It is no secret that exercise is a big part of my life. Doug and I consider Soul-Cycle our home away from home, and my body would be a whole lot worse for wear without some serious yoga a few times a week. Throughout the course of my pregnancy I have been able to pretty much keep up my normal workout routine with a few modifications for my changing body and the little person inside of it. Recently, a few friends and workout buddies have asked me for tips on working out for two so I thought I would share what I have discovered these past few months. I am by no means a fitness professional so if you are pregnant and have any serious questions make sure to ask your doctor or teacher!
Don’t Keep Secrets
It is very, very important to tell your teacher as soon as you know that you are expecting. Don’t worry, they won’t share the news with anyone. It is important that they know so that they do not push you too hard and can help you make any necessary modifications. I did not do this at first and at 10 weeks pregnant the incredibly tuned in Laurie Cole came up to me in the middle of a Soul-Cycle class and asked me if I was preggers. She just knew from looking at my body and the slightly different way I was riding! It was such a relief to have her know! It made her class a completely safe space for me, and she did not tell a soul until I was ready for others to know (which wasn’t until about 20 weeks!).
When exercising with a baby on board you have to pay extra special attention to make sure you do not get overheated. As soon as you overheat so does your baby and that is not good! As soon as you feel flush, or just too hot, slow it down a bit so your heart rate can lower and recover. A great trick for quickly cooling down your whole system is to pour water on the nape of your neck. It will instantly cool you down!
Don’t Be A Hero
Pregnancy is not the time to push yourself to the limits. As a competitive adrenaline junkie who loves being front and center in any class this one was hard for me to handle. There were a few weeks where not being in the front row at spinning or yoga made me feel a little down. However, I quickly realized that not being upfront allowed me to take it a bit easy and not push myself beyond what was good for my little passenger and me. In yoga, I quickly learned the modifications I would have to make while pregnant. I can no longer lay on my stomach, twist deeply, invert (except with my legs up the wall), or back bend. If you have any questions about modifying your workout ask your teacher. You can also always switch to pre-natal yoga if your regular class stops feeling good.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Day Off
If you wake up not feeling great do not be afraid to skip your workout for the day. Pregnancy is not a time to push yourself to your limits or to up your workout routine. Give my doula’s excellent “couch test” a try. If you sit down on the couch for five minutes and your body just does not want to get up, stay there. If you listen to your body you will find it is very smart and will tell you exactly what you need when you need it!
Get Good Gear
Comfortable workout clothes are essential, especially when pregnant. There is nothing worse than a too tight sports bra, or pants that cut into your growing belly. However, there is no need to buy maternity specific workout wear! I find that Lululemon clothes work best for me pregnant or not. The have incredible stretch without losing their shape. In fact, it was only a month or so ago that I had to go up a tank and legging size to accommodate my belly! My all time favorite outfit for both spinning and yoga is the same pregnant or not. I love the cool racerback tank whose longer length covers a growing belly well. On bottom nothing is better than a pair of wunder under crops. Their wide waistband is very belly friendly. To keep the girls in check I wear an all sports bra, which I had to go up a size in almost immediately.