Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why you need to exercise MORE during pregnancy

Pregnancy and exercise... it's a commitment! Especially if you have other babies and kids around. Yet, it's such a necessary thing.

1. Reduces weight gain.

2. Decreases stretch marks.
-Because you're reducing weight gain, you reduce your chances of stretch marks, as well as keeping blood flow through your skin!

3. POSSIBILITY of making birth easier.
-I say "possibility" because I consider my first birth experience as the worst, and I exercised until the end.

4. PROMISE that it will make bouncing back easier.
-Your body will THANK you postpartum. You will bounce back faster and lose weight easier.

5. Decreases those varicose veins and thunder thighs.
-The more weight you add to your body, the greater chance of collapsing your veins. Not only are you fighting this by decreasing weight gain through exercise, but you are increasing blood flow and lessening collapsed veins by keeping your heart and blood healthy.

6. Energy.
-Yes, it takes energy to gain energy. But it's well worth it! Even through those nauseated days, exercise can relieve nausea and give you MORE energy than you had before.

7. A million other things.

We know that exercise in pregnancy is really just a must, but what we don't know is that it might take more exercise than was ever required of us before. Of course, no doctor will tell you this, but as someone who has kept up fitness her whole last pregnancy and all 19 weeks of this one, I can tell you that you need MORE.


First off, you're gaining weight. You weren't gaining weight while working out before pregnancy, right? You're naturally eating a bit more and retaining a lot of fluids. Exercise will help reduce this weight gain, yet as our pregnancy progresses, we can't always do the same as we did before.

If all you did was run, really you can keep this up. But running wasn't enough for me pre-pregnancy. I had to do a lot of interval and cross-training to keep up a fit figure (if you're looking to lose weight, you HAVE to cross train once you reach that plateau!). I can do a lot of this, but my joints are more loosey-goosey and I can't keep up with the impact. Because interval training burns calories much faster than running, it takes less time working out. I worked out 30-45 minutes MAX. I swear to you 45 minutes was my max. Because I have to back down and do more normal cardio things (cycling, running, elliptical,etc.) it takes more time to get that calorie burn.

Aside from calorie burn, pregnant bodies get sore FASTER. Our bodies are more taxing on nutrition and have all kinds of hormones rushing through, we just get tired and more sore. Our backs start to ache the bigger our bellies get, and our hips hurt from sleeping. So, on top of that extra time just to maintain our normal calorie burn, we also need oodles of stretching! Don't neglect the stretch!

So, I recommend every other day ADDING a stretch routine or yoga time, 20-30 minutes worth. Your body will thank you! I suggest doing this as a separate "workout". Maybe later afternoon or before bed. Whether you work out 5 or 6 days a week, you should also make one of those days a stretch/yoga day. This can mean a good walk with some deep stretching after, or a yoga workout.

So here is a sample workout schedule:

Sunday: Rest or stretch
Monday: Cardio and resistance
Tuesday: Cardio and stretching
Wednesday: Cardio and resistance
Thursday: Yoga/stretch day
Friday: Cardio and resistance
Saturday: Cardio and stretch

This is the formula I use. I teach three days a week, Monday I do a class that is 25 minutes INSANITY and 25 minutes weight training (dumbbells 5-10lbs). Tuesday I teach a corecycle class which is 35 minutes cycling, 5 minutes core, and 5 minutes stretch. I add in a stretch routine later on during the day. Wednesday I teach INSANITY LIVE for 50 minutes, which has all the cardio and resistance you need! Thursday I do my INSANITY Cardio Recovery or Max Recovery, and Friday I usually do a cardio/resistance workout, either a Les MIlls Combat or 21 day fix DVD. Saturday I also do something like a run and stretch, or a recovery DVD again. And sundays I stretch :)

Towards the end of your (my!) pregnancy, you might get even more sore from strength training. Start to lighten up and end EVERY workout with good, deep stretching.

Keep up the water intake, and good luck!

Also, find a perfect, trimester appropriate, weight routine in this book! This one is a keeper!

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