Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Lately I've been really into exercise and being fit. So, it was with trepedation that I approached my 3rd pregnancy. I didn't really want to destroy all the work I'd done on my body.
With my first pregnancy I had a pretty easy time of it (as far as my body was concerned) and although I gained quite a bit of weight in my first pregnancy I bounced back VERY quickly. I lost the weight easily after the baby was born (with little or no effort on my part) and even before she was born I never felt too much of a strain in my 3rd trimester.
My second was a different story. I felt SO big and akward and was very sore by my 3rd trimester. I coudln't breath well and overall it was much more uncomfortable. Not only that, but postpartem recovery was harder and I took a year and a half to lose the weight (by diet and exercise).
Now, I am in the best shape I've been in of my life (at least I was 4 months ago). As I said, I was reluctant to give up my new fit body for a pregnancy, but I do love being pregnant and I love having babies, so I was willing. The best part is that I didn't have to give up exercise - especially since I'd already been doing it.
Exercise while being pregnant can help in a lot of ways. Exercise can keep your fatigue down and also ease nausea. It will keep your muscles toned which will ease discomfort you might feel as your body grows larger. It will also train your cardiovascular system, thus enabling you to breath a bit easier. It can also give you endurance for delivery. Perhaps, best of all, staying in shape while pregnant can help you lose your postpartum weight.
With my first two pregnancies I didn't do much except take long walks around the block (which is SUPER beneficial if that is all you are up for). But this time I've tried to stay up with my normal exercise routine. So - here are just a few tips for you if you'd like to exercise while being pregnant.
1 - Consult your doctor! I talked to my doctor at my 12 week appointment and told her I'm working out a lot. Each person is different and each doctor will have different recommendations for you - so listen to your provider! For me personally, my doctor told me to avoid deep squats as I got farther along. Other than that she said I coudl mostly keep up with my normal program as long as I felt fit enough.
2 - If you want to exercise A LOT while being pregnant I suggest getting in very good shape before you become pregnant. If you do this - you can continue to work out as normally as possible, especially in the first trimester.
3 - If you aren't in shape when you get pregnant, don't think that you can't do anything. You can start slow and build up. I wouldn't suggest running if you've never been a runner before, but walking is super beneficial and you can always work on some toning (remember to start small).
4 - Be realistic! Realize that you won't be able to do as much as you did before. You will be slower, and weaker - it's simply part of the pregnancy game. Your body will be allocating resources to growing a person. For example - before I got pregnant I could run a mile in 7:25 but now I am down to 9:15 if I am lucky! :) Don't be discouraged, but give yoruself a pat on the back for even working out while being pregnant.
5 - If you think you are too sick to work out - just give it a try anyway. Every morning when I get up to work out I'm just not sure how I feel. I eat some breakfast and then inevitability I feel ill. I even feel sick when I start to work out, but within 10 or 15 minutes I feel better and by the end of the workout I feel completely wonderful and in fact feel the best I do for most of the day.
6 - Avoid exercises that put you on your back. This is different for everyone. You will mostly hear that you need to stop laying on your back after the first trimester. Consult with your doctor - some say that 4 or 5 months is the mark. So just be careful and listen to your body.
I am certainly not an expert! But I have enjoyed working out a great deal and it has helped me feel better in my pregnancy overall. If you'd like more information on working out while being pregnant try doing a Google search on the internet or check this website. And of course, don't forget to talk to your doctor!
Let's hear from you now....
Have you ever worked out during pregnancy? What was your experience like?
What exercises were you told to avoid while being pregnant?
How did you find your workouts changed while being pregnant?
If you haven't tried working out while being pregnant, would you be willing to give it a try? Why or why not?
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Labels: Pregnancy and Nursing