Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Working Out and Fueling Up: Baby on Board Edition

Happy Tuesday and happy holiday week to you!  Whatever you celebrate, I hope you are taking it easy and not stressing yourselves out.  We are extremely low key and just excited to spend time as a family of three on our days off.  We are going to be taking our first born on lots of walks and to the beach and going to do some fun workouts together, which I will update you on.

As I promised a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to talk more about my workouts now that I went and got myself in the family way.  As a disclaimer, I am not a trained fitness or medical professional and this is just based on my experience.  Please ask your doctor for any fitness advice.

Just like my eating, some things have changed while others stayed the same.  I always knew that I wanted to work out when I was pregnant, both for my health and for the health of the little one.  There are so many benefits including better weight control, overall health, circulation, and of course better mood and self confidence.  As an active person, I knew that I would not be happy as a sedentary being and I knew I needed to keep exercise as a part of my life.  I did quite a bit of research since the rules on pregnancy fitness are a bit outdated and I found what worked for me.

First Tri
When I first found out about the pregnancy, I carried on as usual.  There are no modifications needed in the first trimester and as long as you have the energy and are not doing anything new, exercise is perfectly safe.  Of course you are never supposed to overheat while pregnant, so I made sure that I was well hydrated.  I have to admit that I was tired, more tired than I had ever been.  I was also traveling for work for much of my first tri and missed more than a few workouts.  I walked every day with the pup for at least 30 minutes and attended 1-2 yoga classes per week.  I also did some cardio at the gym as I started to feel better.  I had to make sure I ate dinner before my evening workout or else things would go south quickly.  As an evening exerciser, I never worried about going into a workout a bit hungry- I was able to make it with a small snack, but pregnancy is no joke.  Many times this caused me to miss a class because I was still digesting, but I was still active 5-6 times a week, although very moderately active.  When I felt too sick, my hubby also took out the pup, so I did miss a few evening walks.

Second Tri
Once I hit the second tri and was no longer feeling queasy all the time, I got back to more of a normal schedule.  I do get a little more winded doing normal things, but I'm not big enough to feel uncomfortable so I can see why people really enjoy this time.

Unlike a lot of the health blog world, I am more of a moderate exerciser.  Yes, I'm active every day (or most days), but I was never a distance runner or power lifter.  I built a workout schedule that worked with my life schedule and promised myself a long time ago that I would only do what I enjoyed: yoga, walking, hiking, light lifting, and elliptical or bike cardio machines.  I am able to maintain this schedule as a prego and here is what a typical week looks like:

-daily dog walks (unless it's too cold or hubby kindly offers)
-2-4 yoga practices (either studio or on my own with podcasts)
-2-3 cardio sessions at the gym with light weights

I have been having spontaneous rest days here and there depending on my schedule but still find myself pretty active with at least a quick dog walk or even working in the kitchen, which I still consider work!  The best thing I did was take a couple of prenatal yoga classes.  I really picked my instructor's brain to learn about the modifications I can use in my regular classes.  I am a huge believer in yoga and its health benefits and hope to use it as a tool throughout the whole pregnancy. 

Fueling Workouts
Since I exercise in the evenings, I often have either my dinner or a large snack an hour before a workout.  I know that I need to increase my calories now (by about 300 cals) as well as replace those lost during exercise.  Although I don't count, I make sure to eat when I'm hungry and I think it's been working well.  I definitely make sure that I get my protein sources in and find that fruit is a great snack before and after workouts.  I have had a few days of ravenous hunger thrown in here and there, but try to keep it civilized for the most part.  Let's not talk about the mountain of treats in my work kitchen right now :)

Question for you: Have you made any exercise modifications lately?  If you have been pregnant, how were you able to maintain your fitness?

No comments: