Recently I was reading an article about current health and fitness statistics on pregnant women and I was a bit blown away. Less than 25% of pregnant women exercise regularly!
There have been so many proven health benefits to working out while pregnant. I think women take “rest while pregnant” too literally. Yes you should rest often while pregnant. But that doesn’t mean laying around all the time doing nothing. I notice a huge difference in my joints and muscles when I exercise vs when I don’t.
If your doctor hasn’t told you, then any google search will tell you there are so many health benefits to working out while pregnant. It helps reduce back ache, constipation, bloating and swelling. These are major things almost every pregnant woman battles with. I had minimal swelling while pregnant with both my kids and I credit that to workouts and drinking lots of water! Additionally working out can lower your blood pressure and help prevent gestational diabetes!
My doctor actually encouraged me to continue lifting weights through my pregnancy to keep my strength up. The only thing she discouraged me from is lifting an extreme amount that I’m not used to, or working out on my back. You shouldn’t workout on your back when pregnant because the uterus puts pressure on a vein that brings blood to your heart. Lying on your back can cause your blood pressure to drop and limit the flow of blood to your baby.
I understand some people don’t have access to a gym whether it be to cost or location. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do things at home. Walking, running, push-ups, body weight exercises, or dumbbell exercises (every sporting goods store sells them and you can get away with one or two sets).
I know there’s that one person who always says “I just don’t have the time.” Working out doesn’t have to be hours long. 20-30 minutes a day is all you need! Obviously it helps to eat a healthy diet as well. When you’re pregnant just the idea of working out may be exhausting. Of anything, a walk is better than nothing!
We are back in the Red in DFW. I don’t care what anyone says. I’m wearing a mask even when I workout. What inconvenience is it really to me? None. I put on clothes in the morning so a mask isn’t any different to me anymore.
I actually haven’t worn makeup since the masks requirement went into effect. With the exception of mascara of course but no actual face makeup. It’s been great! My skin has never looked so even toned and breakout free! I wash my face often or use face wipes. I also wash my mask regularly so that helps quite a bit to reduce any skin issues.
I really don’t mind wearing a mask even after the mask order is lifted. Honestly I’ve never gone this long without catching even just a cold! I credit that to the masks, over disinfecting and hand washing. I know masks are annoying to some but I’m one who doesn’t mind it. I’ll do whatever is going to keep my family and myself healthy! Better safe than sorry!
I went to the gym for the first time in 6 months! It’s crazy to think masks are the new normal. However, I honestly don’t mind! I love that people aren’t sneezing and coughing all over the place. I actually haven’t been sick in months! By now I’ve normally had a cold at least once or twice. I swear it’s thanks to the masks I haven’t caught anything!
Working out with a mask on wasn’t exactly easy. The gym wasn’t very busy thank goodness so I took my mask off a few times. I do honestly really appreciate the distancing and cleaning required now. I hope it stays that way after all this corona stuff settles. Literally everyone in the gym wiped up and disinfected after they used a machine. It was great! Normally I’d see maybe a few people doing that. It was annoying because you have those sweaty people who use a machine and don’t care to take the time to wipe up after themselves. It was so gross. But now, everyone is cleaning! I love it!
I also really appreciate the distance requirement! I HATE when people stand too close to me in the gym. I like my personal space and when I workout I like to be left alone. By requiring 6 ft between people I get the space I’ve always wanted! It really it was like heaven for me.
I know wearing a mask, distancing and disinfecting is inconvenient for some, but I absolutely love it! Like I said, I hope life stays this way. It’s as if people have finally learned how to be clean respectful individuals
When it comes to workouts, I’m a “superset” person. A superset is when you perform two exercises back to back with no rest in between exercises. 🤔
I don’t like to do the same exercise movement and rest in between. I’m someone who has to keep moving in the gym. I don’t like down time. So supersets work well for me. I typically do 4-5 supersets which is a total of 8-10 exercises. I do anywhere from 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps depending on the exercise and the weight. 🏋️♀️
Obviously this type of workout doesn’t work well for everyone but it’s been great for me. It’s helped keep me from getting bored at the gym. I also don’t have time to piddle around and waste time. 💪🏻
9 months pregnant on the left and 9 months post delivery on the right. I worked harder this second time around because I had a good handful of people tell me I’d never get by body back after the second baby. Or that it would be harder to get back into shape after the second baby. 🤔
I took those comments as a challenge. When someone tells me I can’t or won’t be able to do something, it makes me what to prove them wrong. So I pushed really hard this time.
I’m not 100% back to my pre pregnancy size. But almost all my clothes are back to fitting and that’s all I really wanted. I honestly haven’t weighed myself in a few months so I don’t even know my own weight. I’ve never been one to care about a number on a scale. I just kept a goal in my head to fit back into my clothes. Why? Because I hate shopping for clothes. I am not a person who enjoys going to the mall. If I have to shop I do it online so I can try things on in the comfort of my own home. But even so, I still hate clothes shopping. So, to avoid having to go out and buy new clothes, I just had to get myself back into my own clothes! And I did!
To the negative Nancy’s who told me I’d never get my body back after baby #2…… challenge accepted and won. What else ya got? 😉🤷🏼♀️
I’m a huge advocate of gym etiquette. I do my best to share and not take up space. I observe people around me and watch to see if someone is using a machine before I take it. If someone is using a machine I want to use I’ll ask if they mind me working in with them.
Yesterday in the gym I went into the back part of the gym where it’s more secluded. There was a man working out BAREFOOT. While I found this incredibly disgusting I tried to just brush it off. I piddled around for a minute to see what he was doing so I could see what items I could use that he wasn’t.
He was taking up a majority of the area with the items he was using but I figured I could still use the cable machine in between his little circuit because it was out of the way.
In the middle of me doing my first set he comes up to me, literally stands uncomfortably close, close enough that I could feel him breathe and says “I need to do pull-ups here.” So I turned to him and said “I’m using the cable, I’ll be done in a second.” He then said “or you could move over there” and points to where I apparently should move for him.” I’m not a witty person and I never have a come back but the words just fell out of my mouth this time and I said “you can have good gym etiquette and share.” Mind you, there are 4 other areas with pull-up bars that he could have used but for some reason he wanted the one I was under. He snapped back and says “or you can just move.” So I smiled, turned back to what I was doing and finished my set. I grabbed my phone, and went to find a gym manager. I reported him for being barefoot in the gym, which is against health code. The gym manager confirmed with me he made the guy put shoes on. Which I appreciate.
I find it shocking that people have no ability to share and can be that blatantly rude. Is it because I’m a female and I was “in your way?” Or were you just never taught to share with others? I guess I’ll never understand. Hopefully the next time I run into him in the gym he says something to me again when my husband is there. Because ladies and gentlemen, barefoot guy won’t stand a chance when my husband gets ahold of him!
Pretty proud of the progress in these pics. The one on the left is from 2014. I did two hours of cardio a day (one in the gym and one walking the dog), little to no weights and was super restrictive with my diet. I weighed my food, counted calories and avoided oils, salts, sugar, etc.
The picture on the right is current. I do all weights, very little cardio (used as a cool down) and eat what I want (within reason.) Plus add in taking care of an infant and chasing around a toddler as my extra exercise. My diet consists of lots of protein, veggies, fruit, carbs, etc. I don’t avoid anything. I have something sweet maybe twice a week. I don’t drink sodas or juice like drinks, but honestly I’ve never been a fan of them so that makes it a bit easier.
My degree is in Sports Sciences. I took nutrition and biomechanics classes for years. I knew better than to do two hours of cardio and diet restrict. But I still did it. When I was in my 20’s I was impatient. I wanted quick results. Now at 34, I’ve learned when it comes to health and fitness you have to be patient. I’m finally taking my own advice. The advice I gave to people for years but ignored myself. Better late than never! Lol
My gym got this machine called a TRX map. I’d watched people use it every so often and they looked ridiculous. But it peaked my curiosity. So with a little push from my husband I tried it.
The machine has you stand in place and do three squats. While doing this it measures your balance, flexibility, etc. When I got my results I was shocked but things made sense.
The results literally told me I’m standing crooked. It’s not obvious to any person looking at me but the machine picked it up. My right shoulder sits higher than my left and my left hip is higher than my right. When I brought my results to the head trainer at my gym he explained them to me. The imbalance is likely due to how I carry my kids. I ALWAYS carry them on my left hip. Hence why my left hip is up more than my right. I’m constantly pushing it up and out. My right shoulder is higher than my left because my spine is out of alignment. This is due to the muscles on my left side being stronger than my right due to the way I hold my kids! So crazy but it makes sense!
The trainer recommended that I foam roll my hips, back, and glutes more regularly. He also recommended I try to use my right side more when carrying the kids and stretch after workouts.
I’ve been foam rolling daily and alternating sides when I carry the kids. I’m not the best about stretching but I’ve been trying to squeeze it in here and there. I could actually feel a difference in my hips within two days of making the change.
I’m going to retest myself on the machine in exactly a month and see if there’s much of a difference in my results. I’d assume there would be since I can already feel a difference but we shall see! 💪🏻
I did all weights and little cardio this time around. It made a HUGE difference! With Ryder I did mainly cardio. I was tired a lot and it took me a good 6 months to really get my body “back.” This time around I focused mainly on weights and did a little cardio here and there. I had so much more energy this time around and I could feel a difference in my strength. I was heavier, weight wise, but visually looked thinner. That’s because I put on more muscle instead of fat this time so I was leaner in my pregnancy. (Muscle weighs more than fat!) Because of the added muscle and weight routine, it’s been easier to get the extra baby weight off. I still have some lingering weight but it’s not as obvious as it was the first time around. 💪🏻
This second pregnancy, I was back in the gym working out (light workout) at 4 weeks. With Ryder I struggled to get myself into the gym at 2 months! Before anyone goes off telling me I should have waited till 6 weeks to start working out, let me just tell you that that is old school thinking. My doctor agreed. She told me if I worked out up until the day I gave birth, that I should be perfectly fine to go back to workouts whenever I felt I was ready after birth. With that being said, she did say don’t try to workout the day after labor! But come on, I’m not that much of an idiot! Lol I let my body heal for 4 weeks. When I felt I had strength and energy I started back but very slow and with light weights. 🏋️♀️
I can honestly say I’m in better shape at 34 after two kids than I was in my 20’s. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few years where I looked amazing in my 20’s. But I didn’t have the muscle I have now. That just goes to show that it’s not to late to get the body you want. It just takes a little hard work and focus! 👍🏻
I think it’s interesting to see a “new aged” doctors view vs an “old school” one. My first pregnancy I went to an older doctor. Despite being perfectly healthy, she put me on SO many physical restrictions while pregnant. She wouldn’t allow me to lift more than 20lbs or get my heart rate above 140. She told me to limit back exercises and avoid any workout involving my core.
This second time around I have a younger doctor. Her views are quite a bit different. She gave me no restrictions other than to not push myself too hard and to rest when needed. Since I lifted weights pre baby, she saw no reason to restrict my weight lifting. However, she recommended I not push myself more than my usual. Adding heavier weights than what I’m used to would obviously not be a good idea. But I was allowed to run, lift weights, etc as I please. She also saw no reason for me to worry about my heart rate. Since my body was used to workouts pre baby, and baby and I are currently very healthy, she saw no risks in me getting my heart rate above 140. She did say to make sure I could breathe well and wasn’t struggling or wheezing. You want to be able to get enough oxygen to your muscles and the baby.
I love how people are finally accepting fitness in pregnancy rather than running scared from it. Restricting workouts doesn’t benefit the mother (unless there is a physical need for restriction.) It actually has so many amazing benefits!
I have almost no back or hip pain this time around. I credit that to my workouts and the fact that I still have most of my strength. I have way less joint pain and I’ve had very few headaches compared to what I had the first time around.
Obviously you should talk to your doctor before participating in any physical activity while pregnant. But don’t be afraid to go for a walk, lift weights, etc if given the green light. Your body, and your baby will thank you!