I recently chatted with mom of three Erica Ziel on a Google Hangout about all things fit pregnancy. Erica has a book out and a prenatal DVD, both of which I’ll be reviewing in the near future. Staying fit during pregnancy is good for mama and baby — and it can make delivery and recovery so much easier when the time comes. As long as you’re cleared for exercise by your doctor, it’s safe to keep up your exercise plan as long as you’re feeling up to it — and it’s even okay to start exercising if you haven’t been, as long as you start slowly. Read on for 10 of the best Fit Bottomed Mamas tips for a fit pregnancy!
10 Tips for a Fit Pregnancy
1. Ch-ch-ch-changes! Accept the fact that your body changes — a lot. You might be able to run 8-minute miles, yet during pregnancy get winded just walking across the room. Yes, this really happens. It’s just your body’s response to the extra demands on it. If you get fatigued during your normal workouts, don’t fret — extra weight and a belly that changes your center of gravity really do have an effect.
2. Take it easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s all you can do to get off the couch in the first trimester. Take advantage of the days you have energy — and remember exercising can give you an energy boost — but listen to your body as it adjusts to the hormones. If a workout makes you feel like retching, take a slow walk instead to get some fresh air. You’ll get a boost in energy in the second trimester, and you’ll feel more like your old self who could get up and break a sweat.
3. Keep up. You might feel great — if so, you might be able to keep up your level of fitness well into the second trimester. But be prepared for days you’re clumsier, fatigued or just not feeling it, and listen to your body.
4. Walk this way. Walking is always a good way to get active while you’re pregnant. It’s low impact, easy to do and you can do it anywhere. Find another mom-to-be and get your walk on — you can complain about all of your fun pregnancy symptoms.
5. Splish splash. Swimming is a great workout for pregnancy as it’s no-impact and you’ll feel light and swimmy like a dolphin in the water. It’s great cardio and strength training, plus you can keep cool.
6. Keep up your strength. Don’t put off weight training because you’re pregnant. You’ll need all those muscles for carrying the baby, hauling car seats and lugging strollers. You don’t need to break new weight-lifting records, but keep pumping iron.
7. Consistency matters. You don’t need to exercise every day, and you likely won’t feel like it. But it’s consistency over the entire pregnancy that matters. Don’t skip the first two trimesters and then go overboard in the third trying to work out. Talk to your doctor if you haven’t worked out and want to start during pregnancy — you certainly can get active if you’re previously sedentary, barring medical conditions that might prevent it. You just need to take it slowly and listen to your body.
8. Inner motivation. Remind yourself that it’s good for your baby’s health — and your recovery. Exercise is good for both mama and baby, so if you need extra motivation, look no further than your latest ultrasound pictures. Plus, staying consistent with workouts will help you bounce back after baby more easily.
9. Core strength. Just because you’re not supposed to do crunches after the first trimester doesn’t mean you can’t work all of the core muscles. In fact, your core is super important for supporting your entire pregnant body. Pilates routines like these will get your core strong no matter which trimester you’re in.
10. Don’t skimp on support. Make sure your sports bras fit, as breast size can change substantially in pregnancy. The boobs you thought never needed much more than a cheapo sports bra might start demanding much heftier support (they’ll let you know, too). Heed those demands and ramp up the support!
How did you stay fit during pregnancy? What fit pregnancy tips would you give pregnant moms for staying active? —Erin