34 Weeks-Staying Active while Pregnant

tank from fortwofitness.com

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was determined to keep up my fitness routine for as long as I could. I’ve done a pretty good job of remaining active throughout my pregnancy, but at 34 weeks pregnant, things have definitely slowed way down over here.

In the first trimester, things pretty much stayed the same. Yes, I was nauseous and extremely exhausted, but exercise was the only thing that gave me energy. I continued to run, ride at Flywheel, shake it at Zumba, and participate in Bar Method classes as often as I could. I did tons of planks and worked my core every chance that I got when I learned that it is your core muscles that help with the pushing part of labor.

In the second trimester there was a lot more walking and a little less running, more Bar Method in studio classes in Chicago, and more Zumba. To keep from getting bored, I did a lot of interval/incline walking on the treadmill and downloaded lots of podcasts to listen to. My energy was back to normal, so much so that I even added in a EZ 30 minute Turbo fire DVD from time to time.

And then there’s the third trimester. The final stretch. Running has become a distant memory. Walks with intervals/inclines have been replaced with a more leisurely pace. Weight training, Zumba (1/2 classes) and Bar Method pre-natal DVD still remain in rotation.

Last Thursday, I Stormed the Bastille with my mom and a group of women here in Milwaukee. It’s a 5k run/2 mile walk that’s held in downtown Milwaukee on Thursday night before the Bastille Days festival kicks off for the weekend. I was really excited to do it because participating in a race is on my summer 2012 bucket list AND because it was my first ever night time race.

While we were walking around waiting for the race to start, I got lots of looks from strangers. Some were friendly and encouraging while other glances were the exact opposite. I had one guy say to me, “I know you’re not running this race, are you?” To which I responded, “No, I’m walking.” But what I wanted to say was “YES! And my goal is to win 1st place!” As I walked past an older woman standing around with her friends I overheard, “That’s the fourth pregnant women I’ve seen here. What’s with all these pregnant women thinking they can run?”

If you were active before you were pregnant, there’s no reason (unless your doctor tells you) to stop exercising. Pregnancy is not a time to be lazy and become out of shape. You’re carrying around a lot of extra weight and growing another human being, so this is the time when you should really try to be your healthiest. Not only do I mentally feel better after a good workout, but my body feels less sore, I sleep better at night and I feel somewhat normal in this new body shape. Even in pregnancy, I still have those days where I feel fat or “skinny” and working out helps with those “fat” days.

Besides feeling and looking good for yourself, exercise benefits baby too! Studies have shown that women who participated in a walking program vs. women who led a very sedentary lifestyle had lower blood pressure and lower cases of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

Other benefits to baby?

  • Lower your risk of gestational diabetes by 27%
  • You may boost your child’s athletic potential
  • Smarter children
  • Can improve your baby’s ability to handle the stress of labor and delivery
  • Fewer complications during labor and delivery
  • I plan on working out as long as baby let’s me. With 6 weeks left until my due date, I’m feeling really good for the most part.

    How’s baby doing? baby’s grown to the size of an average cantaloupe. Baby weighs on average about 4 3/4 pounds and is about 18 inches long. Fat layers are filling out and the central nervous system is maturing. I feel like we are finally in a safe zone. Babies born between 34-37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. Or course we’d like baby to stay in a little bit longer, but it gives me some piece of mind knowing in the event of preterm labor, we’d hopefully be okay.

    How am I doing? getting very anxious to meet our little one and to find out if it’s a boy or girl! By next month, our lives will forever be changed for the better and I’m so grateful that I’ve had such a good pregnancy so far. As much as I’ve enjoyed feeling this little one squirm around, the hot summer days are getting to me and I’m ready for the baby. I’ve also been a lot more tired than usual. I can’t remember the last time I had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I’ve been napping a lot more and taking it easy, listening to my body. I commend pregnant women who have other little ones to take care of!

    I’ll be back later this week with a little giveaway!

    Only 3 more weeks until baby is full term 🙂 CRAZY!!

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