Fit pregnancy. It is all the rage right now!
How much physical activity should you do? How much is enough and how much is too much? How do you know if you are crossing that invisible line of exceeding what your baby and body can handle throughout your pregnancy?
The second I found out that I was pregnant, I had all of these questions and more.
In this week’s blog, I seek out some professional advice and then I’m going back to the gym. I’ve included videos of some of my main exercises below so that you can workout with me.
Everyone and every pregnancy is different, so be sure to consult your doctor or health care professional before starting a pregnancy exercise routine.
With the goal of keeping our baby safe and healthy, I am currently working with pregnancy exercise expert and Sport Medicine Physician Dr. Julia Alleyne. With numerous publications and decades of research on exercise in pregnancy, I find comfort in knowing that I am working with one of the best. I am also working with Dr. Laura Bennion, a Sport Medicine Physician and my family doctor in Calgary, and Jeff Osadec, my personal trainer in Calgary.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I think it takes a village to grow one too!
We all know that the first trimester can be a struggle in terms of exercising regularly because of nausea and extreme fatigue. I have been exhausted from training before, but this exhaustion is on a whole new level! On those days, when the nausea hits you hard, it is a challenge to eat or leave the house, let alone get a workout in. Feeling like you are hung over everyday without even having a drop is not exactly a feeling that makes you want to exercise!
What I did find, and what some of you may have found also, was that doing something as small as getting out for a walk was one of the greatest symptom cures, even when moving was the last thing you wanted to do.
A lot of you may have experienced what I did when turning the corner at 13 weeks and heading into your 2nd trimester. I started to feel much better, and had WAY more energy! It was at this time when I was given the green light to take it up a notch in the gym.
My program was designed by my trainer Jeff, and has been modified and approved by both Dr. Bennion and Dr. Alleyne. I currently exercise 5 times/week, which includes 3 weight lifting sessions and 2 cardio based endurance sessions, a routine that is about 1/4th of the workload I am used to! And my biggest challenge has been pulling back on my volume of training.
A few of my main exercises include:
1) Leg Press (8-12 reps) or (at home) Wall-Sits (I aim for 60seconds) both x 3 sets
2) Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (8-12 reps) or (at home) Incline Push-Ups (10-15 reps) both x 3 sets
3) Skating Simulations (these burn!) - 8-12 reps x 3 sets
SO WHERE IS THAT INVISIBLE LINE?
One of the most important pieces of information that I have taken away from my research and discussions is that what you can do in terms of exercise during your pregnancy is highly dependant on what your exercise routine was like before you became pregnant.
As an athlete, I have been able to maintain an exercise routine that is above the standard recommendations because that is what my body is used to. On the flip side, if you did not exercise prior to becoming pregnant, it is not the time to turn yourself into an athlete! Talk to your doctor and do research based on your body and your needs.
What seems to be the rule of thumb?
Listen to your body. Tired and need a day off? Take it. This is normally the last piece of advice I would give myself as an athlete, but as I was recently told, for now I am not an athlete, I am an incubator!
I see this as my earliest and most important lesson as a mom-to-be. I am no longer numero uno. Our baby is.
Do you have any favourite pregnancy exercises? If so, I would love to hear about them!
Please share your comments, stories and training tips with me on Twitter and Instagram using @Mikkelson12 and #hockeymom.
Next week on "Hockey Mom", I discuss the newest guidelines from experts on what you should and shouldn’t do in terms of cardio and core, and share my cardio and core routine.
For more information on Dr. Julia Alleyne, see her website http://drjulia.net/
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