As my pregnancy progresses, I’m becoming increasingly aware that I’m umm.. yeah.. pregnant! Ding ding.. This means that my usual workouts are getting harder, my body aches here and there from the relaxin hormone that comes with pregnancy, my growing belly gets in the way, and (tmi?) my bladder thinks I’m crazy to be moving at all.
Are ya on the same page? It’d be so easy to just give up workout out at all, especially with all the people who say you’ve earned it, you’re pregnant! Sound familiar? But seriously, don’t we want to try to stay healthy while growing a little human?
Here are my top 4 tips to modify your workout during pregnancy so you’re still staying fit:
- Widen your stance. For squats, lunges, even child’s pose, it’s helpful to widen your stance. You’re creating extra space for your baby belly, plus you’ll have better balance.
- Go for less or no impact. Are you used to doing cardio? Tone it down a bit. You’ve probably noticed that all that jostling of your body just doesn’t feel good after the 1st trimester. The workout programs I do all have modifiers, so there are always low to no-impact versions of the moves. My current favourite is PiYo, which I am now having to cut out any little bit of impact there is. Another great program with easy-to-follow modifications is 21 Day Fix.
- Slow things down. You just may not be able to move as fast as you’re used to. Remember to slow things down in order to prevent injury. Most of our bodies are more prone to pulling muscles while pregnant since everything’s a bit looser than normal.
- Go easy on the ab work. Here’s one I’m struggling with. I want to push myself and feel like I’m working, but at the same time I really want to avoid diastasis recti (abdominal separation).. Yeah, SCARY! This is common, so it’s good to be careful of what you’re making those abs do while pregnant. Pay close attention, and if you think you’re straining those muscles, modify or cut out that exercise all-together.
- (BONUS): Set your ego at the door. Yep. I don’t think you should have a free pass to sit on the couch or skip exercise completely, but when you are working out, you need to remember that your body isn’t the same as a few months ago. It’s going through a lot of changes, and it’s expected that you may have to take things back a notch at some point. Don’t feel bad about that! You can add in more upper body strength work if you’re really feeling bad, but I like to think that the workouts I’m doing are still setting myself up for a healthy pregnancy and a much easier road back to being fit after my sweet baby is born.