I fell in love with Jess’ blog last year when I stumbled upon one of her kick-butt workouts on Pinterest. When I met her at a Reebok event last November, I thought she was so genuine and full of life.
I reached out to Jess and asked her to share a little bit about her fitness journey now that she’s expecting her first child.
I hope you enjoy her guest post!
Exercising While Pregnant: Gentle Reminders
Greetings PBF readers! I was thrilled when Julie asked me to share my take on exercise and pregnancy and hope it answers questions. I’m 33 weeks along and expecting our first child in early June.
I’m a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, so it’s been important that I continue to exercise while I’m pregnant—it’s my job!
I truly believe exercise has contributed to a, dare I say, enjoyable pregnancy thus far. I haven’t experienced the nausea, swelling, or insomnia that can accompany pregnancy. Fingers crossed it’s like that for the rest of the time!
We can be our own worst critics, so be kind with your self-talk as your body is changing. I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis.
Reminders to My Pregnant Self:
1. This is not just extra weight.
I’m heavier now which makes every exercise I do more difficult. Why do you think weighted vests are popular with sports conditioning? But, this is not just weight…it’s a human being! Your body is working hard to support that life inside, and that is work in itself. So, when fatigue hits you earlier in a workout than before, don’t beat yourself up. Do what you can.
2. Know thyself.
You are pregnant, not dead. If you have been active, stay active. Keep running, walking, strength training, cycling all with your doctor’s consent of course. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a ton of information out there that dictates what we can and can’t do. The guideline of keeping heart rate below 140 bpm has been outdated for decades. The best piece of advice is to listen to your body. If it feels good keep going. If you’re uncomfortable, stop.
3. Reassess your standards.
Prior to becoming pregnant, I was in the best shape I had been in years. So, even if I can’t see the work I’m putting in through more defined abs and arms, I know exercising is better for me and baby–now and post-delivery. There are muscles under there somewhere…right?
4. You are working just as hard.
While I may not be able to do some of the exercises I used to or at the pace I once did, I’m working every bit as hard now. Remember No. 1? That’s a pretty big deal! Do what you can and listen to your body.
5. Swallow the pride pill.
The further into pregnancy you travel, the more you will have to modify exercises. You are human. Your pace will slow and physics simply will not allow you to bend like you once did…I mean, you’re smuggling a basketball!
6. Be a role model.
Many of my clients and class participants have told me how they wished they would have exercised while pregnant. They encourage me to keep going. That in itself is all the motivation I need. Show others being active and pregnant is the norm, not the exception.
If you want to read more about exercise & pregnancy, I have prenatal workouts, videos, and posts listed on my blog for mommies-to-be or anyone traveling this road one day!
Jess Allen is author behind Blonde Ponytail, an NSCA-CSCS trainer, and expecting her first baby in June. Jess resides in Omaha, NE where her husband coaches baseball at Creighton University. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.