When I was pregnant with Philip I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t work out much at all. I was working long days at the time but that’s a poor excuse…I was lazy. I gained 52 pounds…yes, 52 pounds on my 5’4 body is a lot. With that being said, I did retain a lot of water at the end of my pregnancy, but still, 52 pounds is unnecessary. However, I’m so happy to say that I lost it all!
When I got pregnant again I made a promise with myself that I would do better this time and aim for a 35-40 pound weight gain. In order to do this I knew I had to work out consistently and eat better. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still give in to some of my cravings, but I try to make better food choices all around. Luckily I’m craving a lot of fruit this time as opposed to the pasta and sweets I craved with Philip :).
When it comes to working out during this pregnancy I have scaled back a lot and lowered the intensity of my workouts. Pre-pregnancy I would weight train and do cardio (elliptical or treadmill) 4-5 days per week and go to Zumba 1-2 days per week. I love Zumba and I can’t wait to get back to class. I haven’t gone during my pregnancy because it’s too much jumping around and I don’t want to get my heart rate up too high.
During my first trimester I was often nauseas and extremely tired and didn’t go to the gym much. I’m ok with that because it’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it, especially when the risk for miscarriage is so high during the first trimester.
Now I try to commit to my schedule of three days of cardio per week and two days of modified weight training. During the hot summer months I spent most of my cardio time in the air-conditioned gym because it’s really important not to become over heated or dehydrated. Some days I use the elliptical for 30-45 minutes. I go forward for five minutes and then backward (to work my glutes) for two minutes and then repeat. I also often use the treadmill to walk at about 4 mph for 45-60 minutes and I alternate the incline.
Now that it’s getting cooler in the mornings and its not as humid, we have been taking an hour walk on the bike trail in our town. It’s a nice change of scenery from the gym and I’m able to get Philip out for a stroll.
I know my prenatal cardio workouts aren’t very exciting or anything new but I wanted to share what works for me during this pregnancy. It is key to set goals and be consistent. Each week I set appointments in my Outlook calendar for when I’m going to work out. By scheduling it in my calendar it holds me accountable and I’m a lot more likely to stick with it. After I have the baby I will get back to all of my fun group classes!
Staying active during pregnancy offers many health benefits. It boosts your mood, can improve sleep, lowers stress, and helps to prevent gestational diabetes and avoid preeclampsia, according to BabyCenter.com. It also prepares you for childbirth by strengthening your muscles and building endurance. Not to mention it makes it a lot easier to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight! Also, ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week for pregnant women.
Please keep in mind that I am not an expert in prenatal fitness and to always consult with your doctor before starting any physical activity.
Get out there on this beautiful fall day and get that cardio in! Happy Friday :).