I’d like you all to welcome Caitlin back to the blog! Back in September, she shared with us some really great fitness tips for new moms. Today she is back to share with us some fitness tips for the pregnant mom! To cover all our bases, I am going to persuade her to come back and give us some fitness tips for the mom with young children. To get more fitness tips from Caitlin, you can follow her on twitter!
When I got pregnant for the first time, I was excited and a little nervous. At that point, I was in the best physical condition of my adult life. I knew that the story would be very different by the end. I wanted to keep exercising as long as I could manage it, as safely as possible. By adjusting my expectations and toning it down a little, I was able to keep up a few routines until I was about ready to pop.
When I first got that little plus sign on the stick, I thought that I really didn’t feel all that different. I went to Babies R Us and felt like a phony. The good news was that I was still able to keep up with my routines. I went on long walks with my husband, ran occasionally and did my Pilates workout every day. Eventually, I had to shorten the walks so I could make it back to use the bathroom. But, I made it a point to stick with it, even on days when I felt like I would never get my head out of the toilet. I just paid attention to my body and slowed down when I needed to.
Once I got to the second trimester, I felt like I was playing a totally different ball game. Round ligament pain reminded me that my body was loosening up. I cut back on the higher-impact exercises like jumping jacks and jump-rope. I declined to participate in contact sports and other potentially dangerous activities such as basketball, soccer or skiing. I continued my Pilates, and added prenatal yoga to keep my body limber. The only alteration I had to make was for floor exercises that had me on my back or on my belly. I also purchased yoga blocks from Beachbody after reading about them on a pregnancy forum. They helped to modify the poses that I could no longer do with my bigger belly. I recognized that my body needed the workout, but it just could not be at the same intensity.
A great tip I got about exercise in the third trimester was to keep moving. I drank about a zillion gallons of water each day, and the respite I got from frequent bathroom trips in the second trimester was long since over. When I wasn’t running to the toilet, I tried to keep active. I found that moderate activity each day, even just walking for a mile, helped keep my circulation up. That minimized swelling in my hands and feet, which could get really uncomfortable. The best part was that staying in shape throughout the pregnancy made labor and delivery so much easier. I was able to walk around for hours while I waited for true labor to come on.
Some women feel awful in the first couple months after having a baby. Strangely enough, I felt energized. I was still getting up a lot at night, but it was to snuggle a cuddly baby. I knew I wanted to get my former strength back. I just had to take it slow. I lost some conditioning over the course of nine months, and it would take a while to get it back. I put my Baby Bjorn to use and walked as far as I could. Once I felt comfortable, I got out the jogging stroller and started running. During naps, I did some familiar workout videos at home.
Creating a baby is an exhausting process. But, it wasn’t long before I was back in action. In the end, I am delighted that I made it a point to work out regularly during pregnancy, and I have the strength and fitness to prove it.
Thank you so much for the great tips, Caitlin!!!
What are some great fitness tips you can give to our pregnant readers? Share in the comments!