A Peek Into My Prenatal Fitness Routine: The Second 20 Weeks
|January 22, 2014||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Prenatal Fitness|
I wrote about my fitness routine for the first 20 weeks back in July (geez that seems so long ago now!) and wanted to document how things went for the second half of my pregnancy. I hope this helps other women to see that you can stay very active and still have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
As I wrote in the first 20 week post, despite being an avid runner, I didn’t run during pregnancy. I did other activities for cardio and I strength trained. I maintained 6 days a week of cardio all the way to the end. In the second 20 weeks I walked on an incline on the treadmill, swam, and did spinning. The day my water broke I had gone to a one hour spinning class as I was having no signs that anything would happen that day! I wore a heart rate monitor every cardio session just to make sure I didn’t overdo anything. This wasn’t a problem when walking, but I did need it in spinning so I didn’t let my heart rate get too high for long periods. I didn’t limit myself to 140 beats per minute (that limit is outdated despite it persisting in some prenatal exercise recommendations). On four of the cardio days I kept things easy and in the 140-150 range, but on two days (usually my spinning days) I pushed things a bit more and let my heart rate get into the 160s on shorter intervals (I backed off the effort once I hit 170). On one of the easy cardio days I would do a long walk (usually in the 2 to 2.5 hour range) to maintain some endurance. Having workouts with variety really helped combat the boredom, but by the end I was pretty tired of just exercising for health rather than for training. I think I like having running and triathlon races on my calendar mostly because they give me a goal to work towards and help focus my training. Without that I honestly find just exercising a little dull.
As for strength training, I also maintained this to the end of my pregnancy. My last strength workout was the day before my water broke. I managed three days a week for most of the 20 weeks, with a couple weeks toward the end being just two days. While I was able to do the same cardio workouts in the second part of my pregnancy, I had to make more modifications to strength work during this time. The belly became an obstacle during things like push-ups and I had to do them either with my feet on a stability ball or with my hands on a bench or a step. Also, in the last few weeks of pregnancy I began feeling some pelvic pain during lunges and step ups so I eliminated those from my workouts (squats and deadlifts were fine so I stuck with those as my lower body strength moves). Otherwise I was able to strength train as usual, just with longer rest between sets as I noticed I got more out of breath than I did pre-pregnancy. I really kept up on doing core work which made it so I had no lower back pain all the way to the end. I also think it helped my abs bounce back pretty quickly despite the c-section.
I had big dreams of doing yoga while pregnant, but I ended up dropping that after several weeks. I just couldn’t get into it. I wasn’t really into yoga before pregnancy so perhaps I’m just not meant to be a yogi. I did do some flexibility work on my own however to keep my range of motion.
Looking back I’m really glad I stayed as active as I did during pregnancy. I had a very easy and uncomplicated pregnancy, and despite my labor complications I was able to bounce back much more quickly than if I hadn’t stayed active. If you have any questions or need additional guidance regarding prenatal exercise feel free to shoot me an email!