So everyone knows you should exercise. This is especially true when you are pregnant. It prevents excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes, not to mention it makes for low-stress moms and happy healthy babies.
Well the good news is, as long as you are a low risk pregnancy and your OB/Midwife agrees, you can essentially continue your pre-pregnancy exercise routine. Presuming, that is, that you were not a national trampoline champion, a football star, or an olympic skier.
General rule of thumb is to stay away from exercise which puts you at a high risk for falls (like skiing or snowboarding) or impact (as might be found in rugby or football). You should also avoid too much bouncing or shearing of your joints, too much heat, high altitude, or high pressure (so no scuba diving – but swimming is like the best thing ever!)
Stay away from hot summer afternoons and Bikram yoga. High heat may be harmful to baby and dehydration is a real concern. Running is totally doable, as long as you are comfortable doing it. It may become uncomfortable as you get bigger or as your bladder becomes more overactive. Just be VERY careful with your joints. Pregnancy causes a surge of the hormone relaxin, which is great for a growing baby and for birth, but not so great for your knees when you pound pavement.
The biggest thing is to stay hydrated and listen to your body. If its telling you to stop or scale back, then chill. Rule of thumb, if you cannot have a conversation while you are exercising, you are probably going to hard. Take a break or dial back the intensity and then get back into it.
I was still running during my late first trimester. But my bladder couldn’t handle it, and my knees started hurting. So, I started power walking every damn day (45-60 minutes). The beautiful thing about this is I can take my dogs with me so they get a workout too (they cannot run more than a mile or so…so long walks are better).
During my walk, I do lunges (10 at a time). I keep upping the number I do. So I am keeping my legs and core strong, hoping that after September, I will be able to pick up running again.
And of course, y’all know I have been doing all of the yoga. Now that I am not puking my guts out, yoga is back on the menu. I couldn’t go to a class this past week because Tux had to be watched after his ear surgery (to make sure he didn’t pull out his stitches). Thanks to the world wide web (and a large collection of yoga books), I have been able to continue my practice from home.
Today I hung out with Kathryn Budig in my living room (I wish). I did these two sequences. Each are 20 minutes. And of course I modified them for pregnancy. But if you don’t know a lot about modification, there are lots of good prenatal yoga vids on the web also!
Happy sweating, my friends!