Staying Fit While Pregnant: Part 3!

Learn what you need to know when you get pregnant and what to do in the next four to six months. Is ab training safe? What exercises should you drop? How do I know if I need to lower my intensity? Find out here!
Note: This is part three, click here for part 1!
click here for part 2!


Month Four:
This month I started taking water aerobics classes at the local YMCA on Saturday mornings. I figured this would be a good way to get in a cardio session without putting extra stress on the rest of my body. I have decided to change up my workout routine to accommodate to my lack of energy and my changing body. Here is an example of what a typical week may look like for me:

Monday:

  • Biceps
  • Back
  • Abs on exercise ball
  • 20 min Cardio
  • Stretch

Tuesday:

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • 20 min Cardio
  • Stretch

Wednesday:

  • Lower Body
  • Abs on exercise ball
  • 20 min Cardio
  • Stretch

Thursday:

  • 30 min Cardio
  • Stretch

Friday:

  • Shoulders
  • Abs on exercise ball
  • 20 min Cardio
  • Stretch

Saturday:

  • 1hr Cardio (water aerobics)
  • Stretch

Sunday:

  • Rest

* Use moderate to light weights depending on what feels comfortable. You do not want to strain your body especially your abs.

* If you have time to warm up for 10 min. and stretch before each work out session it is ideal, but I usually don't have time. On days that I do not have time to warm up, I try to start out with a lighter weight as a warm up and then I do 3 harder sets and I stretch in-between sets!

Months Five and Six:
Along with the extra pregnancy weight, I have finally begun to "show." At times it kind of seemed like my efforts were only taking me backwards. I'd work out and I'd still put on weight, and although I'm sure some of it was muscle weight, my bathing suit was not looking flattering any more. Once my belly began to "poke out," it actually made me feel a little bit better. My energy has begun to pick back up again and my workouts are slightly more intense.

I asked my doctor about monitoring my heart rate during workouts, especially cardio sessions. He said that it is a good idea to keep my heart rate at or below 140bpm. I told him that I've been keeping it between 140 and 150bpm and asked if it would be harmful to my baby if I worked at a higher heart rate. He told me that as long as I was comfortable, my baby was comfortable. (This is a question that I would definitely make sure to ask your doctor as each pregnancy is different and your physician may have different guidelines).

During month six, I noticed that some of the exercises became uncomfortable (i.e. wide grip lat pull downs and oblique exercises). As soon as I felt discomfort, I dropped those exercises from my workouts. I also noticed more leg cramps at night, so I decided to add more Gatorade to my daily intake. This was not the best decision. Since my workouts were not as intense as they once had been, my body was not getting rid of the additional sodium; therefore, I began to retain water. I tried to flush the fluids out of my body by increasing my water intake, but it still didn't help. My doctor suggested taking calcium tablets to help with leg cramps, cutting back on the Gatorade and continue to drink at least a gallon of water each day. Let me tell you, when you don't have much room in your stomach, getting all of those fluids consumed in a day is not easy!

Remember, pregnancy is not an illness, so continue your workout regimen as long as you are comfortable and consult your physician with any questions you may have about your workouts.

Keep up the good work! You're body will thank you during delivery and recovery!

Note: This is part three, click here for part 1!
click here for part 2!

Good Luck and God Bless!