Fit Friday: 5 Reasons to Workout while Pregnant

9:00 AM

Now that my second pregnancy has concluded, (and I'm squeezing our new bundle of joy as you read this) I'm thrilled to report that I was able to maintain a fit and healthy pregnancy all three trimesters. Each trimester, and each pregnancy were different, so the key for me was listening to my body.

I remember the very first doctors appointment when we found out we were expecting our first baby...  I asked my OB-Gyn 'can I still work out and lift weights?'. Her response, 'Absolutely'.

So that's what I did. I was an avid Crossfitter at the time and spent those 9 months hurling the barbell into a rack position of a squat-clean until my belly proved to be a speed-bump. I continued to deadlift, backsquat, run, row, and do kettlebell swings, all of it, as long as I felt good.

I'm no longer a dedicated Crossfitter, but I am currently weight-training 3 days per week and mix in light cardio for endurance.  There are days I go in and feel great and get 5 minutes into a workout and stop, I no longer feel good. I just try again the next day.

It's inevitable that you will modify workouts. I found that rowing became more of a squat-butterflied-belly-sandwich-style row, running is more of a fast-shuffled jog or I use an elliptical.   I lightened my weights on the barbell, increased my reps (when possible) and quit working my abs after the first trimester.

Even though it can be tough to find motivation, especially in the first and even the third trimesters, there are SO many reasons to stay active, even if it's just walking 30 minutes every day.

5 Reasons to Exercise while Pregnant: 

1. You're likely to gain less weight
2. Labor and delivery may be easier
3. Can reduce low back pain, especially in the later trimesters
4. Reduces constipation
5. You have more energy

..can I add a 6th? You'll feel less guilty when the ice-cream craving hits (insert raised-hand emoji here).

Many newly pregnant women, including myself early on, find themselves afraid of over-doing it. I has already been active prior to both pregnancies. My experience working out while pregnant was good.  I was able to continue until I was 38 weeks pregnant with my first, and delivered Aria at 39 weeks.

It is recommended that you seek the counsel of your physician before starting any new exercise regime while pregnant.  I am not your doctor, everyone and every pregnancy is different. Just pay attention to your body and how you feel. If you run, run, if you enjoy yoga, do yoga.  Unless there are risks that develop for you or the baby, or your doctor tells you to stop, maintaining an active lifestyle is always a good choice.

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