Guest Fit: Em (one of our sisters):
LL and Jess asked me to give them some ideas for maintaining fitness while pregnant. I am not an expert, so please consult your doctor before beginning any fitness routine. All I can do is share about my experiences so far…
(Here’s a pic of Em running the Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving, when we first found out she was pregnant!
She’s the one in the red hoodie)
When you first learn you are pregnant, you will hear a lot of “can’ts” – you can’t ride a bike, you can’t downhill ski, you can’t go horse-backing riding… But there are still a lot of “cans”!
My doctor said I could continue jogging since I had been running regularly prior to being pregnant. I did have to slow down my pace, and I regularly monitor my heart rate to make sure it’s not too high, but I am still out jogging! In fact, at 5 months I competed in a 5k race and took 9th in my age bracket (against many non-preggo ladies)!
As my belly starts to expand (now at 26 weeks…), I have found jogging is not as easy. For greater comfort, I wear a supportive running belly band that works well to reduce the “bouncing” of my belly.
My jogging is not for speed, and sometimes I need to slow to a brisk walk. Walking itself is a great pregnancy exercise (Walking is a fundamental fit, as LL posted about here).
I even convinced work colleagues to join a “10k-a-day” program where we each wear step counters and try to walk more than 10,000 steps per day. This has led us to lunchtime 30-minute walks, not only giving us some exercise, but reducing our work stress by getting us outside in the fresh air and sunshine! I have also found walking with my husband to be another great way to keep moving. While walking, we share fun ideas for baby names, nursery themes, and other non-baby topics.
I have also continued playing volleyball once a week. I certainly do not jump as high as I used to, and diving for the ball is off-limits, but volleyball is low-impact and non-contact and has remained a great way to keep in shape! I have also been using an elliptical trainer quite a bit more – my belly bounces less, and the motion is lower impact than running.
Many pregnancy planning books have exercise suggestions – a lot of them recommend stretches to keep you flexible and prepare your body for childbirth. One of my books gives some light lifting exercises – a great way to tone my arms and increase my strength for carrying a little bundle of joy!
My hope is to stay active throughout my pregnancy to help with my recovery after the baby arrives. I feel very fortunate that this pregnancy has been smooth and without complications. I have been told that my regular exercise routine is likely to help me to have less aches and pains, reduce my stress and help me sleep better, making for a better pregnancy. And if all goes to plan, I will spend time on my maternity leave getting back into shape and enjoying walks with my new baby! Now, I just need to find a good jogging stroller…
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