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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm curious what, if any, exercise plans you all follow to stay healthy and fit during pregnancy. Are there books, blogs, or websites you read or follow with pregnancy-specific fitness plans? What are your favorites?

I'm not asking just because I want to be a "fit mom". A couple of weeks ago I sprained my back badly enough to be on bed rest for a few days and I've been in moderate to serious pain since then. And of course all I can take is Tylenol, which doesn't do much for agonizing nerve pain. It is slowly getting better, but I've resolved to get healthier and stronger for the rest of this pregnancy! Once the back pain is gone, I'd like to start a more regimented exercise routine. I also know that building core strength can make labor go more smoothly too--really, there's lots of reasons to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy! I have a three-year-old to keep up with, too.
 

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I was preparing my Make A Wish Hike and doing weekly yoga prior to getting pregnant so I continued both activities.

Now that the big hike is past, I'm focusing on maintaining my hiking fitness by planning to walk at least 1.5 miles/day with my husband and going out on the trails for a couple hikes every week (probably between 5-15 miles currently, that may change as pregnancy progresses). Hike prep weeks often had 25-35 miles of walking/hiking per week and I'd like to try and maintain that as much as possible. (1.5x7= 10.5 miles on its own!)

I'm also hoping to bump up my yoga practice to twice/week, but that may end up being harder to accomplish when I need the prenatal classes instead of the regular ones since they are only offered 2x/week. :p

I'm going to be asking my midwife if I can do some of the T25 workouts that DH is doing if I modify as needed, but I'm not sure what her answer will be. I'm cardiovascularly fit from hiking, but T25 is a lot more intensity in a short session.
 

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I'm glad you started this thread. With my last pregnancy I was in my yoga teacher training and then subsequently teaching/practising yoga at least 5 days a week, plus walking at least miles a day. This time on the other hand... I've not been exercising really at all in the last year. And since the fatigue hit at like 5 weeks, and I've been blessed with a 3 year old who needs very little sleep, I've done absolutely nothing these last few weeks. I'd rather nap, given the chance! I feel like if I could just get at least 9 hours of sleep at night I could entertain the idea of getting some yoga in while DD naps. I could consider walking though, I'm thinking DD may like a long stroller ride for a scenic walk...
 

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I'm doing Pilates - just a regular intermediate class once a week - and then I'm starting pre-natal yoga on the weekends in a couple of weeks. I walk everyday and we're on a steep hill so I get a 30 min cardio work-out going out and back with the stroller. It's been hard to even feel up to that with the nausea and fatigue. I think in the second trimester I'll be more up for a few hikes.

Some Drs really stress keeping heart rate below 140bpm but that's really low... I know mine really spikes when I push the stroller up the hill. I think it has to do with over-heating and taxing the heart with all the extra blood pumping around. Meanwhile I have several girlfriends who are still running half marathons on their second trimester. I feel like it's all about how you feel and what your body is used to.
 

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I have a friend who ran a triathalon in her first tri. She's craaaaazy fit. She also did CrossFit until delivery during her last pregnancy with her doctor's blessing. I do wish there was more actual data out there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was actually running 2-3 times a week before I hurt my back--and I was determined to keep running for as long as possible, so it was really frustrating to have to stop! :-( My partner and I are running the Bolder Boulder (a 10k) on Memorial Day and I'll probably just have to walk/jog the course because I haven't been able to train.

I'm considering hiring a personal trainer to help with specific strength training exercises, since the back issues + pregnancy make me a bit leery of just diving right in by myself.

I used to LOVE Pilates and am considering taking that up again too. Lack of time and money has kept me from signing up for classes, but I may just have to bite the bullet if I want to stay healthy during this pregnancy!
 

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From personal experience, it's really obvious when I'm doing something I shouldn't be. I usually enjoy exercise, but if I push too far or do something my body doesn't like it's hard to explain, but I get this aversion and it's hard to continue? Like, continuing is as enjoyable as the sound of nails on a chalkboard, or if you wax, that moment when you're about to pull off the strip and you're telling your hand to do it but your hand isn't moving. My best advice is really pay attention to your body and how you feel during exercise.
 

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From personal experience, it's really obvious when I'm doing something I shouldn't be. I usually enjoy exercise, but if I push too far or do something my body doesn't like it's hard to explain, but I get this aversion and it's hard to continue? Like, continuing is as enjoyable as the sound of nails on a chalkboard, or if you wax, that moment when you're about to pull off the strip and you're telling your hand to do it but your hand isn't moving. My best advice is really pay attention to your body and how you feel during exercise.
I was planning on cycling throughout my pregnancy but in the first week, I had spotting and cramping so I stopped- but now I'm feeling ready to get back to something- maybe not cycling, our potholed streets are a bit much. But just simple walking and isometric Swiss ball exercises- also thinking about pilates/yoga.
I'm a nurse and I'm on my feet most days, so I get movement in but not muscular exercise- The cardio with biking- I am a bit worried about, I'll have to wear my cardiac monitor (for running) to see where I"m at with the 140 range... I know when I *used to* run, I'd peak at 170-180. But I sure miss the biking- city commuting is so so much nicer when on a bike than transit!!!
 

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I just ran a half marathon on May 3. With my previous pregnancy, I ran a half marathon at 25 weeks. I'm a cross country coach and distance running is my thing, so my doctor just said that as long as I wasn't going for any new PRs or elite training, I could continue with my usual stuff and adjust for how I felt.
A brisk walk puts my heart rate at 140, and running normally gets my HR near 200. I could never adhere to that guideline, and my impression is it's pretty outdated.
 

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I also think the heartbeat thing is just outdated and implies the only way for you to know your limits is a doctor literally giving you a measurable limit to follow. With my first pregnancy, while on my baby moon, over a week I spent hours in a hot tub. When I felt myself getting too warm, i got out, took a dip in the pool, and then returned. Repeat cycle. It did heavenly things for my back, and my daughter came out perfect. I'm a firm believer that if you pay attention, it is as obvious as the nose on your face when you are doing something that would actually hurt your baby. That mama bear instinct starts during pregnancy and will prevent even you from harming your baby if you just listen to it.
 

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I asked about the heartrate thing today and my midwife said that as long as you can still speak during the activity, you're fine. :)
 

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My new thing - well since last night- is getting my pelvic floor stronger!! I am early still- well, 9 weeks. And as a RN, my days are spent on my feet walking a lot, and by the evening I feel such a heaviness in my pelvis/vagina... I read about prolapsing and freaked myself out a bit last night.
Anyone have a good link to pelvic floor exercises? I"m sure I can find something on youtube... cheers!
 

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@Muriel2016 , The heaviness in your pelvic floor, from what I remember last time, lessens considerably once your belly pops out and everything isn't right down in your pelvis. Then your back hurts as your abs try to keep it all together haha.
Tons of people recommend Kegels, but I refuse to do them. They don't feel right to me, and I read an article where it said Kegels merely draw the bladder and rectum toward the vagina, in other words, toward the direction of prolapse. No thank you! https://wholewoman.com/blog/?p=1528
 

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Thanks for the comments RoseNoire! I'll check out that blog.
Cheers
 

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Is anyone considering a new exercise? I live by the water and am dying to try paddleboarding now that the fatigue is lessening. I'll obviously talk to my midwife, but has anyone started a new exercise routine while pregnant?
 

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Take it slow and I doubt you'll have any issue with paddle boarding - it's not super strenuous. I think the biggest issue might be making sure you stay hydrated out on the board in the summer heat. (I kayaked a bit last summer and will be restarting tomorrow or in a couple of weeks I think)

Since my midwife says that I should be able to do anything that allows me to talk through it, I'm thinking I'm going to try out some of the lower intensity stuff from DH's T25 workouts. He'd like a workout buddy and if I don't push myself, that should be something I can do while maintaining my ability to talk. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm happy to report that I ran a 10k yesterday and felt great! I didn't get to train much for it either due to a back injury last month. I really showed myself that I can still accomplish a lot physically even while pregnant--and it's reinvigorated my desire to get out and run a whole lot more while I still can.
 

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My energy is coming back now, too, and it's great! Did a 12 mile hike on Saturday and rocked it. Trying to keep that up for sure! Munchkin and I have now hiked/walked for fun over 200 miles together!
 

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I'm glad this topic came up, I am an avid runner/cyclist and I (used to) do a pretty intense work out 3 times a week on top of running and cycling everyday... but being pregnant has me more worried than is necessary about doing something to hurt the baby. I still cycle everywhere, but I haven't run in 6 weeks and my workouts have been minimal. The all day nausea isn't helping either :p But it's so nice to read about women staying fit, I feel like I might be able to get back into running soon. :grin: How was running in your 3rd trimester?
 

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Ugh, I have bad news from my exercise regiment :( I got serious love handles on my hips and lower back last pregnancy and was hoping to avoid them this time, but I'm ALREADY noticing them getting bigger, just as the usual twisting exercises are becoming uncomfortable to do :( Does anyone have good exercises that target those areas that don't involve twisting OR laying on my stomach and pushing up? I'm still comfortable with my hip raises/bridges and leg extensions, but I don't know if those are helping my side love handles much :/
 
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