After making my way through almost 33 weeks of pregnancy, I am 100% certain that staying active has helped me to feel much better up until this point than I would be feeling had I not stayed active. Even when taking a few days off, I notice a decrease in energy and flexibility.
And I have been very fortunate to maintain the exercise routine that I have with approximately 7 weeks left until our baby boy arrives.
I mentioned in one of my very first blogs on “fit pregnancy” that the most important thing when it came to exercising in pregnancy was to listen to your body. And at almost 33 weeks, this still holds true, but regardless of how I am feeling, it is time to tone it down a bit more and shift gears.
Under the guidance of my family doctor, Dr. Laura Bennion, and pregnancy exercise specialist Dr. Julia Alleyne throughout my pregnancy, I have been able to maintain a routine of 5 days/week x 1hr sessions, including 3 weight training sessions and 2 cardio sessions. Once I reached the 32-week mark, Dr. Alleyne suggested that, regardless of how I am feeling, I pull back to 5 days/week x 30-35 minutes maximum sessions.
Although I still feel as though I could continue with my current routine, at this point, her recommendation is to be precautionary, rest more, and pull back.
Can’t argue with an expert with her track record! So I am toning it down.
Most certainly by the third trimester, our centre of gravity has shifted, and with a growing belly, some exercises become a little uncomfortable. As a result, I have swapped out a few of my core strengthening exercises for ones that are more comfortable.
1) Kettlebell Squats – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
2) DB Split Squat – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
3) Incline DB Bench – 3 sets x 6-10 reps OR Incline Push-Up – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
I am making these changes strictly based on how I am feeling, which of course is different for everyone. Do what feels good for you, with the approval of a health care professional of course!
HITTING THE POOL!
I had always heard women talk about what a relief it was to get in the pool and swim when they were pregnant, but I never fully understood this until I got in the pool last week.
I am now swimming once a week for one of my 30 minute cardio sessions, versus my other cardio day, which includes low impact cardio such as the elliptical, bike, rowing machine, or incline walking on the treadmill.
While reaping the benefits of cardio in general, swimming also allows us to feel weightless, despite the extra pounds we have put on, counteracts back strain, supports joints and ligaments, and prevents us from overheating.
So many great benefits, but the best in my opinion is the release of pressure on my ever-expanding belly and the feeling of weightlessness!
The biggest change I have noticed in my body is in my muscle tone and flexibility. Getting your shoes tied up or picking something up off the floor seem like laborious tasks, and the one thing I can’t do enough of right now is stretch.
Yoga is not only great for flexibility, but it also relieves tension in the areas of our changing bodies that are put under stress, reducing pain and increasing overall comfort. It also calms the nervous system, increases circulation, and helps us to focus on what is really going on with our bodies. Best of all, it’s relaxing!
DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO!
In addition to the changes above, seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist regularly have also helped me to stay feeling great. Or at least as great as I can with a solid extra 20lbs to carry around!
I have had some great conversations with other women; expecting, new, and experienced moms, and what I have learned from these conversations is that we all do what we have to do to stay as comfortable as we can until the expected delivery date. We are all different, grow at different paces, carry differently, all of which are a beautiful thing.
So whatever it is you need at this point to stay healthy, feeling good and comfortable, do what you gotta do!
Do you have any third trimester pregnancy exercises, comments, or tips? Share them with me on Twitter and Instagram @Mikkelson12 using #HockeyMom or comment below.
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