Fitness + Pregnancy: what I do to stay in shape
Fitness has been such a huge aspect of my life for years now. I found a love for running while I was in college, and through the years have expanded my horizons to also love yoga, cycling, weightlifting, barre, etc. - I have loved trying new things and working up a sweat!
From day one of finding out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to stay as active as possible and keep up my healthy habits that I had worked so hard over the years to establish in the first place! It definitely wasn't easy, especially throughout the first trimester where I most of the time I felt so exhausted that a nice little spot on the couch always sounded better than ANYTHING else. But I knew how important it was for both me and baby that I continued to stay active and I am proud to say that I sucked it up and did something that got me moving at least 5 days a week- even in the first trimester when that meant going on a walk around the neighborhood when that is all I felt I had the energy for. Every single time I made the effort to work out and get moving, I felt better afterwards - morning sickness was better, I had more energy, and the effect on my mood was incredible! I used this as my motivator and reminded myself how great I would feel if I took the time to exercise...and here I am sitting at 38 weeks feeling great MOST of the time. I have not only embraced my growing belly and the number climbing on the scale, but enjoyed the process. I have exercise to thank for such a wonderful pregnancy, and even though I am looking forward to the other side when I am cleared for working out normally again after little guy is born.. I know I'll miss sweating with the bump! Scroll down to see my list of favorite ways to stay active!
Here is my list of my favorite activities that kept me fit for the past 9 months:
Spin class/biking on my trainer:
This has been my absolute favorite because of the low-impact aspect (especially in the later months when things like running was too much for my pelvis to handle). I always felt like I really worked up a good sweat when I jumped on a spin bike, yet it allowed me to always go at my own pace if I needed to. If I couldn't make it to a spin class at my gym, I would hop on my road bike at home that we set up on an indoor trainer (this is the one I use here). I would pull up a spin class via you tube and just follow along. I learned that having this option right in my living room made it so that I had no excuses to at least get on and peddle while watching a favorite show if I didn't feel like doing anything else.
Yoga and stretching has been a staple to me these last 9 months and probably take 5 min at least 3 times a day to stretch my achy and stiff muscles. My back and hips have really taken a beating with the extra 20 pounds I have gained, but a few yoga moves have helped immensely. A few of my favorites: Cat, Cow pose, downward dog, triangle pose, and simply touching my toes. I stretch every morning after I get up, and every night before I go to bed, as well as after anything active that I do.
If I wasn't up for something more intense, I always would take a walk! This happened a lot in the first trimester and now that I am inching closer to 40 weeks, walks are a big part of my exercise repertoire once again. It also helps that Mochi loves to walk and I always feel good just getting him some exercise too.
Barre/ other YouTube workout videos:
If I really felt up to the challenge I would take a barre class or find an online class on YouTube to do in my living room. I felt REALLY good in my second trimester and about half way into my third that I still felt that I was able to keep up and give it a somewhat "pre-pregnancy" effort. Now that I am getting bigger and quite a bit heavier, these classes can be tough, but doable if I make modifications and go easy on myself
I had really gotten into lifting weights the summer and fall before getting pregnant, and even though most days I chose spin class over weights, I was still able to get some light weights in at least once a week. ( I had worked so hard to add some muscle, I didn't want to completely lose them all!) I definitely have lost strength these last 9 months, but I haven't gone completely to jello!
If I had one piece of wisdom to pass on to anyone who is pregnant, it would be to make the effort to stay active. It really has made a world of difference for me and has been a huge part of why I have loved being pregnant so much. Find the things you like to do and just don't push yourself too hard. And if all else fails, just go for a walk!
P.S. Preggos and non-preggos alike, these crop pants are the most comfortable pair I own! I was able to wear them all 9 months as it stretches to fit over the bump, or the waistband can be folded down under the bump as well. If you are pregnant, these are a must-own!!