Before getting pregnant I was super active. Running, road biking, mountain biking, free weights, yoga….you name it, I probably have tried it! Once I found out I was pregnant with the twins, I knew I would have to tone down my activity level, but also still wanted to stay as active as possible during pregnancy. Sitting still is not my strong suit so I had to get creative on what worked best for me and my ever growing baby bump. One of the things that I love about my OB-GYN is that she understands and values the importance of staying active during pregnancy, but also is realistic about what is healthy. She is a marathon runner and has twin girls herself. For the first 20 weeks, her rule of thumb was I was fine to continue most activities as long as I could continue a conversation while doing them. Once I reached 20 weeks, she had me tone my activity level down some more. Of course I couldn’t do potentially dangerous activities such as mountain biking because of the risk of falling while clipped in, but besides that, I could still do modified versions of most activities. The one thing I had to cut out by 12 weeks was running. I could have physically continued running, but having to stop every two minutes to use the restroom was not enjoyable. As with anything else, always consult your physician to determine what activities are ok for you during pregnancy.
Since I quickly get bored of the same workout routines, I wanted to share a couple of ideas and resources that I have enjoyed throughout my pregnancy.
- Prenatal Yoga – With all the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy, yoga is a great way to stay relaxed and flexible. I took several regular yoga classes at local studios and just asked the instructor to provide modifications, especially for moves that required me to lie flat on my back (avoid laying flat on your back after you reach 16 weeks). YouTube also has great prenatal yoga videos that are free! One of my favorite accounts is Sarah Beth Yoga. She has several prenatal specific videos that worked well for me.
- Barre Classes – Barre Classes are great because they use low-impact moves to provide a full-body workout, toning your hips, thighs, glutes, abdominals and arms. The instructor can provide modifications when it comes to abdominal exercises. There are many Barre Studios such as Pure Barre or The Bar Method, but also online options too. I have heard great things about barre3.
- Free Weights – While my free weight use has trickled off the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I enjoyed using them earlier on. When it comes to workouts, I prefer to have a routine to follow and found Michelle Marie Fit’s “Fit Mom-to-Be” workouts very helpful. You get a new pregnancy workout each month, which consists of three separate workouts that have both a gym and at home version. I only purchased a few months worth of workouts and then mixed and matched what I had. I also liked this pregnancy workout video I found on YouTube created by Angelina Layton.
- Diary of a Fit Mommy – This website is by far one of the best resources I have found when it comes to staying active while pregnant. It provides numerous workout routines and tips. She also has lots of ideas on how to incorporate fitness into your life as a new mom.
- Walking – It may sound obvious, but I have found that even when I don’t have time to actually workout, even going for a short walk makes a difference. Since we have three active dogs, they make sure to remind me they still need their daily walks. I also try to take a short walk at work to keep from sitting at my desk too long.
Tank: Blanqi | Leggings: Lululemon | Sports Bra: Target | Shoes: Nike Old, Similar
Since I will be having a C-section, I know it will be a little while before I can be as active as I was pre-pregnancy, but I am looking forward to wearing cute workout clothes again. Since I am long-waisted to begin with, all of my maternity shirts are too short at this point so I have resorted to wearing Austin’s t-shirts and even those are somewhat questionable. There is one tank though that I could not live without and wish I had ordered earlier in my pregnancy. It is the Blanqi Maternity Belly Support Tanktop. It provides compression and support in all the right places, is great for working out, but also pairs wonderful with a cardigan and jeans. It is a bit pricey, but I promise you it is worth every dollar, especially if you are carrying multiples.