Is working out while pregnant safe?
It was the very first question I asked my physician at my very first prenatal appointment. Without hesitation her response was, "Oh my goodness, absolutely yes!"
As many of you know, fitness has basically been life for me for the past 10 years. I've consistently worked out five times a week for a decade. Even now, at eight months pregnant, that hasn't changed.
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For the most part, I've been blessed with a very healthy pregnancy. I did not have morning sickness. I had a low-lying placenta that resolved itself naturally at 20 weeks. And, although I had to retake my glucose exam, I passed the second time around and do not have gestational diabetes.
With less than six weeks until he arrives, I had gained 18 pounds and my baby boy is weighing in at a healthy 4 pounds, 14 ounces, and sitting right around the 30th percentile.
I credit much of this to the healthy fitness and nutrition habits. Consistency is key, and lucky for me, working out became a part of my lifestyle and routine many years ago. It's never been a question of, "Will I have time to get to the gym today?" but instead, "I plan to workout from this time to this time," and everything else in my life revolved around that. There was no questioning it; that's just the way our family operates.
It's been that same way throughout my entire pregnancy except now, at 36 weeks, I'm not working out at near the intensity I was prior to getting pregnant.
You would think that as a former professional athlete, slowing down in the gym would be a challenge for me, but it wasn't. Much like training, I would go with the flow. There were days I could push and then there were days where I had to pull back. Eventually, though, with all the physical changes that were happening to my body, I had to slow down. I learned new ways to modify movements and actually found myself falling more in love with physical activity. The benefits aren't just for me anymore, they are for both of us.
Now almost all bodyweight and gymnastics movements have been modified, weights and running distances have been scaled back, and on most days I'm just there to move, because I know staying active during my pregnancy has helped me:
- sleep better
- stay mobile
- remain strong physically and emotionally
- maintain energy
- reduce the risk of having illness or health problems during my pregnancy
- prepare for labor and childbirth
- reduce stress
- maintain a healthy body-weight
- feel good
- stay sane.
Now obviously priorities will change when the little guy gets here, but I have every intention of carrying on with my active lifestyle during postpartum. My greatest hope, is that all of this leads to a healthier baby and momma in the delivery room, not to mention this new mom bouncing back quicker on the other side.
If you are pregnant or nursing, always consult with your physician first before starting a new fitness routine.
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You never know who you might run into at the gym.
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