My Thoughts on Prenatal Exercise

20 Comments

Today I’m linking up with Katie @ Katie Did What for her new Healthy Habits link up!

The information being shared in this post is based upon my own experiences and should not be taken as medical or professional advice.  Please speak to a medical professional before making changes to or beginning a prenatal exercise regime.

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for the longest time and when I saw Brittany’s post on The Best Prenatal Workouts, I finally made a point to sit down and write it. As you may already know, I’m no stranger to exercise. I’ve been working out fairly steadily (minus time of injuries) throughout my adult life. Working out is extremely important to me (I still need to write a post on that). I don’t look at it as a chore – it has become a part of my daily routine. So, I knew that when I became pregnant, I planned to continue my workout routine (with doctor’s approval, of course).

During the first few weeks of my first trimester, I was unable to workout due to the discovery of a fairly large ovarian cyst. The cyst wasn’t dangerous, but any type of jarring movements could cause pain or cause the cyst rupture. The cyst was supporting the pregnancy at the time, so we obviously, didn’t want that to happen. Other than walking, I was not cleared for exercise until the cyst had significantly reduced in size, which it did in just a few short weeks. After the cyst shrunk, the doctor cleared me for exercise. Yippee!!!

My doctor encouraged me to continue with my exercise program; although, I would need to make some modifications even more so since I was having twins. She told me that since I was working out for such a long time that I should continue doing so throughout the duration of my pregnancy or as much as my body allowed (who knows what the third trimester will bring!!!). I explained to her exactly the type of things I do and was happy that I could still continue with my routine, but limit any jumping and lifting heavy weights. The main things that were out were running and certain (not all) abdominal exercises.

Honestly, I was SO excited when I could start working out again and even more excited that I could mostly stick to my regular routine. I was definitely getting a little stir crazy with only being able to walk. I didn’t want to make my pregnancy an excuse not to exercise. Unfortunately, I think there is a big misconception when it comes to pregnancy and working out. I’ve found that some people still have this belief that pregnant women shouldn’t workout and that it isn’t safe. As long as you listen to your doctor, listen to your body and make smart choices, this isn’t true. If you’re a pregnant women who is just starting an exercise regime for the first time, then you really need to have a sit down with your doctor to discuss how to safely pursue exercise during your pregnancy; however, in my particular case, my body was (and is) used to exercise, so there was nothing wrong with making modifications and continuing my routine. As far as I’m concerned, now was the time to be sure and stick to a workout regime, especially since working out during pregnancy can help to cope with symptoms, help get through labor and delivery and help your body recover more quickly post-pregnancy.

I’m still working out 5 days a week; although, there were definitely times when I really didn’t feel well, so I either took a rest day or did a lower intensity workout. I vary my fitness routine and do cardio, pilates, prenatal yoga and strength training (I’ll typically use 5-8 lb weights). During my workouts, I make a point to wear loose comfortable clothing and am sure to stay well hydrated before, during and after my workout. Some days I have more energy than others, so I make it a priority to listen to my body and I don’t push myself like I normally would pre-pregnancy. And overall, working out during my pregnancy makes me feel good. It gives me more energy, helps with my sore back and makes me feel stronger. AND besides, a healthy mamma = healthy babies!

I was going to list some of my favorite pre-natal workouts (and there are lots!), but that would make this post way too long, so  I’m going to break it up and go over my favorites another time, so for now, I’ll just end here. See you all tomorrow!

Thoughts?
Did you continue a workout regime throughout your pregnancy?
What type of workout are you currently enjoying the most?

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20 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Prenatal Exercise

  1. I wasn’t a runner at the time but I walked throughout both pregnancies. Best decision ever!

  2. I like you couldn’t exercise at first…but even now in my 3rd trimester I walk an hour each morning and do weight bearing exercises for 30-45 mins a day….it makes me feel sooo much better and helps me deal with the body image ‘issues’ that can come along with pregnancy!

    • That’s awesome that you’re keeping up with working out! I totally hear you on body image issues during pregnancy. The drastic change in our bodies is not easy to deal with sometimes.

  3. Yes, I agree 100%. I’m 31 weeks and have continued exercising an average of 4 days a week. Working out has helped me have better energy, feel good and keep my weight-gain in check. Keep it up!!

  4. I am pregnant with my first child. I’m currently doing a lot of yoga and swimming, it’s great!

  5. healthy momma = healthy babies! yes, you’ve got it!! i’m doing mostly walking with the occasional push up and lunges and i’m trying to figure out other moves i can do WITH my baby!

  6. Great post Holly! I completely agree that there is a huge misconception that pregnant women shouldn’t workout, which is completely untrue. Childbirth is extremely physical so I think it is important our bodies are in good shape to handle that stress, which means a healthy cardiovascular system, strong muscles and flexible mind, body and spirit.

    For me, the core workouts were the biggest thing I wasn’t aware of pre-pregnancy. I had no idea that most abdominal exercises were safe throughout the first trimester and that certain (non-crunching) exercises are actually really good for you and important for building a strong pelvic floor during the remainder of pregnancy.

    Love hearing your thoughts since we are going through similar things at the same time! :)

    • Thanks Brittany! Yes, I couldn’t agree more! I too was under the impression that abdominal exercises were completely out, but happy to hear that that was not a all the case. I didn’t realize how important they were for building a strong pelvic floor, which obviously is super important for childbirth.

  7. I obviously can’t relate to exercise during pregnancy, but your approach makes sense to me and I think you’re doing a great job! Currently loving yoga, but I’m hoping to start introducing the weights again in a few weeks!

  8. The best mamas are happy healthy ones! :-)

    I love CrossFit and am so inspired by Tina over @CarrotsNCake – even though I’m not planning on having a baby!

  9. GREAT post!! I absolutely agree- as long as you are smart and listen to your body, then working out during pregnancy is the best thing you can do! “a healthy mamma = healthy babies!” AMEN!!!

    Thanks for linking up :)

    xo

  10. Well I’ve never been pregnant but I hope to be sometime in the near future…thanks for posting this! And for what it’s worth, I think you’re doing an amazing job already of taking care of yourself and your little baby!

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