Is exercise during pregnancy safe? What I’ll say first is every person, every pregnancy and every circumstance is different. Everyone has a unique start point, with prior fitness level, energy, and past injury-history to consider, which is why it’s essential to consult your doctor and work with a physiology professional with a supportive background in pre and postnatal health. Here is my story, exercises and modalities that changed and supported me to delivering my healthy baby girl.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with newly pregnant mothers and clients who became pregnant. I was always elated to hear the news and often be one of the first people to know, so talking “code” in the gym was a fun little secret. Being a hopeful to-be mom at the time fueled my education to ensure my clients workouts were safe and supporting their gestation. Whether focusing on strength, flexibility, cardio or supporting a healthy energy up to delivery every workout was a build to the main event!
Fast-forward to September 2020, after 8 years of failed attempts and IVF interventions, Covid quarantining brought us the greatest surprise gift of all time. It’s amazing what’s possible when busy travel schedules cease and you’re able to be fully present. Here began my own new adventure of working with my wonderful clients remotely, supporting this beautiful new life and being innovative with my own fitness routine in a new at-home environment.
I was taking a Yoga training certification remotely with @BIGPOWERYOGA when in week 2 that beautiful blue and white indicator read “PREGNANT” (Full story of my reaction and letting my husband know is a hilarious story for another blog). Not only did I continue yoga throughout my pregnancy, but that breath meditation and stretching was a big part of my delivery story.
As any preggo can attest, there is a moment when running for two is mental and physically taxing with added weight (+25lb for me at week 39) and trying to keep a recommended heart rate zone is easily achieved with repetitive indoor staircase ascents with all those bathroom breaks. For me, finding outdoor “Hills” for a steady pace hike/climb in repetition during a walk was a fun way to add variety and keep my heart pumping, while noticing the extra inner thigh training, I was getting lifting knees outside my growing belly.
Gradually adding pregnancy weight to your frame completely changes your center of mass for many exercises and as I found gives your legs, butt, and lower joints a whole new type of workout. Balancing strength exercises verses heavier mass building exercises transitioned in my second trimester and took precedence. An amazing friend and photographer @haleydayphotography captured a few of my favorites during my pregnancy photo shoot and I’m so happy to have these images.
Your pregnancy is a journey of knowing and subsequently re-learning this amazing machine you live in. Not only are you growing and feeding this beautiful little human from your own reserves, but you’re also sustaining and supporting this incredible new body of your own. Remember your body has its own biological intelligence that supersedes any latest trend, advice or blog has to offer. So wake every morning with the energy you have and support your body in every way possible. These 40 and sometimes less or more weeks go by so fast in hindsight. I had a friend once describe pregnancy as a marathon, only to realize the finish line was only really the beginning of it all.
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