Pregnancy: What Workout?

 

Isn't this a classic picture?

Again, sorry I’ve been so absent around here. I guess my promise is posting will be sporadic at worst, and less sporadic at best. ūüôā

I’ve settled into a routine here in Wyoming. A daily routine, but not so much a real workout routine. As you know, prior to moving I was still training with kettlebells 2x a week. Well, I haven’t been doing any kettlebells since moving here. I only own a 35 pounder, and while I know that would be ok to swing, and I’m comfortable with my technique, I’m not sure of the prudence of doing my swings/other things with out someone else around. Just to be safe. The dog can’t really call 911.

I have been regularly walking, at least 5 times per week, for at least 20 minutes, which seems to be the most I can do before I get some serious round ligament pain on the top of my belly. At this point, I’m not exercising to lose weight, but exercising to keep some modicum of fitness for delivery and beyond. I have also been doing Prenatal Yoga at least once per week, sometimes two.¬† Last week I subbed out prenatal yoga for prenatal pilates. I found a prenatal pilates video on youtube. The pilates was quite a bit harder than Yoga, which made me realize I have been skimping out on my favorite thing: strength training!

I finally got my butt in gear this morning, after a LOOOONG night of tossing and turning due to extreme hip pain. I know that some hip pain is inevitable in late pregnancy, but it made me think about the dis-service I am doing to myself by not getting in some regular strength training.

So, I created the following “circuit” for myself. It’s pretty easy, and again tailored for what I can do in my living room, with only my body weight.

Allison’s¬†32 Week Circuit

March in place:30 seconds

Diagonal arm/leg balance: 10 seconds each side, repeat each side 2x

March in place: 30 seconds

20 pregnancy burpees

Plank: 20 seconds

Downdog: 30 seconds

Malasana Squat: 30 seconds

Repeat 2-3x

Today I repeated 2.5 times. I did the whole thing twice, and then on the 3 time around I only did 1 diagonal arm/leg balance on each leg, 10 burpees, and for plank I did 40 seconds, but I put my kneees down.

It’s not going to win any fitness awards, but it helped me move my body in a way that I haven’t been diligent about doing. I picked exercises that I know are ok/good for pregnancy and birth. Birth….birth is on my mind these days.¬† A LOT.

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Pregnancy: heavy lifting

As I’ve talked about before, when I got pregnant I was doing the following as my exercise routine: walk dog 5-7 days a week, kettlebell training 2 days per week, yoga practice 2 days per week.

Post pregnancy the workout schedule has changed quite a bit, between my dog moving WITH my husband to Wyoming, and standard Yoga becoming uncomfortable and hard almost immediately.

Now, I exercise 3-4 times per week (less this past week though, as I’ve had a nasty cold that lingered FOREVER. But, I have always, always made kettlebell my priority. The class I take is taught bootcamp style, so it’s really a total body workout, cardio and strength all rolled into one.

I'm the one in the pink...obviously

People in my life, always seem surprised that I have continued with Kettlebell. I think it’s because every SINGLE piece of conventional literature says that women shouldn’t particpate in heavy lifting while pregnant. But, heavy lifting is all relative right? And don’t get me wrong, during my first trimester? My weights were lighter, and I never increased my weight or lifted the heavy heavy heavy stuff, even during my 2nd trimester.¬† So, I sometimes wonder, what does that conventional literature consider heavy? The heaviest weight I have used, while pregnant was a 24kg kettlebell to do deadlifts, which is only 52 pounds. When I think of heavy lifting, I think of 215 pound barbells.

But, I digress. My point is, I have continued with kettlebell and while I’ve made no great strides in the cut of my muscles (infact, my muscles all seem to be hiding under a new layer of fat, I am blaming this on the reintroduction to processed carbs during pregnancy), I still feel strong.¬† And that is important to me, because labor? Labor is the hardest workout of your life.

Pregnancy: Week 28 Update

So, this week, I am 28 weeks pregnant. Which is sort of unbelievable to me.

Today I had my last appointment with my OB here in Idaho, well that is, unless I fail my glucose intolerance test. Yipes!

I had to drink 50grams of glucose 30 mins before my appointment. 20 minutes before I drank the glucose I had a spinace salad with chicken, avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and carrots.¬† I have no idea how this well affect my results, but I was directed to “eat as normal” so that is what I did. Directly after drinking the glucose I felt a little naseous, and I think if I had found myself leaning over the toilet, I could have willed myself to throw up. I kept it down though. We will see how it¬†goes. The juice, was really really gross.

Other than the glucose, my appointment went well. My blood pressure was good, and my weight gain was right on track (3.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks).

I have not done traditional pregnancy updates, but I thought for this post, I would post a few statistics.

Number of Weeks Pregnant: 27 weeks and 6 days.

Number of pounds gained: Aproximately 26. If I continue to gain at a pound a week, I will have gained just under 40 pounds. Oh man. I will not worry, I will not obsess.

Number of total mental breakdowns that I think are related to pregnancy: just one.

Number of months I have lived apart from my husband: 4

Number of maternity pants I own: 8

Number of maternity pants that I like: 5

Number of workouts per week: 3 or 4

Ok, those are all of the numbers I can think of. It’s been a pretty good pregnancy so far, but starting tomorrow I am going to be in my third trimester! Ack! Is this when it is going to start getting hard?

 

You want me to what??

As soon as I got pregnant, I started reading pregnancy books. My favorite book has been Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy.  I found this book to be most comprehsensive, and very, very easy to read. And down to earth. Realistic, but with out scare tactics.

One thing that the authors made abundantly clear, was the importance of exercise during pregnancy. Of course they stressed that a pregnant woman should not START a new regime while pregnant, and should always get exercise cleared by her doctor, etc. In this book, exercise was pretty much listed as the cure for most of the common pregnancy ailments. Tired? Exercise.  Morning Sickness? Exercise. Feeling Bloated? Exercise.

I experienced a decent amount of morning sickness my first tri-mester, and there were some days when all I could manage was walking my dog 1/2 a mile. Eventually, the morning sickness passed, and I was able to exercise more normally again. I say more normally, because let me tell you….pregnancy exercise is so, so different than pre-pregnancy. I recognize that every woman is different, and please, please don’t take my advice on any of this. Please consult your doctor if you are pregnant and interested in exercising.

Prior to getting pregnant my exercise schedule looked a little like this:

Monday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour kettlebell class at noon

Tuesday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour yoga class at noon

Wednesday- early morning walk with dog, 1 hour kettlebell class at noon

Thursday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour yoga class at noon.

Friday- early morning walk with dog

Saturday-long walk with dog

Sunday-rest.

Now? It does¬†NOT look like that. First and foremost, my dog moved with my husband to Wyoming, and it’s REALLY hard¬†to motivate oneself for a 5:30 am walk without the dog’s well being as an incentive. Secondly, every week is different. Sometimes I am tired, sometimes I am just lazy. But¬†I always try to keep in mind that a)exercise is good, and b) rest is also good. It is about finding the balance.

I decided, that my goal for my pregnancy is to work out 4x per week. Two kettlebell classes per week, and then two other sessions, either yoga, or walking. When my husband moved, we let our gym membership lapse, so gym-going is out.  To help me achieve this goal, I created a little exercise chart, with the weeks of my pregnancy on it (as opposed to the weeks done by month) and then seven blank boxes. I fill out a box every time I do a work out. Sorta like a kids chore chart, only minus the yellow stars. Hmm..maybe I should start using yellow stars.

It’s worked pretty well, and I’m happy to report that¬†I USUALLY get 3 or 4¬†workouts in.

So, how is exercise different? Well it’s harder. You have more blood volume when you a pregnant, so everything is harder (at least for me) and I am much quicker to get out of breath. I have made a few modifications to my kettlebell workouts, of course the standard rules for ab work and laying on my back, but also, no jumping (mostly because it makes me have to pee), and no lifting heavy heavy weights. I am sure some people would still consider my workout to be too strenuous, or that I use weights are too heavy, but they work for me, and I have ZERO problem scaling or slowing down when I feel like I need to.

Example: Here with the workout  I did today:

5 minute warm up

10 Kettlebell Windmills on each side. 8kg kettlebell in each hand (the rest of the class did Turkish Get Ups)

20 London Soldiers (marching with straight legs, bringing leg up to parallel, and opposite hand down to leg)

30 Kettlebell Swings. 16kg kettlebell.

20 Bicep Curls. 2 8kg kettlebells

20 Squat Presses. Two 8kg kettlebells

1 lap around the room lunges with no weight.

30 bicep curls with exercise band

30 tricep extensions with exercise bands

30 second plank on each side.

The rest of the class was able to go 2 or more times through. I only made it through the whole cycle 1.5 times. I had to pee, I had to take drink breaks, and it was just plain tough.

The hardest part about pregnant exericse for me, isn’t the physical challenge (im sure that will come as my belly gets bigger), it’s the inability to perform at the level that I am used to, and dealing with the frustrations that brings about.

But, I am going to keep at it, as long as it’s safe for me. Cause exercise is never a bad thing.