I am so excited to chat about something I don’t normally talk too much about – my love of fitness. I have been especially health conscious for the past 5 or so years – making eating clean and working out regularly an absolute priority after years of treating my body terribly. And as corny as it sounds — it has completely changed my life. Last year I upped the ante and became a certified spin and Lagree Pilates instructor. Becoming an instructor helped me to not only workout harder and feel physically better – but also emotionally a lot better too. Real Talk: I spent my youth growing up being so ashamed of my shape and my looks. I crash dieted and did a lot of unhealthy things to try and achieve my dream body, and ultimately all any of it did was make me incredibly sad. Switching to a healthy way of living has been the best change I ever could have made -I can’t even tell you what a relief it is to finally feel really good not only about how I look, but also to realize just how strong I am (blah corny again…but it’s TRUE!) That’s why I knew I had to keep fitness a priority once I found out I was pregnant. Not only is it best for you and your baby to have a workout plan, but it is great for self esteem during pregnancy. Here’s what I have learned these past 27 weeks…
Getting Started & Staying Motivated: A Lil Pep Talk, Sister!
When I first got pregnant I felt completely defeated by my workouts. If you have been pregnant before you already know this – but the first trimester is rough. I had a pretty easy go of it with almost no morning sickness, but even still I was exhausted and weak. My workouts were pretty pitiful and I started to lose hope I’d be able to ever workout. My advice to you if you’re having this experience is just to know that it’s NORMAL. Those first 14 weeks can be especially tough if you aren’t telling anyone because there is no one to tell you just how normal it is to be so tired and so weak, but for most women it gets better. My advice is to try to modify your normal workouts – if you normally run 6 miles, just chill out for a sec and don’t be shocked if you have to cut it back to a simple walk or maybe a light jog. Cutting back is better than giving up, and even if you do have to “give up” for those first few weeks – know that it’s completely normal and you’ll likely feel much more energized and strong come your second trimester! Give yourself a little break, you’re making a human, after all!
The Buddy System: Group Workouts
Being pregnant isn’t just taxing physically, but time consuming as well. It is going to be easier than ever to skip the gym because you are so busy reading about babies or setting up a nursery or just plain tired. It’s also a time when your normal workouts might not cut it because you’re not sure how to modify for your changing bod. Sign up for a group class (pilates, spin, barre are just a few of my favorites) and you’ll be more likely to actually go, and actually learn something about how to workout while pregnant. Plus… classes are harder to miss because many charge if you don’t show up to them, and instructors are paid to know things like how to modify a workout for where you are in your pregnancy. (If you’re not sure call ahead and give them the heads up you’re expecting and that you’ll need to modify the class) Here are my favorite pregnancy workouts:
Have A Backup Plan
Some days you just are not going to make it to class…that’s ok. I sometimes realize I have a blog post to prep or a big dinner to make, or I simply don’t feel like dealing with parking and people and looking half way pulled together. I have a backup plan for those days – I can either take a family walk with my husband and my dog (I like to include squats and lunges on these walks) or I can play a workout video. I love Tracy Anderson’s Pregnancy Project for “off” days – it’s made for pregnant women and is perfect for those days you can’t commit to a class.
Say what you will, but looking good while working out helps. Back in the day I worked out in ratty old tee shirts and gym shorts and I hated working out. These days I take pride in my workouts and accessorize them with fitted tops and pants and I feel much better about the whole thing. It IS possible to feel this way during pregnancy too. You may find that your normal stretchy pants hurt real fast (I was shocked, they’re stretchy after all…but nope, they were the first clothing item to turn on me.) Do yourself a favor and invest in a few new pieces. Without a doubt Old Navy has the BEST, most affordable, most comfortable, and yes…cute workout maternity clothes. I ordered a ton of tops and leggings from them and they make my workouts physically and mentally a lot better!
Talk to Your Doctor
Pretty “duh” right? But having a handle on what your doctor is OK with is key. I started out making a lot of assumptions – thinking crunches and abs were out for 9 months, but my doctor was happy to have me continue since she said my body was used to it. Her best advice was to do what I always do and just listen when my body needs to modify. Talk to your doctor and see what workouts will be best for you and your situation. 🙂
What do you guys think? What’s been working for you guys? Be sure to share in the comments! Next up I’ll be talking about my fav healthy pregnancy foods, so stay tuned!