I’m Pregnant! Can I Workout?

20130919-_MG_2437As soon as I get pregnant, the first question most people who know me ask is, “how much longer are you going to workout?” If I’m honest, this question makes me crazy; but I usually smile and say, “as long as my midwife says it’s okay” (which is true). The frequency of this question and the trend that I see of moms stopping whatever exercise they are doing when they become pregnant tells me that there are some misconceived ideas about exercise during pregnancy! I know we have come a long way since the 50’s when a woman would find out she was pregnant and then (according to my grandma) would barely be allowed to walk (unless it was for house chores, of course). I’ve learned so much about fitness and pregnancy since my first pregnancy four years ago, as well as becoming a fitness instructor myself. In a nutshell, you NEED exercise when you’re not pregnant and in the MAJORITY of cases, you BENEFIT from exercise when you ARE pregnant!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine (CDC-ACSM) have recommended the accumulation of thirty minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. This recommendation is encouraged for pregnant women, as well. It is important to make talking to your OB/GYN about your health and exercise routine a priority because there are some circumstances where continuing the same exercise regimen as you were previously doing would not be advised. Exercise throughout pregnancy for the majority of pregnant woman can be very positive and helpful! The American College of Obestricians and Gynocologists say, “Despite the fact that pregnancy is associated with profound anatomical and physiological changes, there are few instances that should preclude otherwise healthy, pregnant women from following the same recommendations as non pregnant women.”
You are probably thinking right now that working out while pregnant does NOT sound very positive or helpful to me! I feel like throwing up, lying on the couch, or eating Doritos! I get it. I’m twelve weeks pregnant with my third child right now, and all the above options sound amazing and sometimes they ARE necessary! 😉 From my personal experience, here are the positives to pushing through and trying to maintain a healthy workout routine while pregnant:
POSITIVES
  1. Helps fight pregnancy fatigue – sometimes a midday walk or an evening prenatal yoga class can be just the trick to help fight the EXTREME fatigue that comes with pregnancy.
  2. Helps with the slow bowels – just being honest, most pregnant women realize that things are not moving through their system as quick when prego! An active body encourages active bowels … so get moving!
  3. Helps with labor – Most women believe that exercise throughout pregnancy helps your body and your baby endure labor. Having had two babies, I’ll say that labor is the hardest workout I’ve ever done (and I teach BOOT CAMP), so why not prepare your body for the biggest workout of your life (labor)?
  4. Helps with that POST-baby body – exercising during pregnancy will encourage a quicker recovery post-baby and hopefully help you to slip back into a  good exercise routine after the baby comes! And who knows? Maybe it will make it possible to zip up those pre-pregnancy jeans again someday!
  5. Helps fight the grumps – your hormones are wild while pregnant … every little thing makes you laugh too hard, get too angry, or cry too easy. We are so emotional that we NEED the endorphins that exercise produces to stop us from going crazy while pregnant! 🙂
 Moms, I want to hear from you! Do you notice the positives of exercising during pregnancy? What are your tips or tricks to sneak in exercise while you’re pregnant and not feeling up to it?
Get excited about following along on my journey of staying fit and HEALTHY during my third pregnancy. Pregnancy and fitness tips, hot topics related to pregnancy, and so much more will be included in this series titled Pregnant & Fit?! Is it possible? 
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"Jenn is a Special Education teacher turned health enthusiast. Most days she can be found chasing her three kids (4,2, and 8 months) around some park in Kansas City wearing workout clothes and sweaty hair. Jenn is an ACE Certified group fitness instructor and loves teaching group fitness classes around KC. She is also a NETA certified Wellness Coach. You can visit Jenn's wellness coaching website at http://www.jennmarasco.com .Jenn is crazy in love with her husband of seven years, Matthew. Their idea of a great date includes playing or attending some type of sporting event followed by a delicious meal from a local KC restaurant. Jenn and Matt lived in the Midtown neighborhood of KC for four years and recently moved to Overland Park."