What motivates you to exercise? My primary motivation to train and to exercise is our precious baby angel. Pregnancy is a whole new and exciting journey for me and yes, my whole mentality has changed since I found out I was pregnant, including when it comes to exercise. It’s not just about me being the best I can be for the competition stage anymore. I now train to keep myself healthy and strong for me, for our baby girl and for a healthy pregnancy. I feel that it is now my responsibility to stay healthy, fit and strong for the two of us.
I want to mention that once I found out I was pregnant, I did not train for one week until I saw my doctor. I decided not to train that week because my pregnancy was not planned, so I did not know how far along I was and I was not sure what I was safely allowed to do in regards to exercise. I also wanted to know if there were certain exercises or positions to avoid, if I should I watch my maximum heart rate and how much weight I could safely lift. In my mind I thought, “Wow! I now have a little precious baby inside of me and I surely do not want to do anything to harm my baby.” Therefore, I had my doctor answer all of my questions and we also discussed the type of training that I typically perform. After our conversation, she gave me the OK and she actually encouraged me to exercise throughout my pregnancy since my body and I were so accustomed to it. I did not want to do anything to potentially jeopardize our baby or my pregnancy so I consulted with my physician and discussed my training in detail PRIOR to resuming my training. Please, if you are expecting, please consult with your physician prior to initiating or continuing with any exercise regimen. Also, be specific with your physician and find out if there is anything you should not be doing or if there are any precautions to be aware of and do not be afraid to ask any questions.
I am now 26 weeks pregnant and this pregnancy is just flying by! I am still weight training, doing cardio and feeling great! I actually feel better and have more energy on the days that I get my workouts in. On a weekly basis, I typically weight train 4 times a week, do cardio 5-6 times a week and I take our two fur babies, Dasia and Kooper, out on their daily walks. However, it’s important to note that since my pregnancy was confirmed, my training has definitely changed. I have decreased the amount of weight I am lifting, I have decreased the duration and intensity of my workouts, I monitor my heart rate more closely (I do not go over a max heart rate of 150 BPM), I take longer rest periods between sets, I avoid any exercise in the supine position (lying on your back) and I avoid any exercises that increase intra-abdominal pressure such as the leg press and squats. Most importantly, I am LISTENING TO MY BODY and just TRAINING SMART.
Some helpful pointers to keep in mind while exercising:
• Consult with your physician prior to initiating or resuming any exercise program.
• STAY HYDRATED— drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
• Wear proper fitting sports bras that give you adequate support, especially with the growing size of your breasts.
• LISTEN TO YOUR BODY— Back off or take it easy if your body lets you know that it is too much and if something does not feel right, STOP. Don’t do it!
• Don’t let yourself get overheated— this can harm your baby, especially during the 1st trimester when their major organs are developing.
• Make sure you are properly breathing throughout your exercise and avoid holding your breath.
• Avoid lying on your back— this can put pressure on the vena cava (two large veins in the body that are responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back into our heart). This can reduce blood going back into your heart and potentially reduce the blood flow to your brain and uterus.
• Perform an adequate warm-up and cool-down.
Pregnant or not, you always want to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and TRAIN SMART. However, when you are with child, this is even more important. You do not want to potentially harm yourself or your bundle of joy. I hope that you find my pointers/tips helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions. Until next week, HAPPY TRAINING!