In this entry I will explain what I do to keep myself in shape while I am pregnant. It can be a struggle to simply move when you are experiencing morning sickness or just getting heavier!
First, my advice is don’t feel like you have to push yourself. You can take it easy when you are pregnant and you should. However having said that, don’t just sit on the couch all day either. You need to try to keep active for a few reasons:
1. You will lose weight more easily post pregnancy if you continue to move now.
2. You will help your baby start out life right.
3. You are preparing for birth and want to be in good shape for that big day.
4. Exercise helps to keep you happy!
This is what I did during my first pregnancy for exercise:
-Went for walks as much as possible. I think my husband and I went for 20 minute walks whenever we could together which was about a few times a week.
-Went to prenatal yoga once a week.
-Taught dance classes 15-20 hours a week. Now keep in mind I was not dancing up to my full potential. Not even close. Under doctor’s orders I stopped jumping somewhere in my second trimester. Stopped sit-ups after my first trimester. I also tried to sit as much as possible in the later part of my pregnancy which was probably 1/3 of each class. So I was on my feet but doing very light aerobic activity. I also continued push-ups and other activities like that when it felt okay.
I always stopped an activity whenever I felt too tired or my abdominal muscles started to feel uncomfortable.
This pregnancy I have been busier so I haven’t been able to have the same routine. My business is larger and my two year old would rather play of course than exercise with mommy when we are together. I have been to yoga a few times but not as much as I would like. We tried to take walks as much as we could this summer. Now that my classes are in full swing there is really no time. I am still teaching, but only about 12 hours a week. I hope that running around with my daughter does count as something. I mean, I did get to sit down during my first pregnancy and this time I don’t 🙂
For those of you who have read other articles on my site you know that I am a big believer in building muscle. However when I am pregnant my doctor asks me me not to lift weights. I also know that doing certain exercises just don’t feel right so I stay away. You must listen to your body! I do try to keep my muscles in shape the best that I can. What I do is take bits and pieces of exercises that I like and I know are safe and put them together into about a ten minute routine that I do before I go to bed. Here is what I do:
-various yoga poses; child’s, down dog, warrior, goddess etc. from prenatal yoga. I don’t do all of them every time I exercise.
-bent knee push ups
-tricep push ups
-various stretches especially for my back and my hips, cat stretch, calf stretch
-head circles, shoulder rolls, hips circles – things to keep joints and muscles loose
My body seems to be more sensitive and I feel like I need to just slow down more with my second pregnancy. It is hard for someone that is active. It took me so long to get my body back in shape the first time. The weight came off fine but I didn’t feel all of my strength come back for at least a year. So I am concerned about that again but I know that I need to take good care of the little one now and worry about the muscles later. I talked to my doctor and she says that this time the muscles are weaker so that is just the way it is.
I hope to someday explain further what all of the exercises that I mention above are in more detail on this site. For now if you don’t know what something is please I encourage you to look the exercises up, go to prenatal yoga or work with a trainer.