I’ve had a lot of people ask me whether I am still training during my pregnancy. The answer is Hell Yes!
Of course, a lot has changed with my training but movement and exercise has so many benefits for pregnancy. Not to mention it just makes me feel good!
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy include:
· Lowers the risk of pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia
· Reduces pregnancy discomfort
· Boosts energy
· May ease labor and shorten the time it takes to deliver the baby (please god!)
· Improves sleep
· Helps your body return faster to its pre-baby self
There are certainly days where I am too tired to train. Usually I would push past that feeling and drag myself into the gym but now I am satisfied if I have been for a big walk with Henry (our dog) and just have an Epsom salt bath instead!
Here is what I am doing during pregnancy to keep fit, healthy and sane!
1. CrossFit (3-4 days per week)
CrossFit gets a pretty bad wrap when it comes to pregnancy. Admittedly I have seen some pretty crazy things (like a heavily pregnant woman doing an extra high box jump which is quite dangerous in my book). Pictures of pregnant women lifting what appears to be heavy weights sends the media into a spin. But it really is relevant to the individual and depends on how much they were lifting beforehand. I am only lifting about 25-50% of my previous weights and doing more reps instead of going heavy. My goal is to simply maintain some strength, not to improve it. I modify all the workouts to accommodate the bump and just don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. I still squat and deadlift, and a lot of the workouts I do are conditioning style workouts that don’t involve a barbell.
2. Movement program (Most days - I will weave this in to whatever training I am doing)
My movement program (by Jules Burgameestre) was the majority of my training pre-pregnancy, focusing on goals like press handstands as well as working on strength, for example, on the gymnastic rings. Most of this has taken a back seat due to the amount of core involvement. Instead, I’m just focusing on keeping my mobility, pelvic stability and hopefully maintaining some sort of strength in the mean time.
My teacher also has me sitting in a deep squat for 10 consecutive minutes every day to prevent my lower back arching and keeping my hips stable and open.
Handstands: Once I started to feel better in the second trimester, I gave my handstands a go. I'm very sad to say that they felt horrible! I felt there was too much blood rushing to my head (blood volume increases by up to 50% during pregnancy) and it just felt very uncomfortable. So unfortunately these may have to wait until after the baby.
3. Yoga (1 day/week)
I love the way yoga makes me feel, mind and body. I love the nice warm room in the middle of winter and I always feel calm and relaxed afterwards, an s
Modifications have to be made but they are easy to work out and the teacher always helps. I am only doing slow flow classes, nothing too dynamic.
I’m thinking of starting a prenatal Pilates class too once I start to get massive.
I walk Henry our Hungarian Visla for at least 45 minutes every day. A lot of the time this is on sand too.
If you are pregnant, I would love to hear what sort of training and exercise you are doing!