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Pregnant Exercising

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

What are you ladies doing for exercise now that you're pregnant? I've been wanting to start doing something now that I'm not as tired as I was in the first trimester. I was thinking about taking a prenatal yoga class, but most of them are either way across town or the only classes are while I'm at work. Bummer. I was considering buying some kind of prenatal fitness dvd. That would be less expensive and I'm probably more likely to actually do it if I only have to go into the other room to exercise.

post #2 of 17

I take a regular yoga class with an instructor that is experienced with pregnancy modifications. I have videos but we don't have a good space and I'm not good at taking initiative. I like having someone show me what to do.

post #3 of 17

I am a Curves member but put my membership on hold once I got this BFP as my particular medical situation resulted in my doctor advising me not to exercise in the 1st trimester.


I'm now 3 weeks into a weekly prenatal fitness class & am loving it. I found a class at my local community centre, so I'm hoping I get to know other women who are expecting and live nearby. The class is a good mix of cardio and strength training focused on the muscles needed during pregnancy, during labour & the physical demands of lugging around baby and carseat after delivery.


I have been given 2 prenatal videos, but like @lbkw I'm not self-motivated to do them.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I feel similar to you ladies about the motivation. I think I'm less likely to find the motivation to drive somewhere to take a class than to do something at home, though there is the community aspect of it that's missing that way. It would be nice to meet some other like-minded pregnant women in my area. 


I think I'm especially not so motivated to do yoga at a class. Pre-pregnancy I had tried a few classes here and there and even the beginner classes aren't really for beginners. I always felt so stupid and bad about myself during the class and kind of humiliated afterwards because I'd fall down or didn't know the poses or couldn't remember the multiple steps to things like sun salutation and ended up standing there like an idiot. I think that's kind of the opposite of what you're supposed to get out of taking yoga. So many people in Vancouver do yoga regularly, that they forget that there are people out there that have never done it before and won't take the time to help them get up to speed in a class. So, needless to say, I already have anxiety about that! It seems for the prenatal yoga classes, most of them make you sign up for a session, not just drop-ins, and I'm hesitant to commit to something for weeks that I might not feel comfortable with.

post #5 of 17

I need to get back into the gym. I keep stopping and starting and going one day a week or something. The last couple of weeks I haven't gone at all. I feel really bad about it, but I had gotten into fairly bad shape before I got pregnant, and now with the shortness of breath from being pregnant as well, it just doesn't feel physically good to go. I know you have to push through that to start feeling stronger, but it's hard to find the motivation. I've always been heavy, but even so I ran half marathons in 2009 and 2010 and now I can only jog a mile at a glacial pace. It's discouraging. Plus, the treadmill scares me now that I'm pregnant, and it's always too dark (and sometimes icy) to get outside and walk or run. Enough whining and excuses for ya? LOL. Bottom line, I really just need to get into some kind of habit/routine. Which has never been hard for me in the past, but this time it's like pulling teeth to get myself to go.


I did go to a personal trainer at my gym for a few sessions when I first found out I was pregnant. She gave me a couple of prenatal strength training workouts to do. It's nothing groundbreaking, but I can post them if anyone is interested. Other than dumbbells you just need a stability ball, so you could do them at home if you have the stuff.


ETA: sjdragonfly, I feel the same as you about yoga. I have to concentrate so hard and end up a ball of stress and frustration whenever I try it, and physically it honestly just doesn't feel that great to me. I have considered prenatal yoga though... I'm hoping it would be more geared toward beginners since so many folks do take it up for the first time when pregnant.

post #6 of 17

I understand your yoga fears. I think I got really lucky with my instructor. Regarding the yoga and home exercise, I would recommend Crunch Yoga Mama Prenatal Yoga DVD


I used it with DS a little so when I was pregnant with DD and started a class I sort of had an idea what was going on...but my instructor was/is awesome so it made a huge difference.

P.S. I hope the link works.

Originally Posted by sjdragonfly View Post

I feel similar to you ladies about the motivation. I think I'm less likely to find the motivation to drive somewhere to take a class than to do something at home, though there is the community aspect of it that's missing that way. It would be nice to meet some other like-minded pregnant women in my area.  


post #7 of 17

I just can't bring myself to a "set" workout time everyday. When I do rarely have a solid 30-45 min, prenatal yoga... My energy is still so low that it just doesn't happen. But I am exercising throughout the day. 


Wall sits 4x a day: My goal is to get up to or past 2 minutes. The goal here is to reinforce the pelvic floor, strengthen with muscles in my hips and thighs and increase stamina. 


Squats every time I pick up stuff  from the floor: Same goal as the wall sits


Deep Squats: As often as needed. This really helps with bowel movements, and stretching the glutes pullign the sacrum into proper position. 


Pelvic tilts: loosen the muscles in my back


Other stretches through the day as needed. 

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the DVD link! I'm definitely going to check that out. 


I'm trying to do more squats as I'm picking things up as well, but it feels so good to stretch those muscles that I think I might just add in some squats here and there throughout the day just to do it. 


lactomom - what is a wall sit? I'm imagining it's leaning against the wall as if you're sitting in a chair and trying to hold the position. Am I right? That sounds like it would be a great exercise to do!

post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by sjdragonfly View Post

lactomom - what is a wall sit? I'm imagining it's leaning against the wall as if you're sitting in a chair and trying to hold the position. Am I right? That sounds like it would be a great exercise to do!

leg_free-21.pngYep that is a wall sit! 

post #10 of 17

I am a hardcore fitness person.


I hardly exercised at all during my first trimester.  I was so nauseous and exhausted all of the time.


Now, in my second trimester I do yoga everyday.  A couple times a week I do weight lifting or step aerobics in my living room, making up routines or doing old one that I used to teach.  Sometimes I walk but I have SPD so that can be pretty treacherous.  I wish I could work out a lot more, but I keep telling myself to be patient.  Eventually, I will have more energy?

post #11 of 17

well, modestmothering, it sounds like you are a good person to ask; i hope you don't mind!  I have never been one to "work out."  Before I had my 2nd child, I always had a very active life and kept really strong and fit from having an active job and active outdoor lifestyle and hobbies.  After I became a mom of 2, I was no longer working outside the house at all and developed social anxiety so was not going out at all...I started writing, and sewing, so sitting on my butt a lot!  So prior to this pregnancy, I was not exercising at all.  Nor have I "worked out" since becoming pregnant.  SO, what I would like to do is ride an exercise bike (cuz my thighs are where my fat always goes) and just do some gentle stuff on my arms to tone them and some yoga.  My sister keeps offering me to try her gym and get a free month and I think I want to go ahead and do this.  BUT is that a bad idea or asking for trouble to start working out in the middle of a pregnancy?  Maybe it would be better to wait until after the baby is born, since I have been so inactive.  I hope not, though, because I think my 2 yo would like playing in the nursery, especially if there are other little guys there, and I am thinking it would be good for me, too.  


Also, specifically, what are the asanas to avoid in yoga during pregnancy?  They don't have prenatal yoga classes at this gym, but I am thinking I could just do the gentle or beginner class if I know what asanas to avoid.

post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by ms.shell View Post

well, modestmothering, it sounds like you are a good person to ask; i hope you don't mind! 

Hi Ms.Shell! 


I am a good person to ask about fitness: I used to own a personal training business and for a long time fitness was at the top of my list of obsessions.  I continue to be in love with fitness and I enjoy very much talking about it!


First of all, let me say that the anxiety that you can sometimes feel surrounding exercise is not uncommon, and it makes a lot of sense.  It is natural for women to let exercise evolve when they become pregnant and also when they become mothers. Many of the activities that define motherhood for many women include indoor activities, and this could mean a shift from a more outdoor lifestyle to something that can feel more sedentary.  But this doesn't have to be the case, and there are plenty of women who are able to maintain a very active lifestyle while performing their mother duties.  I think that a very important thing to remember is that women ought to find a lifestyle that makes them happiest. 


Sometimes, though, a woman can feel like her lifestyle is no longer bringing her maximum satisfaction and she wants to change some things.  She might want to get back into action, be more social, make some changes for her health, etc.  But doing this can be daunting, as you have expressed. 


You are certainly not alone.  You are ahead of the game by acknowledging your desires and also your fears, and this acknowledgment will help you to reach your goals.  One of your concerns is whether beginning a workout program mid-pregnancy is a wise idea.  Well, that depends.  Too many people rush into exercise or tackle a new program with too much vigor, and this often ends in injury or quitting early.  Often people who want to get back to a more fit lifestyle approach their goal with an "all or nothing" attitude that is not usually a useful frame of mind.  Whether pregnant or not, the rule is the same: safe changes that last will take time and moderation.  Attention needs to be given to proper form, and working within an appropriate range.


As a pregnant woman who up until this point has not maintained a consistent program of fitness, it would be a wise idea to start.  Anytime is good.  The second trimester is especially good.  However, there are some very important factors to consider.  First of all, we want to know which kinds of exercises are safe during pregnancy.  This will depend largely on your health, so asking a doctor who is familiar with your health history is a good place to begin.  For example, if you know that you struggle with high blood pressure then this will be a factor in which kinds of exercise will be safest, etc.  Generally, walking and swimming and yoga are at the top of the lists for pregnant ladies with no or little recent fitness experience.  And this would be a great way to begin your re-initiation into working out. 


You ask whether getting a gym member would be a good idea.  Well, there are some things to consider.  On one hand, it could be a great idea because you can hire a personal trainer for a nominal fee who can show you proper exercises and help you to develop your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems safely.  You'll get that extra boost of confidence that you crave when you know that you're doing things right.  That feels great!  On the other hand, you want to think practicality.  Will you be using the gym consistently after you give birth?  Do they have child care available?  Will it be worth it for you to begin an exercise program on which you are dependent upon the atmosphere and tools of the gym when, realistically, you will not return until a year after delivery or more?  The goal for you might be to start a program that you can keep as part of your everyday life, and a gym may or may not be the best option for you at this time -- that is a personal decision.


There are many options.  One option that might work well for you is to commit to working out in and around your home.  There are so many things that you can do. If you live in a walkable area, then walking is a great place to start.  Commit to walking once every day.  Yoga and stretching and breathing and meditation follow close behind.  If you are familiar with yoga and proper stretching and alignment, then you won't need a guide.  But if you are new or unsure, then you ought to invest time in doing a little research.  It's not hard.  Youtube is a great place to get quick tutorials about certain poses.  If you subscribe to Netflix you can download yoga DVDs for free and watch them at your home.  I like to you the Yoga Journal website where they go into detail about every pose and offer lots of examples, sometimes with video.  You can also plan out your routine and save it.  They also have information about contraindications for pregnancy (things you shouldn't do). 


I like to workout at home with weights a few times a week, and also on my stationary bike.  I just hook my road bike to a little trainer.  You can find these for cheaper than the link I provided, and it is very good for people without a lot of space at home. 


Maybe you are feeling afraid that you're going to overdo it?  One great thing to remember is to always listen to your body.  To do this, take things slowly.  Do your research about proper form. Instead of just rushing ahead and doing lunges and squats because you think you know how to do them, get on Google and read some materials  or watch a video about how to align yourself.  Always stop when you feel anything uncomfortable.  If anything gives you anxiety, toss it away.  Let your time be one of experimentation and empowerment. 


I hope that helps?

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

That is some great advice. I'm sort of in the same boat - I used to be more active and am really not so much lately but want to start exercising again now that I'm pregnant. I've been trying to go for walks when it's nice out, but I live in Vancouver and it's raining most of the time this time of year. Not to mention that it gets dark at 4pm. I'm trying to add in some little exercises here and there.


So far, I'm cracking myself up because whenever I go to the washroom at work (and I remember) I try and do some squats and wall sits when I'm in there. haha. I figure I need to stretch after sitting for so long anyway! It's a start.

post #14 of 17

Right now I'm trying to get back to doing the elliptical(when it too cold or rainy) 5 days a week and going for walks(when its nice). Also I would like to start doing my body weight exercises again. Bench or chair squats, wall push ups,hand and knee planks for the core, assisted pull ups, stuff like that.

I was doing all this before getting pregnant and naively thought I would just continue. Now that I am feeling much better its just a matter of getting back in the habit. 

post #15 of 17

For some reason I thought the exercise ball at my office was more deflated than it is. It's still kind of usable. I'm going to put a reminder in to go in and do pelvic tilts daily.

post #16 of 17

I thought I'd share this link to a local newspaper article about prenatal fitness. I was one of the people interviewed.


post #17 of 17

Very cool, prairie girl! I like the idea of prenatal classes. Those sound great.


I was coming on here to ask if anyone knows whether feeling a stretching or pulling sensation in your abdomen is necessarily a bad thing. My personal trainer (who I saw a few times to get prenatal workout ideas early on in the pregnancy) gave me an exercise to do where, in the first trimester, I was lying flat on the bench with my arms extended straight back behind my head (or as close to it as I can) holding a dumbbell. On the exhale I pull the dumbbell up with my arms slightly bent so it's hanging over my face. The exertion is felt in the upper back muscles. The last couple of times I have done this, I put the bench on a slight incline so I wouldn't have to worry about the "no laying flat" prohibition. I could do a lat pull or something instead, but this is a really pleasant exercise to do because you get sort of a whole body stretch at the same time. Last night, though, I could feel a "pull" in the pit of my stomach when I had my arms extended back. I was wondering if maybe it was just the muscles temporarily squishing my uterus a bit (or maybe it was my bladder that I could feel) and therefore not a problem, but I also don't want to risk putting strain on anything that I shouldn't be.


I will ask my trainer as well, of course, but just wondered if anyone had experience with this. As I said, I do know that she was specifically giving me exercises that she thought would be good for prenatal, but I'm guessing the answer will be that if it doesn't feel right, I shouldn't do it... although it's sometimes tough for me to distinguish what feels OK and what doesn't.

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