Monday, February 24, 2014

Fitness Workouts while Pregnant: Second Trimester

I am about to wrap up my second trimester of my first (so-far-successful) pregnancy. Staying physically active during pregnancy is so important for many reasons, including these:
  • Maintaining your strength and flexibility, which will help throughout the pregnancy, during labor and delivery, and post-partum
  • Helping you to gain weight at a steady rate to remain healthy and prevent complications such as gestational diabetes
  • Promoting healthy sleep patterns which again helps baby grow!
  • Helps to keep you regular! yeah, I mean that way (see my post on prunes for another way)
Check out yesterday's post on ideas for your first trimester. Today, I will discuss what I've done during my second trimester. You might hear that the second trimester is the best and so far I can confirm (mind you, I've never experienced a third...yet!) Great things happen in your second: your energy increases, hopefully your morning sickness subsides, and you get to see your baby in the ultrasound! This is the trimester to get things done and, as I've found, to increase my fitness regimen a little in preparation for the third trimester and birth!

Second Trimester - Here is what I've done during my second trimester:

  • Strength Training 2-4 times per week. I have been able to increase my weights a slight amount from what I lifted during the first trimester, but I am still keeping them lower than what I lifted pre-pregnancy.
  • Running 2-4 times and walking 2-4 times per week. I took a little break after my race in October, but when the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge came around, I finally used it as a kick in the Bootie to get back out running. I definitely felt much better during this trimester, but that bladder still seems so small when you start to jog! haha!
  • Yoga 1-7 times per week. During the challenge, I started incorporating 20 minutes of yoga practice at home to work on my flexibility and to help release some back pain that I'd created. 
  • Group Fitness/Cardio and Core classes 2-4 times per week. With the return of my energy, and the kick in the Bootie of the HBBC, I was encouraged to get to the gym for several group classes, to include BodyCombat, CXWORX (core), cycling, and dancing (Sh'Bam and Zumba)
Now, you may add all of these up and say, "Sam, there is no way you were doing 20+ classes/workouts a week." You would be right, my activity flowed from week to week, but I have managed to be pretty consistent in just staying active and I think that is key!

  • I've had to make some modifications to my strength training (BodyPump and CXWORX):
    • I have widened my squats to account for my change in balance and I also need to modify my range of motion on squats on certain days. 
    • I do most of my plank work on my knees now because I started noticing more pulls in my belly and so, while trying to maintain core strength, I don't want to injure my belly either.
    • Prone lying poses are out right now. When we do leg raises or belly poses, I modify to something on my knees. For leg raises, or supermans, I kneel on all fours and do leg lifts and/or arm raises to try and mimic what the actual move is and still reach similar muscles.
  • Yoga  - the second trimester is where you really need to start modifying yoga to fit your pregnancy. I will post next week on body changes and modifications.
  • BodyCombat/Kickboxing - I can still do the majority of BodyCombat, but I pull back on the intensity as needed. I do not do most of the plyometric moves and just choose the lower options offered of either marching in place, lightly jogging in place, or just staying on the ground when the high jumps are involved. I also do lower kicks of all varieties so as not to overstretch my hamstrings. But I can definitely still get a good sweat and strength workout in even with these modifications.
  • Cycling - Last night during cycling is the first time that I felt it really affect my belly, but that is because mine is just starting through it's biggest growth spurt. During some challenging portions of the ride, I felt some pulling in my belly that was a new sensation, not like I've felt while running. Regardless, when I felt this, I just dialed back the intensity until the feeling subsided and then i jumped back into my groove.
  • Utilize your resources- If you do take group fitness classes, head to class a little early and talk with your instructor about modifications that you can make throughout the class. Your instructor will work with you to make sure you are getting a good workout, but in a safe way for both you and your little one.
Always remember to consult your physician prior to engaging in a new exercise regimen while pregnant. But remember that it is your body and you know when something doesn't feel right! Moderation and balance in fitness and rest during your second trimester will reap great benefits for both you and your growing baby!

P.S. I wrote this while actually in my second trimester....and my little CAT is now 10 months old. I forgot to actually post this! Oops! Please forgive me! :)

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