Now that I'm entering into my third trimester, I'm starting to feel just how pregnant I really am—especially when it comes to working out. Obviously, my growing baby bump and extra weight make my usual workouts more challenging, but I pay close attention to how my body feels from day to day, which has helped me stay active throughout my pregnancy so far. (Though I have had to tweak my routine ? more on that below.)
Nowadays, it's well established that women who were active before getting pregnant can safely remain active. But, of course, every woman's pregnancy is different and you should talk to your doctor about your current habits or before starting a new exercise routine. That said, here are seven things you need to know about working out during pregnancy.
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Your Body May Tell You to Dial Things Back
Early on in my pregnancy, I noticed that my body was telling me to slow down. I'm an avid CrossFitter and runner, and I immediately noticed how labored my breathing became during cardio workouts. My running pace slowed drastically and I even needed to take breaks in the middle of workouts in order to catch my breath. But I knew I wasn't alone when it came to listening to my body and dialing back on my exercise efforts. In 2011, veteran marathoner Amber Miller ran the Chicago Marathon at 39 weeks pregnant (she had received permission from her doctor to run half the race and walk the other half) and finished in 6:25:50 when her usual time was around 3:30.
You Might Feel More Tired During and After Workouts
I felt a lot more tired during and after my workouts, especially during my first trimester. Initially, I was really surprised and even a bit frustrated, but I knew I needed to listen to my body. After all, it was working hard enough making another human! I didn't beat myself up over my new activity level, and I did what I could. Bonus: Being active actually helped ease some of my morning sickness (at least for a little while) so I still looked forward to my regular workouts.
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You Might Need to Switch Up Your Workouts Entirely
Prior to getting pregnant, I was training for a half-marathon, so I was running a decent amount of miles each week. But toward the end of my first trimester, running became a lot more difficult. I felt like I had no lungs and couldn't breathe, so I cut back on running. My weekly mileage has continued to decline since then, but I don't let it bother me. Instead, I focused my attention on other forms of exercise to keep me moving. Now, I attend regular CrossFit and cycling classes—which I do at my own pace and comfort level—and they agree more with my body and how I'm feeling.