Mother in Training
My fitness routine has been a really important part of my pregnancy. With all of the changes going on in my body, working out has been one of the things that makes me feel more normal. I have always loved my fitness regimen. I need those daily endorphins. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew it would be important to keep my fitness routine going.
Most experts agree that when you’re expecting, it’s important to keep moving and stay fit. This can help with minimizing back pain, increased energy, better body image, and a faster return to pre-baby weight. More and more studies are coming out showing that high intensity workouts lower the risks of: health issues for the baby, the chances of needing a cesarean, and the chances of gestational diabetes. Working out also has shown to help reduce the risk of premature birth. After my initial pregnancy consultation with my doctor, she recommended keeping my fitness routine pretty much the same, with just a few modifications.
I know pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and a growing stomach is just part of the process. However, getting to the point where I felt comfortable showing it off was harder than I thought. Now that I am 5 months along, I am FINALLY accepting it and excited to see my belly grow.
Working out in the first trimester was a whole new world for me. With 50% more blood circulating in my body, my cardio sessions were quickly modified. Running (sprints or long distance) has always been my cardio routine of choice. I see the best results when I do a combo of sprints and long distance runs. However, since becoming pregnant, I have found other cardio workouts to use as alternatives. My favorites have been the stair master and spin class.
The best tip I have received from my trainer is “Listen to your body, it will tell you if you are over-doing it.” She was so right. The female body is amazing. After just one time of pushing too hard at the gym, my body immediately let me know that I needed to back it off.
I have been working out with the same AMAZING trainer for the past five years. We do a 30-60 minute session 1 to 2 times a week. I seriously think she knows my body better than I do, haha. We do a variety of weight training, HIIT work, and full body strengthening exercises. She is a mother of two, and a great resource for advice on how to stay fit throughout pregnancy.
On top of that, twice a week, she is the head trainer for our TRIBE team training. This workout has been a huge game changer for my body over the past year. TRIBE training is a personal training program delivered in a team environment. The workouts are high intensity, high-calorie burn, and they deliver strong results. Plus, the group of people on our TRIBE team makes this experience the best. We seriously have become like a family, pushing each other through each and every workout. I have had to modify a lot of the exercises in this program since becoming pregnant, but I love how strong I feel after each session.
Pilates Reformer Workout
If I could recommend just one workout for pregnancy, it would be Pilates on reformer machines!! For those of you new to reformer machines, they use springs as resistance while performing movements that target specific muscle groups. I started doing this workout twice a week at BRIDGER PILATES months before I became pregnant, and I quickly saw amazing results. My muscles have a tendency to bulk up, and the reformer machines were an excellent way to lean out and create smaller, more toned muscles. If you live in the Bozeman area and can get a private session with Amy Stoddard (the studio owner), you will be hooked! As a former ballet dancer and also a mother, Amy really knows the female body and all of the moving parts of pregnancy. This is a low impact, high result workout, and one that I plan on doing up until the day I have this little bambino. Another plus of Pilates is the focus on Kegel exercises, which strengthen your pelvic floor and can help with bladder control during and after pregnancy.
Aww…yoga, aka, therapy. I cannot say enough good things about yoga during my pregnancy. I do everything from Vinyasa to Hatha to Shanti yoga. Allowing my body to move and stretch through doing yoga is so important. Plus, I release a lot of anxiety and stress during the hour-long sessions. Yoga has become a staple in my life.
As I said before, I like cardio in my fitness routine. I do cardio 4-5 times a week for about 45 minutes. As a 4’11” gal, I need to be sure that I am always burning some cals. Since becoming pregnant, I have started to walk more and run less. It feels amazing, and I have found that as long as it gets me moving, it seems to be a good choice.
I know this is a long post, and many of you may think I am over-doing it, but this is not meant to tell moms-to-be what they should be doing or make anyone feel like they are not doing enough. This is just what has worked well for me. Everything that I have talked about has made my pregnancy easier. I hope you find it helpful coming from a real person going through pregnancy. I am officially 23 weeks along, I’ve gained 10 pounds thus far, and my belly is really starting to pop…which I love.
Always consult with your doctor before doing any exercise, and remember to listen to your body…it amazes me every day.
- Listen to your body.
- Make working out a priority before getting pregnant. By doing this, you can continue to workout safely once pregnant. Doctors do not want you starting up new hard-core workout routines once you get pregnant. Go into your pregnancy as a fit as possible. Trust me, you will thank me later for this tip.
- Get a heart rate monitor. I use @myzone, this way I can track how high my heart rate gets. You do not want to continually workout with a heart rate above 90%. Remember, if you overheat, so does your baby.
- Drink more water. Your body is working overtime. Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Once you get behind, it can be difficult to catch up.
- Surround yourself with knowledgeable people in the fitness industry.
- Enjoy the process XOXO