Do you get-it-ON at the gym? Always giving your all at boot camps, aerobics classes, CrossFit, Orange Theory, and running + lifting circuits?
I am. (But I seriously don’t judge anyone who isn't!)
I’ve always wondered why I love these classes so much. Especially once I learned not everyone is hardwired that same intense-energy way. I remember being shocked when my youth-league soccer teammates dreaded our conditioning practices. Whereas for me--if conditioning was the sport itself, I’d have been quite content. Perhaps I’m drawn to high-intensity workouts because I have such a mild temperament. It’s a space where I can feel strong and fast without worrying about the emotional sequelae of others. Or maybe it’s my brain, so strongly calibrated toward efficiency, that leads me to want to get “the most” out of a workout.
My sister (who is a daily morning runner) and I laugh at the things bystanders will yell out as we jog past. Things like "You're so brave!" or "You're an industrious soul!"
These people mean well. They want to say something encouraging and supportive. But it comes out awkwardly, as we run by. And it's hard to respond when you're so out of breath!
So, if you put yourself in this type of exercise category. Whether you're a runner, weight lifter, or CrossFitter. Let’s take a minute to look at what’s safe and advisable while pregnant.
The simplest way to double-check if you are in a safe heart rate zone while pregnant is if you can still talk while working out.
This is called the “Talk Test” and generally ensures that you are staying within the recommended “moderate” intensity.
Here are some other guidelines:
The best combo is to combine monitoring your Heart Rate + Rate of Perceived Exertion + the Talk Test.
Also, be aware that your blood pressure and blood sugar levels might be extra sensitive, too.
While pregnant you are turning a HIIT workout into a MIIT workout. Moderate intensity interval training.
Pregnancy is not the time to compete with yourself. Take a maintenance approach. All athletes have “down-time” and/or cross-training seasons. While pregnant, your body is adding fluid, pressure, and more of an extra human being every day. So even though you may feel like you’re doing less...the amount of load you’re carrying is more. At times, less “work” is challenging your body just as much as if you were doing more reps.
We are modifying for a few reasons:
You can also think about this time as a time to cross-train. Hop into a yoga class. Find a pool. Go for a walk in a new neighborhood. Ride a stationary bike.
Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any specific questions about how to modify your workout while pregnant. I’ll do my best to brainstorm with you and come up with the most evidence-based options we can!
Please clear all exercises while pregnant with your doctor and/or healthcare team. If you experience any signs of dizziness, shortness of breath, contractions, bleeding, or pain stop immediately.
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