Exercising during pregnancy...how to do it? — The Bump
2nd Trimester

Exercising during pregnancy...how to do it?

Since I found out I was pregnant I haven't been going to the gym because I just wanted to make it through the first trimester and was so nervous about something bad happening. Now I am over 13 weeks and I am ready to go back because I have been having a lot of anxiety problems and I think getting moving and getting active will help me feel better. Anyway, I was wondering what is safe to do. I know I am not supposed to do any high impact exercises or get my heartrate over 140. I know that walking or using the elliptical is ok, but what aboutresistance training? Before getting pregnant I was working with a personal trainer using the Gravity system (http://www.efisportsmedicine.com/commercial/product-line/) which basically uses resistance against my own weight. My trainer knows I'm pregnant, but I'm worried about any exercises where I would do jumping, and especially squats. I don't want to put any extra pressure on my cervix. I am supposed to have an appointment today but I am thinking of cancelling it.

What would you ladies do?

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Re: Exercising during pregnancy...how to do it?

  • Confirm everything with your doctor first but my doctor told me I could do anything I was doing before until it started to wear me out. So I continued to run (outside and treadmill) and do weight classes. I recently took my speed and weight down and I don't do any weight lifting on my back, but still try to go three times a week.
  • i have anxiety issues too!! and working out does help me alot. i do the eliptical, the bike and i do lift some small weights. dumbells that are light. and i do resitance on machines so i dont get hurt, on the machines that have the wires connected. its def more work when preg!
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  • I do CrossFit Moms. (http://crossfitmom.com/) It's amazing and sounds similar to the body weight training that you were doing before. Squats are good for you! Just be careful about going too low. Those are good muscles to strengthen for labor! I also do a lot of walking. Some days I have to go really slowly but I find that I always feel better afterwards (except my feet which often are sore!). Good luck with working out and just remember that being healthy and in shape is benefiting both you and your baby!
  • The restrictions that I am aware of is the don't exceed 140 BMP, no jumping, bouncing, abdominal excercises, lifting anything to heavy and avoid anything that puts strain on your abdominal/ uterus area.  Also drink plenty of water.  To be on the safe side I would ask your doctor and then you can figure out what is best for you. I also have anxiety issues as well and I found even just walking and light weight training helped.
  • imageoctbride1234:
    The restrictions that I am aware of is the don't exceed 140 BMP, no jumping, bouncing, abdominal excercises, lifting anything to heavy and avoid anything that puts strain on your abdominal/ uterus area.  Also drink plenty of water.  To be on the safe side I would ask your doctor and then you can figure out what is best for you. I also have anxiety issues as well and I found even just walking and light weight training helped.

    This is outdated information. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-during-pregnancy/AN01560

    If you exercised regularly before your pregnancy, don't be too concerned about your heart rate during pregnancy.

    In the past, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended a heart rate of no more than 140 beats a minute for exercise during pregnancy. Today, however, the ACOG recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day during pregnancy for most women without any specific heart rate limits

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  • The best thing to do is check with your doctor first.

    That said, in a normal pregnancy (no complications, non-high risk, etc) exercise similar to what you were doing previously is generally fine, with a few modifications-- you will want to reduce the intensity, avoid anything high impact, etc. The 140 HR is outdated as someone else already covered.

    I have been lifting weights (lighter and with longer rest periods), walking, using the elliptical, upright bike and doing prenatal yoga the whole time without a problem. Make sure you stay hydrated and don't overheat. And make sure you fuel your w/o properly before and after.

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  • imageababymaybe:

    The best thing to do is check with your doctor first.

    That said, in a normal pregnancy (no complications, non-high risk, etc) exercise similar to what you were doing previously is generally fine, with a few modifications-- you will want to reduce the intensity, avoid anything high impact, etc. The 140 HR is outdated as someone else already covered.

    I have been lifting weights (lighter and with longer rest periods), walking, using the elliptical, upright bike and doing prenatal yoga the whole time without a problem. Make sure you stay hydrated and don't overheat. And make sure you fuel your w/o properly before and after.

    I agree...definitely check with your doctor first.  You can do the same exercises but just make adjustments to your workouts.  Keep in mind that as your belly bump grows, your balance and equilibrium changes too.  Regarding your heartrate, you'll know when you reach your limit.  If you can't say a complete sentence without being out of breath, you may want to pull back a bit.  If you feel any pains, cramps, get dizzy, or anything like that...stop.  For instance, instead of running at 6.0 mph on the treadmill like before, I scaled it down to a nice jog at 4.2 mph.  Instead of using 10 lb dumbells, I'll use 3-5 lb.  Hope this helps!

  • If it's any idea - I'm a competitive lifter and have competed twice since BFP and out-totaled the rest of the girls there on pounds lifted (granted, I was doing this before I got pregnant, just narrowed the gap).  As for the fear of squats you've got, the first meet I had a 418lb. below parallel and the second was a 374lb. (red lighted for slightly high for that fed - but hit parallel none the less) and did both with ease.  Just make sure you're using the regular rack and not the Smith Machine which is absolutely horrible on the joints and supporter muscles!  There are TONS of women who have run marathons while PG as well.  The reality is that "if you were doing it before you got pregnant, you can do it WHILE you're pregnant.  High impact basically means that if you were a volleyball, football, soccar player that there is potential for impact to your stomach or falls, it's something you need to switch out.  Also, the 140bpm seems low to me but a lot depends on the type of athlete you were before you got PG...  The ACOG has a pretty reasonable statement in regard to exercising while pregnant and what to watch out for.  Most of all, it comes down to "you didn't train like a knucklehead BEFORE you got pregnant, don't train like one now that you ARE pregnant!"...  LISTEN to your body, if you need to back off for a few minutes, back off for a few minutes, if you're having a good day, make hay while the sun shines!  Stay hydrated, and go have fun with your trainer!!!

    Since you quit for 13 weeks I'd really suggest as the others did in talk to your doc about what is o.k. for you to resume for activity.  The little tadpoles are quite resilient and remember for your next PG that when you got PG you were working out/training, just use your brain in following how your body feels at any given moment and keep on training..

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  • i bought a prenatal pilates video which involves weights and i also have a denise austin prenatal dvd which incorporates weights and low impact aerobics.  Some days i do an ondemand video w/ weights. 

    both dvds include lunges and just the basics, push ups, bicep curls, tricep extensions, overhead press and bent over rows.  i don't use more than 5lbs weights except for the rows i double up on my weights.

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  • imagekarinothing:

    imageoctbride1234:
    The restrictions that I am aware of is the don't exceed 140 BMP, no jumping, bouncing, abdominal excercises, lifting anything to heavy and avoid anything that puts strain on your abdominal/ uterus area.  Also drink plenty of water.  To be on the safe side I would ask your doctor and then you can figure out what is best for you. I also have anxiety issues as well and I found even just walking and light weight training helped.

    This is outdated information. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-during-pregnancy/AN01560

    If you exercised regularly before your pregnancy, don't be too concerned about your heart rate during pregnancy.

    In the past, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended a heart rate of no more than 140 beats a minute for exercise during pregnancy. Today, however, the ACOG recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day during pregnancy for most women without any specific heart rate limits

    This exactly - I never worry about my heartrate, I listen to my body.  I didn't stop exercising so I can't help with working back into it.  I run every day, but since becoming pregnant my speed has significantly slowed down.  I hit up the gym during the week and do cardio - elliptical, the bike, or the treadmill and just do what I can handle for 30-60 minutes, making sure to drink plenty of water, and keep up with my strength training on arms, back, and especially core (squats/lunges, etc.).  And then I fit in some at home prenatal pilates during the week too.  Again - I've been able to keep this up throughout, just by making sure I stay hydrated and listening to my body.

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