Today we are happy to feature guest blogger Allison Whitman, who recently added a new baby to her already busy household of a husband, two dogs and a lizard. She loves fitness…talking about it, working out, finding more information to devour. You can find her blog at www.allisongettingfit.wordpress.com, on Facebook and on Twitter @allisonwhitman. This reflection on fitness during pregnancy was written in early November, just days before Allison’s due date, and in the midst of the widespread power failures associated with Hurricane Sandy.
My favorite ways to get there were lifting heavy and Turbo Kick, but I also had been training for my first half marathon and taking hot yoga. Of course I knew that when and if I got pregnant, things would have to change. I probably wouldn’t be tackling that first half marathon this year and I wouldn’t be making any new personal records.
But I knew I could still do plenty as long as my doctor would allow it. At 39 weeks, I’m still exercising most days. I haven’t changed much over the course of my pregnancy other than making some modifications when things felt off. There have been days when I started working out and my body said no. I knew that pregnancy was a great time to listen to that instinct! I found that exercising in the evenings just didn’t work for me, so I woke up early to get it in before work.
So what have I been doing? First is listening to doctor’s orders, which is the most important thing. Advice can differ from doctor to doctor and patient to patient. I continued to run (but at a much slower pace) until about 17 weeks. I had run 7 miles before finding out I was pregnant and then couldn’t make it a mile some days. Eventually, I found that running during pregnancy wasn’t for me. I ran a 5K that we had planned and then focused my workouts elsewhere.
I have still done other cardio workouts of course. I use the elliptical at a setting that is low enough to keep my heart rate where my doctor wants it and I have lowered that over my pregnancy. I couldn’t give up my kickboxing workouts but I have modified them a lot. I usually do these at home which makes it easier to stay at my own level, making moves smaller or slower without impacting the person next to me. I have taken indoor cycling classes, the most recently at over 37 weeks. I also take that at my own pace and skip or modify some of the sections that are more heart pumping. I love how easy it is in a cycling class to make your own version of the workout without affecting others.
I still lift weights, but lighter weights for more repetitions. In some cases, I lift lighter than when I started working out. Sometimes I use no weights at all, especially now for leg workouts with my expanded belly. Balance can be tricky with a body that changes daily, so adding extra weight wasn’t a priority for me. I also have tried some water based workouts which were great for when I was feeling good but not up to other workouts. The water is extremely soothing!
Pre-natal yoga was something I knew I wanted to work in as I had been taking hot yoga several times a week. I did some at home on my own but preferred the class I eventually found. It is nice to spend some time in a room with other pregnant women and share experiences. For me, this has been a not-miss addition to my week.
I have definitely been having fun keeping up my workouts. Exercise became a part of my regular day long ago and I can’t imagine going months without it. So have some fun and find what works for you!
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