Fitness & pregnancy

You do not have to choose between pregnancy and fitness. Most women are able to continue varying degrees of physical exercise well into their third trimester. While many factors are at play, avid fitness enthusiasts are encouraged to continue their (almost) regular routines with a few modifications. Checking with your doctor first is always recommended, as each pregnancy and each momma is unique. 


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The (Sometimes) Single Mom

Looking for parenting inspiration from a single mom's unique perspective? Everything from relationship issues, to handling parent-teacher conferences when you have the naughty kid in class, to managing a side hustle. Check out The (Sometimes) Single Mom.

 

My fit pregnancy journey as captured on Instagram.

NOTE: Check out the captions for some fun "did-you-know" info, fitness advice, & tips.

What I've found that helps me stay on track the most during this pregnancy is tracking what I eat (My Fitness Pal makes it super easy). It can be really eye opening to see just how many carbs, fats,, and sugars you can inadvertently consume in one day. The first step is always knowing...

Current cardio at #20weeks:

*15 minutes on the stair stepper: 1 minute regular pace, 1 minute skip-a-step (optional kickback), repeat

*15 minutes elliptical: 2 minutes forwards, 2 minutes backwards, repeat (varying resistance and incline throughout depending on fitness level)

*15 minutes cycling: varying resistnace (I like to do hills to mix it up)


FIT Q&A (for those both pregnant and not):

Q: Which nutrient should NOT be consumed during exercise? 

A: Fats. While protein and carbs consumed during your workout can provide energy, fats are not easily digestible, nor absorbed, and may lead to decreased performance.


#39 weeks pregnant —#3 weeks postpartum

It really is incredible what the human body is capable of. This was my second baby and there wasn't anything magical about this pregnancy journey. Staying in shape simply came down to discipline, hard work, and having goals that were greater than my excuses. Treat your body right and it will treat you right. 

EXERCISE: At 3 weeks postpartum, walking is the only doctor approved exercise (I wasn't cleared for weight training for another week). Postpartum exercise for month 1 looked something like: *Birth-Week 2: Rest. *Week 2 - Week 3: Light walking. *Week 3 - Week 4: Moderate walking & light cardio. *Week 4 continuing on: Ease back into weight training slowly.

 


No more gym restrictions!

{4 weeks postpartum} Getting your pre-pregnancy body back takes patience (admittedly, I have zero), discipline, healthy eating, and hard work. It's not impossible to get back to where you started, or even to surpass it. Just realize you will be 10X busier now, so planning and time management are key. No need to rush either...just don't let bad habits post-pregnancy become the new normal.

 

Line above and below my belly button is linea nigra—during pregnancy its caused by an increased melanocyte-stimulating hormone made by the placenta. Ironically, it is more common in darker-pigmented women, yet, I got it during both pregnancies and it took almost 6 months to completely disappear each time.

 

Breastfeeding + Macro Counting: A topic I know very little about (both of my babies were formula fed) and a topic I know quite a bit about!

Tracking macronutrients (carbs, fats, and protein) is critical if you hope to obtain a lean, toned physique. If you breastfeed, this adds another layer of complexity. Breastfeeding moms need to take in more calcium than their non-breastfeeding counterparts in order to supply their bodies with sufficient energy to product milk. Starting or maintaining a strict diet wile breastfeeding may cause your milk supply to slow down or cease entirely. If you're in the first three months after delivery, you'll want to add 300-500 calories to your daily caloric intake. After three months, you'll want to add 100-200  calories. Maintaining balanced nutrition and a healthy lifestyle will ensure you can breastfeed for as long as you like, and will help you avoid putting on extra weight postpartum. 

Well hey there third trimester! #7months

DID YOU KNOW: When you're getting your sweat on this summer, take notice if you end up feeling salty afterwards (like legitimately looking like you have salt on your forehead, etc.) If so, keep hydrating BUT also incorporate more salt into your diet. Ironically, this sweat-salt is a telltale sign that your diet is lacking. 


Bump watch: 18-28 weeks

A fit pregnancy is totally achievable. Keep these weight training pointers in mind: *Choose a weight that allows you to perform the repetitions properly & comfortably. *Weight machines are ideal because they control your range of motion (which is great for pregnant mommas who have relaxed joints and are more prone to injury). *Steer clear of machines that have pads that press against your belly. *Skip the overhead lifts sine they can increase the curve in your spine. *Remember: your ligaments are very flexible right now, so take extra precaution and increase your rest period from 30 seconds to at least 90 seconds between sets. 

 


True or False?Eating for "two"

False: "eating for two" truly only means eating 300-450 extra calories per day. And remember that, aside from obvious contact and intense sports, remaining active is not harmful to your body or your baby. Keep hydrated during fit sessions—even more so that you did before pregnancy, and lastly, find a way to love (or at least like) being pregnant. Babies are much harder to take care of once they are on the outside. And this whole body morphing thing you're doing is actually pretty cool. Take time to appreciate it.


kristi_eide_fit_pregnancy

#39 weeks

Heading to the gym in an attempt to disrupt little man's cozy nest. For those who said persistent exercise would cause pre-term labor... ha, not quite! This brings up an important question though: Does exercise really help induce labor this late in the game? Answers on this are incredibly mixed. Doing deep squats and lunges are said to help the baby engage deeper into the pelvis, but whether or not walking and other forms of low impact exercise really move the needle is a constant topic of debate. However, doing something usually feels better than doing nothing! So 45 minutes of light cardio while I read PEOPLE magazine it is. 

 


1 week post-labor

FUN FACT: It can take up to 2 weeks for the uterus to fit back inside the pelvis, and another 4 for it to shrink back to its original size (hence the persistent "baby bump" bulge). No one prepared me for this when I had my first baby, as I had planned to leave the hospital in my pre-baby jeans. No such luck. 

EXERCISE: None yet except walking the dog around the block. Just letting nature do its thing and spending time cuddling the babe. 


Bouncing back: reality or myth?

Fortunately it's a reality, and you can thank muscle memory for that.  Think of the phrase "...it's like riding a bike..." meaning, you can learn something once and easily pick it back up years later. In its simplest form, muscle memory is when you teach your body how to do something, and your body is then able to create a blueprint from it.

 

 

 

This makes it possible to take some time off from an activity (like intense exercise during pregnancy) and to return to it faster than it took you to learn the exercise in the first place. Muscle memory is not just about recalling how to perform a task, but also how to break down muscle tissue, repair it, and rebuild it. Muscle memory knowledge lets you come back from an injury, surgery, and even pregnancy, faster and easier than before. 

 


Q: Can working out too much do more harm than good?

{Pictured at 1 week postpartum—2.5 weeks postpartum—5 weeks postpartum} 

A: Yup. Hitting the gym daily to burn off those post-baby pounds is NOT a good idea. Overuse can lead to injuries, chronic pain, muscle breakdown, and mental boredom.

Here are signs you are overdoing it:

*You go to the gym everyday but aren't seeing any results. You've reached a plateau and need to mix it up. Play around with volume, intensity, and type of exercise. There is absolutely no need to spend 2 hours at the gym every day in order to see results.

*You are always sore. Some aches and pains are to be expected. However, chronic soreness means your body isn't recovering properly. You need to rest.

*You are dragging ass day in an day out. Exercise should boost energy levels, not drag them down.If you're feeling burned out, you need time off. Reenergize for a few days, maybe even a week, before getting back to it.

*You dread going to the gym. Spending time doing something you hate is definitely not healthy (not physically nor mentally). Make the gym fun again by taking a break, finding a workout buddy, joining a new fitness class, or simply switching up your routine.

Getting your body back after baby isn't a competition. Moderation is key. Learn to love the journey.


Symphysis Pubis Dysfucntion (WTF?)

Yea, I didn't know about this either until I kept getting a repetitive pain in my pelvic area at around 6 months pregnant. Getting out of bed each morning even hurt.

This super annoying (and painful) condition occurs when the pregnancy hormone relaxin causes your pelvic joints to loosen and become unstable.

SPD is somewhat uncommon—most cases aren't severe and go undiagnosed (or are self-diagnosed). Pain is most often felt while doing single leg isolation activities, like going up stairs or getting out of your car (or on a more intense scale, like doing split squats or lunges in the gym). 

The good news? Your joints will stiffen up a few months post-pregnancy and you should feel like your old self again. What can you do about it in the meantime? In severe cases, you may need a pelvic girdle, but in most, you just need to take it easy and decrease pain-causing activities.