Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fitness at 22 Weeks Pregnant

I have received a lot of questions about my workout routine while being pregnant. Most people know that I was a runner + gym rat pre-pregnancy, and have wondered how, or if I have changed things now that I am growing a human (weird!). The answer is both yes and no. Yes, the intensity of my workouts have changed, but no, I have not stopped working out.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I was doing some pretty high intensity workouts. For example, a lot of interval running with sprints and weight exercises mixed in. I was also trying some new things like bleacher workouts (in the heat). I absolutely loved the way these workouts challenged me and made me feel, but I was not comfortable continuing them after I saw that "Pregnant 3+" on the stick!

I'll be honest, I have struggled in the past with body image. Typical stuff like just being concerned with every little thing I eat and feeling guilty on the days I don't go to the gym. I was surprised at how quickly a switch in my brain flipped and all of a sudden it just wasn't worth it. I couldn't justify a tough workout when I didn't know whether or not I was putting the baby at risk. There were a few times in classes when I hated having to modify some moves, but I kept telling myself "my baby is worth it, my body image is not."

This was all before I really even got to go to the doctor. I mentioned it before, but we did not go to the doctor until I was almost 11 weeks along. We thought I was only about 7 or 8 weeks, but calculations were off, so I was almost through the first trimester before I finally got to talk to her about my workout routine. She told me not to get my heart rate up too high and that a great way to judge it was by making sure I could talk while I was working out. She also simply stated, "listen to your body."

I have tried my best to do just that, listen to my body. While we were in Europe, this was pretty easy! We walked and walked and walked, and I didn't ever feel the need for a workout (good thing since I didn't bring any workout clothes). Since we've been back, I have continued to workout between 5 and 6 days a week, but my workouts look a little different. I now schedule my trips to the gym around the class schedule and the class instructors. A typical week for me looks like this:

Monday - afternoon body works 
Tuesday - morning boot camp 
Wednesday - morning body works 
Thursday - morning or afternoon body works 
Friday - morning body works 
Saturday - outdoor run 
Sunday - OFF 

Each of the classes above is either preceded or followed by about 30+ steady minutes on the elliptical. This may seem monotonous to some, but I have really enjoyed this routine! Each of these classes pushes me in a different way (they are not all taught by the same person), and each day is perfect for the one it follows. For example, Tuesdays are pretty hard days. Boot camp kicks my booty, but the Wednesday body works class is generally more low key than the others, so it gives me a little break.

I also participated in a Wednesday night 5K run a few times here in Denton. I absolutely loved it, but our schedule hasn't allowed us to go the past couple of weeks. In terms of running, things are much different. Before we left for Europe I was still easily able to run 4+ miles at a slightly slower pace, but nothing too different than before. I even ran a good 6 miles one morning and felt great! The first time I realized that my pace had definitely slowed was when I thought I allowed myself plenty of time to get ready for breakfast with friends on the 4th of July, but when I returned from my run I only had about 10 minutes to shower and get ready...whoops! On Wednesday nights I have been able to run the entire 3.1 miles at a slower pace, but the past two Saturdays that I have gone out to run have turned into more of a walk/run. If I start to feel crampy at all, I take it to a walk. Also, can we talk about the urge to pee?!?! The moment I start to run I feel like I have to pee, but the moment I start walking it's all good again. So weird!!

I'm not sure how my fitness routine will go once school starts back up next week. I am really going to miss going to all of my classes. I may be able to make the 5:45 AM body works classes on Tuesday and Thursday, but I think that will probably be it. Due to the volleyball schedule (practice and games), I can't really make any classes after school. I will probably start planning out a weight routine for myself each week plus cardio. We'll see though, I'll keep you updated!

This is at 22 weeks on Sunday!

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