago, Husband and I were busy driving a little over 12 hours from our home in Tennessee to my parent’s home in southeast Texas. I just knew it was going to be the most uncomfortable ride of my life, but I drove the first six hours and felt pretty darn good the rest of the trip. We got Starbucks, a little too much junk, jammed to Frank Sinatra’s Christmas music, let Belle hang her head out the window and actually enjoyed the drive more than can be expected. I hope the drive back goes just as well!
Anyhow, at 32 weeks (or 8 months) pregnant here’s my latest stats:
Weight gain: about 15 pounds
Stretch marks: none so far, fingers crossed!
Belly Button: so far out, it’s frightening
Symptoms: Rights side of ribs are pretty much in constant pain and breathing has become a challenge. I spend much of my time stretching back to make more room and taking long deep breaths.
Good side effects: My hair, nails and skin are freakin’ awesome. I have NEVER had such clear skin!
Sleep: I’m getting up somewhere between 1-3 times a night, but it’s not so bad. Honestly, just getting out of the bed is the hard part. It’s more of a roll out of the bed at this point.
Cravings: I’m just hungry a lot, but have to eat small meals and snacks because I get full so fast…and then hungry again 30 minutes later.
What I miss: feeling comfortable
Looking forward to: My baby shower in Texas is this weekend and my shower in Tennessee is the next! I am so so so excited to see what Luna gets!
Workouts: I am still working out six days a week, and still doing the Asylum most days with Husband, but it is soooo modified that it barely resembles what Shaun T is doing. My goal is to workout for the same length of time, keep moving and to just try and work the same muscle groups they are working.
Overall health: Doc says the baby and I are just perfect and he expects no complications! Yay!
I can’t believe how close it’s getting to her due date! Only a couple more updates until she’s here!
*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!
I am now almost 32 weeks pregnant (8 more weeks!) and I am still keeping up with my daily workouts. I’ve got be honest though…it is NOT easy. Everyday I discover a new move I can longer do full-out. I’m learning to modify most exercises and learning to except the fact that I just cannot do what I used to do.
At almost 8 months pregnant I am modifying, taking more breaks, drinking more water and need more rest time after my workouts. I went swimming for about an hour the other day and accidentally took a half-hour nap the second I got home. The energy that came during my second trimester is definitely leaving, and I found myself needing extra encouragement from Husband to keep it up.
The good news is I am still able to workout and it still helps me feel better every single time I do it. Some days the last thing I want to do is push play and hear Shaun T yell at me to “dig deeper”. I want to stop half-way through and I get angry that it’s SO hard, but afterward I feel awesome! Not only do I feel like a bad-ass for completing the workout, but everything just feels better. I sleep better, eat better, have less back aches and my anxiety is always lessened after a good workout.
I want you to reap these benefits too! Today, I put together a 10-minute arm workout that uses no weights. I love using weights, bands, balls and a myriad of other tools, but I don’t always have these on hand, and I know you most likely don’t either. So, let’s keep it simple and just use our body for some much needed resistance training!
Here’s my 10 Minute Prenatal (or not) Arm Workout:
Push-ups (1 minute)– targets chest, core and upper arms
Let’s get everyone’s least favorite out of the way! Get into a plank pose (keep your tailbone, spine, neck and head in a straight line) and do as many push-ups possible for one minutes. Take breaks when needed or even break it up into 20 or 30 second intervals. Set a goal. Can you do 10 push-ups in one minute? 15 push-ups? 20? To modify, put your knees down OR elevate your upper body. Doing “girl push-ups” (ugh I hate that term) is still a very effective workout. I often have to elevate my upper body by putting my hands on the bottom step in our living room. My acid reflux is so bad during my pregnancy that if I don’t elevate myself everything just comes right back up. For a challenge, try moving push-ups. Open up your right arm and leg to the side and do a wide push-up. Do two to the right, two to the left and repeat!
Planks (2 minutes)– targets arms, triceps, biceps and shoulders
Okay, this is a long plank section, but no worries… you’re strong and tough and I know you can do it! So, get into plank position with straight arms and keep your head back and hips aligned. Now, hold for 30 seconds. Immediately, move down to your elbows, now hold a low-plank for 30 seconds. Right after, switch your weight to your right elbow, turn to your side and raise your left arm straight up towards the ceiling. Keep your hips off the floor and hold for 30 seconds. Switch; do the same on your left side for 30 seconds. To modify, take breaks between the planks or put your knees down. Even in the side-plank you can put one knee down. For a challenge, lift one leg and switch legs for each plank. This can get pretty challenging on the side planks!
Arm Circles (3 minutes)– targets shoulders, biceps, triceps and back
The key to this exercise is to keep your arms straight and keep the movements small. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold your arms out straight to each side. Do small arm circles to the back for 30 seconds, then to the front for thirty seconds. WITHOUT DROPPING ARMS, pump your arms up for 30 seconds, then down for 30…again these are small movements. Immediately pulse forward for 30 seconds, and then back for 30 seconds. Now, shake it out! To modify, Take a break after each minute, or cut it down to 20 seconds intervals. For a challenge, add small hand weights. Seriously, even holding some canned food will make a big difference with this exercise.
Tricep dips (1 minute)– triceps, shoulders
Find a chair or short table to support yourself. Sit at the edge of chair and place your hands on the very edge, fingers facing out. Now scoot your bottom off the chair and hold yourself up with straight arms. Do tricep dips by bending your elbows straight back to a 90 degree angle. Do full tricep dips for 30 seconds. Now stay down and pulse for 30 more seconds. To modify, move to the floor. For a challenge, lift one leg for the first half and switch for the second half.
Shoulder-tap push-ups (1 minute)- targets chest, core and upper arms
Get in your plank position and do two shoulder taps (one on each shoulder). Tap your left hand to your right shoulder, then your right hand to your left shoulder and then do one push up. Continue this pattern for one full minute. Hold your core tight and keep your back, tailbone and neck in line. To modify, put your knees down. For a challenge, you can do two push-ups after the shoulder taps, or lift one leg as you do the exercise.
Downward dog (1 minute)- targets shoulders, arms, wrists and core muscles
Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands and feet shoulder width apart. Press up, booty to the sky, keep your arms and legs straight and try to press your heels towards the ground. Hold for one minute. To modify, simply bend your knees or place your hands on a higher surface, like a chair. For a challenge, lift one leg for half the time, then switch.
Stretch (1 minute)
While sitting or standing cross your right arm across you chest and press your elbow. You should feel the stretch in you right shoulder and upper arm. Now lift the same arm over your head, reach you hand down your back, and press your elbow down, stretching your tricep. Repeat on the other side.
Now breathe, you did it!
If you need to get your cardio in for the day try 30 minutes of dancing. Try Zumba, hip-hop class or just turn on some music and dance around your house for half an hour. Need more? Try my 10-minute Prenatal Booty Workout.
I must be nesting. It’s the only explanation for what is happening at my house. Not only am I cleaning non-stop and getting upset that the nursery isn’t finished yet, but I am cooking. Like, a lot. Recently, I came across some blogs, “Mommy blogs” if you will, that suggest making lots of frozen dishes prior to having your baby. They all say that the first couple weeks with your newborn are hard and exhausting and the very last thing you will want to do is cook a healthy meal. So why not cook now, freeze and heat up when the baby comes? Okay, I’m convinced!
So immediately, with no thought of my own or control over anything I was doing, I ran to Costco and stocked up on basically everything. I actually did research beforehand and found plenty of freezable vegetarian recipes and made an organized grocery list. I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Costco didn’t actually have everything I needed so I had to make a run to a second regular grocery store before going home to have a cooking marathon. I cooked for two days. TWO DAYS. I made about 12 meals. I’m sure in 2 months when I thaw and reheat them they’ll be gross and frost bitten, but whatever…we’ll find out in February!
Here’s what I did: First, I cleaned the kitchen and cleaned out the pantry and fridge. This was necessary after the major shopping spree. I separated everything by recipes. Then, I chopped like a 100 hundreds, peppers, garlic cloves and whatever else needed to be chopped (this step was by far the worst). Finally, I began cooking. Also, I played a marathon of Christmas movies to listen to while cooking, it made the whole thing feel more festive.
I made breakfast burritos, regular burritos, vegetable soup, taco soup, chili, enchilada casserole, fake-chicken and dumplings, fake-chicken spaghetti, creamy tomato and spinach pasta and lazy lasagna (easy recipe I found online). I made everything vegetarian-style which wasn’t hard to do. After each dish finished I let it cool scooped it into a zip-loc or foil casserole dish, and then added a second zip-loc for double protection.
I did not take photos because I was in way over my head to begin with and couldn’t even think that far ahead. However, I can tell you that nothing looked pretty, but OMG it all came out delicious! I made little tasting dishes for me and Husband because everything smelled far too good to just completely ignore for 2 months. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more surprised with myself… and pretty damn proud too. I literally called 3 different people just to brag on myself. Not only did I not ruin one single dish, but they all tasted really good!
The best part is that Husband cleaned the kitchen for me! I was exhausted and my back was killing me so while I soaked in a hot bath he cleaned up my super gigantic mess. I manage to make a bigger mess than most while cooking.
Even after all this cooking, I have continued to make dinner a few nights a week. Considering I used to cook a few nights a year…this is a drastic change. Even tonight, I have big plans to whip up some no-bake cookies. I am craving them more than anything and you know…you don’t have to bake them so that’s always good.
Alright, I have to go clean something and pin some more nursery ideas now. This nest isn’t going to build itself!
I am happy to say that at 30 weeks pregnant I am still working out 6 days a week and loving the effect it has had on my changing body. I’m not exactly trying to lose weight, but I’m staying toned and preventing too much weight gain. I sleep better, feel better (emotionally and physically) and keep my anxiety in check by keeping up with my daily workouts. Now that I am getting slightly uncomfortable and less graceful in my pregnancy I’ve had to seriously adjust my workouts. My abilities and energy levels changed on a day-to-day basis now!
Lately I have combined my love for Shaun T’s workouts, Pilates, yoga and dance to create my own prenatal-friendly daily workouts! I typically workout from home and I have very little equipment, so I decided to create workouts that use little space and absolutely no workout tools! If you have weights, bands or balls at home then feel free to add them in for an extra challenge. THAT’s the great thing about working out at home, you can adjust any workout to your own needs.
Today I will be focusing on glutes, and like one prenatal exercise DVD recently told me “your glutes are you booty muscles!”…just in case you didn’t know. WARNING: I live with very spoiled pets that demand attention at all times. So, they are pictured in almost every photo…little hams! Also, I had attempted something new with my hair in the morning and it ended up looking a little like Shirley Temple. Try not to let it distract you.
Here’s my “10 minute Prenatal Booty Workout”! (Although, I believe this can be used for non-preggo friends too!)
1. Squats (2 minutes)
Squats are quite possibly my favorite move ever. There are so many different kinds of squats to keep your workout varied, they can be easily modified or enhanced AND it does wonders for that booty. Try 1 minute of regular squats and then one minute of tiny pulses at the bottom. To modify, you can put a resistance ball between your lower back and the wall. For a challenge, add some weights or bands and lift as you squat. Don’t forget to dig deep as you squat and try to get below 90 degrees! If you get bored you can squat with your feet closer together or extra wide.
2. Lunges (2 minutes)
Another classic that’s simple to adjust… Try standing with feet together and alternating squats, right then left. Do these for one minute. After, hold a low lunge on the right side and pulse for 30 seconds. Switch, and try it on the left! To modify, you can hold onto a wall or chair for balance, elevate your front foot or use a smaller range of motion. Doing one leg at a time will be a bit easier too. For a challenge, add those weights or bands and lift as you lunge! You can also try stepping out to the diagonal to mix things up a bit. *Remember to keep your knee directly over your ankle as you lunge. Do NOT let your knee move over your toes.
3. Pilates Leg Lifts (2 or 4 minutes)
Woohoo, now you get to lie on your side! Lie on your right side, keep you hips stacked on top of one another, rest your head in your right hand and keep your left hand in front of your belly. Do leg lifts for one minute. Be sure to squeeze your glutes and try to keep your hips from swaying, hold that core! Now, switch to your left side. To modify, you can add a ball or rolled up towel under your armpit for more stability. For a challenge, add on! Circle the leg to the front for 30 seconds AND the back for 30 seconds.
4. Booty lifts (1 minute)
Lie on your back, bend your knees and let your arms lie flat by your sides. Squeeze your butt and press your belly up. Do full lifts for 30 seconds, then pulse it up for 30 seconds. Be sure to keep your shoulders, hips and knees in line as you lift. To modify, you can use a smaller range of motion or simply take a break. For a challenge, extend one leg and keep lifting, but don’t forget to switch legs half-way through!
5. Leg Extension with a Twist (2 minutes)
Get on all fours, knees directly under hips, and hands directly under shoulders. Bring your right knee in towards the left elbow, then extend back and to the diagonal. Repeat for one minute and of course, switch sides. To modify, skip the twist. Bring your knee straight in and straight back. For a challenge, add an arm lift. Bring your elbow towards you knee and extend your arm out as your leg extends back.
Stretch: This stretch requires balancing, so if you are feeling unstable at this point find something to hold onto as you stretch. Stand on your left foot and cross your right foot over your left knee. Bend down, lean forward and feel the stretch in your glutes. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
BONUS: Plie Squats! If this ten minute workout simply wasn’t enough then add on the plie bonus. Open your legs wide, turn your toes out and bend down to a 90 degree squat. Keep your back up right and arms out straight to the side. Plie squat for 30 seconds. NOW, for a serious challenge, add some pulses. Pulse low for 30 seconds. Lift your left heel and pulse for 30 and lift your right heel and pulse for 30. Finally, lift both heels and pulse for 30 seconds!
You did it!
This ten minute workout is great for your pregnant butt, but don’t forget to get in some cardio today. Walking on the hills around my neighborhood with my little dog is one my favorite ways to get in some cardio and extra gluteal work.
For many years now I have been a very active and health conscious person. I still have my days where I eat like crap and watch too much America’s Next Top Model, but mostly I lead a healthy lifestyle. It all began in high school…partially because of an eating/image disorder and a lot because of my fears and anxieties of dying of heart disease. I had some unhealthy and extreme habits for a while, but after lots of education, practice, training and even a job and teaching certification through the local gym I learned what it truly meant to be fit and healthy.
Now, I’m so thankful to have started healthy habits at a young age because I was healthy when we decided to conceive and can continue my fit lifestyle throughout my pregnancy, which any doctor will tell you is a very good idea. That being said, there are still many precautions I have had to take to keep active during my pregnancy, which leads me to this post…
I have been a little extreme with my workouts (Beachbody’s Insanity and the Asylum have been my top 2 workouts this pregnancy), but I followed some cardinal prenatal exercise rules before starting these workouts.
1. ALWAYS consult with your doctor before continuing or starting a workout plan. My doctor was happy with my health and encouraged me to continue my regular exercise routine, with caution. He warned me not to work out to fatigue (that’s a challenge) and to always be smart and listen to my body. Throughout the pregnancy I have consulted with him about what I am doing, verified that I am still being safe and got his blessing to keep on keepin’ on. After the “false alarm” a couple of weeks ago I triple checked with the doctor and nurse that my workouts had nothing to do with our hospital visit. Thankfully, they did not.
2. Like the doctor says: Listen to your body! Normally, I will push through my workouts no matter the little aches and pains and fatigue, but not while pregnant. It’s been challenging to change this habit, but I am much more concerned about doing what’s safe and healthy for our baby girl. I have learned to slow down, take breaks, modify and even take a day off or two (gasp!). I actually took two days off of exercising this week because I knew my body needed extra rest and for whatever reason was not up for my normal activity. I did feel guilty, but I certainly don’t regret it.
3. Drink A LOT of water. The week before I found out I was pregnant I was the thirstiest I have ever been, no amount of water could quench my thirst. This pregnancy symptom has stuck with me throughout the whole experience and it turns out there is a good reason for it. Pregnant women don’t necessarily need more water, but need enough water, which most of us typically do not get. If you are working out and pregnant you need even more.
4. Find a supporter. Having someone to workout with or at least hold you accountable is essential. Thankfully, my Husband has become dedicated to working out since we found out about the baby. He encourages me everyday, but is also supportive when I need to take a step back. I’m also participating in a fitness group on Facebook. Two of my friends are Beachbody coaches and they created a group of girls on Facebook to encourage each other to eat healthy, workout and share success stories. I am not even in the same state as any of them, but it is still really nice to know I have that extra support group.
5. Make it part of your routine. It’s hard enough when you aren’t pregnant to workout on a regular basis, but it’s SO much harder when you are growing another human! However, if you make it a habit, consider it as necessary as brushing your teeth and stick with it, then it won’t seem quite so difficult. Keep in mind you can break a 30 minute workout into ten minute increments on busy days: a ten minute walk in the morning, ten minutes of yoga after lunch or whatever you can do for ten minutes…it all counts!
6. Think about your baby. Recent studies show that exercising can actually make your newborn healthier, smarter, and easier!
7. Snack on healthy snacks. You’ll need it to keep up your energy and to make up for too many burnt calories. This is tough for me because I LOVE snacking, but in an unhealthy way…I prefer chips and french fries. Right now, I keep soy yogurt, granola, pistachios, and fruit on hand for easy healthy snacks.
8. Don’t overheat. Getting too hot actually causes blood to go away from the uterus to the skin as an attempt to cool off your body. It also raises your blood pressure. So if it’s too hot outside, stay inside and enjoy working out in the AC.
9. MODIFY! The further along you get, the more difficult it is going to be to continue on as normal. At 27 weeks, I am having to modify something new almost every week. The first 4 or 5 months I could do basically every move full-out, but my body just isn’t capable at this point, and that’s okay.
10. Don’t let naysayers get you down. MOST people around you are looking out for you and will give you advice (good and bad) because they love you and want you and your baby to be healthy. However, there will be the occasional few who try to scare you from working out. They may tell you it’s dangerous, you aren’t gaining enough weight or anything else to discourage you. Just remember, if you have the green light from your doctor and you are being safe and listening to your body, then you’re doing the right thing. Just nod and smile to those who don’t understand. I have to say that most of my friends and family have been really supportive, and I am so grateful.