Hey guys! Coming at you with another pregnancy-in-review post. This time all about the exercise I did in the nine months of being pregnant, and what I wish I had done more of.
Lots of you have been asking what I’ve been doing to try to stay fit, and as someone who has always liked to do some form of exercise every single day, I really wanted to continue that while I was pregnant. That said, you really do experience so so many changes in your body, so for me working out was all about what felt right, and modifying when it felt not so good. In addition, looking back on the birth and how I feel now 10 days post partum (early days yet!) I think there are also a few things I could have done more of.
Just a side note – everyone’s energy levels are different during pregnancy, and it really is a time you should listen to your body and not beat yourself up if you don’t want to or can’t do what you would usually do. But if you have the energy it’s worth staying active, I think it was the only thing that kept me sane, and also helped keep my pregnancy weight gain to a moderate 12kg.
My Pregnancy Workouts
So, for me that the first trimester was about literally trying to make it through, and the thought of forgoing any exercise and just staying in bed was appealing (and on some days I did). That said, I worked out pretty quickly if I ever stayed inside and avoided exercise I would tend to feel so so much worse. One thing that made me feel better was walking every day. The mix of fresh air, being able to get a wider view rather than just the sofa and also working off some energy really really helped. I was generally hiking uphill for around 5km, which certainly got the heart rate up!
I was lucky to experience the golden second trimester, meaning I felt so much better and started to enjoy pregnancy. I went back to my normal gentle yoga classes but added in a few prenatal yoga and pilates classes. I also continued hill walking on any day I didn’t have a class, something I have to admit I enjoyed more than doing classes. Obviously, I was careful in any of my classes about my growing bump and always took the advice of my teachers who always seemed happy/paranoid enough to help a lot.
By the third trimester, things started to get physically hard, so I took my exercise back a notch, sticking with prenatal classes of yoga and pilates, and switching up my usual walking circuit to a more gentle flat or slight inclined walk. I also became OBSESSED with swimming. The thought of going swimming constantly played on my mind, and the feeling of being weightless was the best thing in the whole world and helped to push the fluid back up my very very swollen feet and legs. When possible I went to a friends pool and did some laps or water running. I only wish I had realised how good this made me feel earlier!
What I wish I had Done more of
Looking back, other than the fact that I made sure to do something everyday (which is an achievement in itself) I very much took it easy from day one of being pregnant, I loved that everyone just encourages you to listen to your body and take it gently. I’m a bit scared to go back to the real world of HIIT style exercise (maybe I won’t?).
But what I realised during the birth is that having baby is actually the hardest workout you will ever do (no one puts this plainly enough), so I definitely should have maintained a small amount of strength training… Pushing is hard work and I think if I had some some light strength training such a squats, glutes etc it would have been useful. I know there are lots of personal trainers out there who specialise in this sort of thing so maybe next time I would invest more in this. In addition, EVERYONE tells you to work on your pelvic floor muscle, which I did now and again but if I had my time over I would be using every spare minute to do that. My sister in law told me to do it while feeding now, which is a smart way to remember!
Did you have any favourite workouts when you were pregnant?
Found this useful? Here’s another post about all the beauty products I loved during pregnancy!