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Thread: Exercising while pregnant

  1. #1

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    Question Exercising while pregnant

    Hi

    We started trying for a baby this month and I'm hoping I am pregnant (will do a test in the next couple of days). My question is how much exercise can I do in the first trimester? I am quite active and usually work out 4+ times per week (ie. mixture of spinning classes (I do this 2-3 times per week), running (1-2 times) and resistance training (1-2 times)). I read that you are not supposed to let your heart beat go above 150bps or allow your body temperature to get too hot.

    If I am pregnant (ie. if I am, I would be four weeks), is it dangerous that I have been continuing my usual fitness routine? A friend told me that so long as I'm not doing more than I did before then I should be ok (within reason of course).

    I would love to be able to continue my spinning classes. I know that running is not so good for the baby so don't mind if I have to give that up, but I do enjoy my cardio workouts.

    Any info would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Mon


  2. #2

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    I found I was too tired to keep up my normal routine, even walking my daughter too school was a nightmare. My sister in law is a regular runner and she gave up after 7 weeks. I've found you only get your energy back around 15 weeks to lose it again at 28 or so weeks. Do what you can your body will let you know, get plenty of rest and be prepared to be tired in the first couple of weeks. Remember your making a baby.... not an easy task!

  3. #3

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    Ohhh forgot to add try water aerobics, they normally run a pregnancy one, you get to meet other mums and it's less impact on your body!

  4. #4
    Natty Guest

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    You can keep exercising and in fact its important that you do unless you have complications such as having a multiple babies, incompetent cervix, multiple miscarriages etc.

    With my first pregnancy I fell pregnant whilst a competitive runner (national level) and even ran and won a 5000m race when 6 weeks pregnant. I continued running under the supervision of my Obstetrician until the night before we were induced! Both baby and Mum were fighting fit and well!

    This time around (I am nine weeks) I have been ultra paranoid as we had a miscarriage in February. On Monday my Obstetrician (the same as when I had DD) confirmed with an Exercise Physiologist the following guidelines for me to follow:

    a) MOST important - dont let your temperature rise too much. I always take my temperature as soon as I have finished my run. I only run early in the morning and outside (to let the breeze keep me cool) and my temp never goes above 36.5 (I think you shouldnt let it get above 38). They recommended doing the majority of exercise outside as well as you are able to maintain a lower body temp outside.
    b) Dont do more than what you are doing
    c) Dont let yourself go into an anaerobic state. In simple terms dont puff your heart out - save some for baby! My rule is I have to be able to run and talk at the same time (and trust me I sound stupid running on my own at 6am in the dark talking out loud to myself but it keeps me from running too fast and going near an anaerobic state!)
    d) Dont be too concerned about heart rate - temperature and remaining aerobic is most important. If you do want to measure your heart rate and stick to a limit (and dont forget depending on your fitness and the sport you are doing it will vary) they recommended 140-160bpm.

    The only other thing I would suggest you watch out for is as your belly grows you start to pull on your abdominal muscles so you need to back off as it hurts!

    Hope this helps. I know it helped me!

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the info Snoopea and Natty. That does help me a lot. I'll take your advice and just do as much as my body allows me to do, without overdoing it.

  6. #6

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    Cool thread......i was gonna ask the same bout exercising. Im pretty much the same as MonJT with my exercise but was worried i was gonna have to stop spin and pump classes when pregnant. I was reading an article in a gossip magazine about Nicole Kidman how everyone thinks she is overdoing her exercising while being pregnant, they said that you shouldnt raise your temp and break into a sweat as it may only take you a couple minutes to cool down but takes the baby a hell of alot longer too????? They also advised against doing any sort of gym classes like Spin???? Hmmmm i think when the time comes and i am pregnant i will just ask the doc whats good for me to do, may just switch to softer things like water aerobics and pilates???

  7. #7

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    I was advised the same as Natty (although I am definitely NOT a competitive runner :P ) but I was cycling a lot and doing triathlons when I got pregnant.

    The only additional advice I had was with cycling as your centre of gravity shifts when you get a bigger belly you can become unsteady on the bike. You can adjust your posture on the bike but as the belly gets bigger your knees tend to hit it and it puts more strain on your lower back as you leab forward. So you do need to watch those things even on a stationary bike.

    With pump I was told not to do exercises where you lift weights above your head eg. int he shoulder track with shouler presses. I can't remember why though.

  8. #8

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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow_girl_1 View Post
    Cool thread......i was gonna ask the same bout exercising. Im pretty much the same as MonJT with my exercise but was worried i was gonna have to stop spin and pump classes when pregnant. I was reading an article in a gossip magazine about Nicole Kidman how everyone thinks she is overdoing her exercising while being pregnant, they said that you shouldnt raise your temp and break into a sweat as it may only take you a couple minutes to cool down but takes the baby a hell of alot longer too????? They also advised against doing any sort of gym classes like Spin???? Hmmmm i think when the time comes and i am pregnant i will just ask the doc whats good for me to do, may just switch to softer things like water aerobics and pilates???
    Our spin instructors usually ask at the start of the class if there are any injuries or pregnancies. I will have to ask them what the deal is with pregnancies. As it is very easy to get your heart rate up and it's very hot, I would imagine that they tell you that you need to tone it back a bit and not over exert yourself. I will ask at my next class.

  9. #9

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    I agree with the the girls that have posted.

    I have a PT (Personal Trainer) and I see him twice a week, I am still doing weights, a lot of core work (keep those ab muscles tight!!), but a lot of my exercises have been modified and have significantly cut back the amount of weight, I was lifting the equivalent of my own body weight plus a little more. I borrowed a HR monitor from SIL for a couple of weeks so that we could get a good idea what my heart rate was doing, what the recovery times were etc.

    The other major change has been minimising work on my back (especially after about 16 weeks), it blocks off the major artery, cutting blood supply due to the weight of the uterus.

    I have stopped treadmill work due to pelvic instability and it just get too sore doing it, and I did have about a week or two off around the 10 week mark due to some spotting, but been back at the gym since.

    I intend to be exercising up to the birth, I have also started going to yoga and will probably go to aquarobics in the future as well.

    Good luck hope you are UTD really soon, and keep up the work outs

  10. #10
    paradise lost Guest

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    I have an online friend who just ran a marathon in 3hours 11 minutes. Obviously she had to train for that too, and she is currently 27 weeks pregnant. Does that help? LOL.

    As i understand it it is actually very difficult to raise your core body temperature significantly with exercise - you sweat, this keeps you cool. If you could create a dangerously high temperature with exercise triathlete's and marathon runners would be delirious with fever by the time they finished.

    My ob told me that if i managed to create a core temperature rise significant enough to harm my baby i would need hospitalising anyway for my OWN health. Why? Well, ever noticed how when you're PG you sweat more easily, breathe faster and have more skin (big bump + fluid retention + fat)? Your body KNOWS you're pregnant and takes that into account when you exercise. So if you used to jog for 2km before you began to sweat you might find you sweat a lot quicker when PG, not a sign that you're overdoing it, but that your body is protecting the baby like it should. As with pretty much all else with pregnancy, you just need to make sure YOU feel ok, and you can rely on your body to look after bubs. Studies have repeatedly shown no risk to the fetus's of women taking part in strenuous activity, but sadly many obs and midwives don't really know the facts and err on the side of caution.

    Exercise as much as you want, talk to instructors of classes about what to do/stop doing. My pump instructor modifies the abs work as soon as you're showing and goes on taking ladies up to the 34th week. I walked 2 miles and swam 1 mile 2 days before DD was born (she came 11 days after her EDD). If you feel ok then you are.

    Bx

  11. #11

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    hope no one minds me bringing back on old thread, but thought it was easier than starting another new one!

    we're only at the start of the ttc journey but i'm trying to think ahead (and positively!). at the moment i'm about 20-25kg overweight but i have a reasonable level of fitness. as part of my exercise regime i go to see a PT once or twice a week. i do cardio & weights when i'm there. as i have reasonable strong abs (you just can't see them ) i do sit ups with a 3kg weight between my feet & usually holding a 10kg weight above my head.

    if i was to become pregnant i figure this is going to be a big no-no....but what about in the 2 weeks or so before i test? would it be doing damage to be doing extreme sit ups (well, i think they are!) or lifting weights in this time? i know this could all take a while and so i don't really want to be telling the trainer now about something that might not happen for months & months.

    oh yeah - i also overheat pretty quickly! i'm the sort of person with the really pale skin that goes bright red when exercising!

    has anyone else been in a similar position?

  12. #12
    paradise lost Guest

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    I go red when i exercise, when PG i went Redder, quicker, to no detriment to me or the baby.

    The abs exercises you talk about are completely fine probably until the end of the first trimester - you have to protect your abs once the baby is pressing forwards onto them. Until the baby is big enough to create a bump and put extra forward pressure (from your guts as well as the uterus) on your ab muscles you are fine to continue to work those abs

    Tell your PT you're ttc, they will probably know all the pregnancy modifications they'd need to make.

    Bx

  13. #13

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    I agree with what most of the ladies have said - it really depends on what physical condition you were in before you got pregnant.

    Like Natty, I am also a competitive runner and triathlete - I agree that it is not so much that your heart rate should be under a certain number, but like Natty has said, you don't what to run/excerise so hard that you are gasping for breath.

    The hardest I will run is when it feels 'comfortably hard'. I know this is a hard concept to explain, but easy if you are a regular runner. It means I can run but still speak in short sentences.... and I am not feeling over tired. Mostly however, runs are done at a more comfortable pace, and swimming and stationary cycling NEVER seem to elevate my heart rate as much because they are NON impact I suppose.

    I ran 6 days a week for 9 months with my first....no problems. This pregnancy, I am 15 weeks and feeling not so fit, I am older (of course!!) but still managing 5 times a week and swimming 3 times a week.

    Keep cool (exercise is MUCH better OUTSIDE in the cool mornings!). Rest when you are tired........ and don't worry too much.

  14. #14
    Natty Guest

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    Hi Runnermum

    I was really interested to see your comments about cycling and swimming not getting your heart rate up. I have started going on the spin bike at home and on Sunday put the heart rate monitor (just out of interest). My legs were spinning like mad and the most I could get my heart rate up to was 125 and even then I continued to sing songs with my 4 year old DD. After one hour I kind of felt like I hadnt done much at all!

    I have to admit, this time around, my stomach is a LOT bigger, I am more tired (working full time and looking after a four year old) and being older, I am finding it a lot harder to run. Not so sure that I will be running right up until the day before bubbys born like when we were induced with DD!

  15. #15

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    Hi - can anyone recommend a good antenatal yoga dvd? I've heard yoga is great for teaching you to relax for the birth - I think I will need it!
    I joined the gym 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant and have spoken to all the trainers there and they have all said to keep exercising and listen to your body! Must admit that it does get hot sometimes in the gym and is much better walking outside where it is cool!
    Thanks

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