Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pregnancy and Exercise

When I told some people that I fully intend on continuing my regular exercise routine while pregnant (with the blessing of my caregiver of course), they gave me a look of disbelief. I haven't stopped exercising since I had gotten pregnant, and since I didn't even find out that I was pregnant until I was pretty much in my eighth week, I had been exercising for at least half my first trimester.

I'm still doing step class and cardio machines. I'm still doing strength training with machine and free weights. My trainer even has me working out on a Bosu to help me with my balance. I still do core exercises, sit ups, and even Pilate's.

However, the intensity has been brought down quite a bit. For instance, I used to do step class with one riser level under the step. This has been removed because I want to keep my heart rate down. I've also lowered the intensity while I do step. Many of the moves I do in Pilate's have been modified, or eliminated entirely. I'm not trying to increase my strength with the weight training so much so as to just keep what I have now, especially since I've been told I'd need that strength to push the baby out and when I have to lug around a 10lb kid for half the day. And as some have pointed out, the continual exercise is to help me maintain my health and not let it deteriorate. It's not the time for me right now to lose the weight, just to stay healthy.

This article also outlines some benefits and exercising mummy has for the baby. Research has shown that for the babies of moderately exercising mothers:
  • Infants are less cranky and less likely to have colic.
  • Infants have less body fat at birth. Some early research suggests that the benefits of lower body fat may translate into a reduction in the incidence of heart disease and diabetes in adulthood.
  • Children have greater neurodevelopment scores in oral language and motor areas when tested at age five.
Believe it or not, I found exercising helped stave off the nausea, even if was only for an hour or so. I still feel like a lump of lard if I don't regularly exercise. And besides the health benefits to myself and for the baby, I still covet and strive for the bikini body. Hopefully by this time next year....


Jessica said...

I envy your commitment to exercise, pregnant or not. I think it's a huge benefit for a pregnant woman, both during the pregnancy, and for recovery. Oh, and for that post-baby body, of course ;)

BeFit-Mom said...

Thanks for promoting fitness during pregnancy. More women need to hear about the tremendous health benefits that prenatal exercises provide.

You mentioned the need to lower your HR. In 2002, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
removed the restriction that pregnant women limit their HRs to less than 140 BPM. Women are now advised to workout at an intensity that they perceive is "somewhat difficult."

Pregnancy and Exercise said...

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