Feb 05

Pregnancy: Where does exercise FIT in?

Happy  Belated 2021!!!

Guess what my fit fans!!!!

 

I am pregnant!!! What a way to start a New Year, right?!

 

Yes!!! You definitely read right!!!! Now peel yourself off the ground, take a deep breath, get a glass of water and calm down. It has definitely been one wild ride!

 

If someone would have told me that I was going to have baby this time last year, I would have laughed in their face. We all know 2020 was a doozy of year and it changed a lot of things. Especially our way of thinking It definitely changed my mind about children…don’t worry it wasn’t overnight epiphany  it was many months of late night discussions, of definite NO’s and then Maybes and then definite YES’S and this circle repeated for about 3 months before the BIG DECISION WAS MADE.

The biggest reason for us was that I wanted to see someone grow up, I wanted to watch their epic triumphs and epic fails, joys, sadness and all of the in between. I wanted to give myself to someone like I never had. I wanted to know what an unbreakable bond of motherhood was like.

 

And then  fast forward 2 more months and I got pregnant and I had the OH SHIT MOMENT. There was instaneous joy and then fear and then nauseas and something similar to hysteria and then to this place of deep gladness. Yea I experience the whole gamut of emotions that come with pregnancy.

 

But I digress to how exercise “FITS” in to pregnancy.

Currently, I am about 4 months pregnant ( I don’t know the gender yet but stay tuned to my upcoming blog) and still very active!

Right about now you might be scratching your forehead asking yourself where does fitness fit into my new life and the changes my body is making and the fatigue and all that comes with pregnancy

 

Those are great questions and hopefully I have some moms to be, post partum moms, or some people thinking about having children who have questions about fitness and pregnancy. I hope this blog helps answer your questions and really gives you a realistic and down to earth idea of what pregnancy has been like for one woman

 

The first thing I have to tell you is that girl HAVE SOME GRACE FOR YOURSELF, not only physically but mentally.

 

For me the first couple of months were hard because I was super tired all the time and nauseous  and working out ( mostly staying active) felt like a chore. There were days where I couldn’t peel myself off the couch, or the only thing that didn’t make me sick was some French fries.  I mean I literally looked like death. My body hurt, my brain hurt. There were days when I asked myself what the hell was I thinking. Somedays all I did was cry. That whole glowing mom to be never hit, unless I put on my Mac Highlighter.

And you know what?!

This is completely normal. We have this culturally accepted norm that we have to gush over pregnancy, That it’s the most wonderful thing ever. Nope, sometimes it’s super hard. That doesn’t mean I am not excited or love my little growing baby. But I am not going to refuse how I feel. I am going to embrace it. Doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you a real mom, and human.

Not to scare anyone out there. I am just offering place for women to feel how they feel without shame or judgement. I offer you acceptance in hopes that you allow yourself some grace.

On a sidenote  every pregnancy different, and every experience is personal so you may not feel the same symptoms as me. But I hope I can offer some insight on leading an active lifestyle while pregnant.

This can be super hard if you already live an active lifestyle, and you are practically forced to go from 60 to 0 in a matter of weeks. It can be frustrating, heartbreaking  and mentally draining. This is where that little thing called grace comes into play. Look you are growing another human being. You may not see it but your body is working in overtime to make a little baby and so embrace taking a rest when you need to and being active when you can.

This is easier said than done (the not feeling guilty part) but you just have to keep reminding yourself that this is for a greater purpose. And for the majority of pregnancy you start to feel better in the second trimester and will be able to increase activity.

 

Notice I said active!!! This is not a time to lose weight or make body transformation. Your body is under enough stress as it. Also try to have some grace here, that was really hard for me because I had major weight loss transformation and gaining weight and seeing your body change is kind of scary. But here’s the thing you are growing  a baby and also, if you are trying stay active and eating healthy and in moderation (because we all know cravings are going to hit) then you are incorporating good habits that will continue post-partum. Also focus on the positives about what is going on and the good things versus the negatives.

 

So now that I am officially  out of the first trimester, I definitely agree with the last statement. I feel loads better, less nausea, more energy and the ability to be more active. So here are some things that I have been doing to stay active (a more detailed list of do’s and don’ts  can be found on the ACOG website)

Before I go on with some do’s, please remember if you are pregnant, thinking about being pregnant or recently gave birth, talk to your doctor about exercise recommendations for you.

The Four Fit Pregnancy Do’s:

Do:

Try to exercise/ stay active for 150 minutes per week. Exercise should be of moderate intensity meaning that when you are being active it is not difficult to talk but difficult to sing.  Walking, jogging, swimming, strength training, Pilates and yoga are all great ways to stay active during pregnancy. Also key tip: Exercise can help with labor time, and decrease the stress on the baby during childbirth.

 

Do:

Make sure you are aware of your body and your body’s signals. During pregnancy  your body releases a hormone called Relaxin that allows your joints and connective tissue to be loose so that your body can grow with pregnancy. Because it makes the joints more flexible, it can also make you more prone to injury and decrease balance. So make sure you are  paying attention to form and balance.

Also increase your awareness of your energy levels, if you are feeling too tired, dizzy or feel the need for rest, respect your body and rest. This isn’t the time of GO HARD OR GO HOME. Of course push yourself when you can but don’t push through pain while pregnant.

 

Do:

HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE.

Drink your water babe. You and the baby need it!

 

Do:

Core. Many women believe that when you get pregnant you don’t have to do core. However you still need core strength, it’s great for labor, pelvic floor health and it helps reduce diastatic recti. Of course, exercises are going to differ than when you were not pregnant, click here for some great tips when doing core.

So how does this relate to me and my personal fitness journey. I have been working out with weights about 3-4 days  a week, to provide my body rest so that I don’t get too sore. As far as core goes I try to incorporate a few exercise at each workout. I try to do cardio (jogging when I feel great otherwise brisk walking every day. What keeps me accountable is my little off brand fit watch that way I can keep track of my steps.  There are days even now when I still get super fatigued and I just rest. As

Also one thing I have tried to do is stay on a consistent schedule of  working out at the same time every day in hopes ( fingers crossed) that when the baby is born that it will be easy to stick to once I get back to  it.

I STRETCH EVERY DAY because HELLO…low back pain and stiffness.

I also just keep track of the amount water I drink because sometimes I forget and by keeping track I know my body and the baby is getting enough. And by hydrated I drink plain water!

 

No, not every day is the same or perfect but trying to stay active is the important thing, for you and the baby’s healthy and it also creates a healthy habits that you can continue even after pregnancy!

 

Next month I am going to share my hellacious nutrition journey for the last four months, you don’t want to miss it!!!