Before I was pregnant, I worked out pretty intensely. My husband has always been very active so working out was also something we did to spend time together. Whether I was taking a spin class, hot power yoga, or just lifting weights at the gym, I was always finding a way to sweat once a day. I love the way working out makes me feel!
Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I would not give up on working out altogether (unless my doctor recommended that I do) but I would have to scale back significantly on the intensity. I had to say goodbye to my beloved hot yoga, for instance. I was fortunate and my doctors really encouraged me to continue working out while keeping my heart rate in check (around 140 BPM). My understanding is that doctors will typically tell you to keep your heart rate under 140 BPM but I find that I can keep mine a bit higher and baby and I feel great.
At almost 32 weeks, I am excited about the fact that I have continued my workout routine pretty steadily. In fact, I find that when I am feeling a bit tired and “off,” a quick trip to the gym will immediately help me feel better. Other times, I recognize that I need to take it easy. It is amazing how in tune with your body you become when you are pregnant. I truly know the difference between craving a workout and craving a nap. I have to laugh, though, because when I am in my community gym, people often give me weird looks when I hop on the elliptical with my round belly–similar to the looks you receive when you wear a bikini in your third trimester. Good times!
So here is my typical workout schedule:
*Keep in mind this is what works for me and has been discussed with my doctor in detail.
4-5 days a week I use the elliptical machine– 30 minutes (alternating levels 5-8) with a 5 minute cool down (level 1).
Every other day I extend the workout a bit more. Some days I lift light weights (bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions) all while sitting on a big yoga ball. Other days, I love Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD . The instructor has a soothing voice and the workout itself is a nice challenge. Plus, there are several options if you are short on time.
And my favorite part of my routine–lots of stretching!
I hope that I will be able to settle into some kind of exercise routine once my little guy arrives but I am going to take it slow and enjoy every magical moment.