Exercising during pregnancy has been nothing like I expected. Before I got pregnant, I read blogs about women who were runners prior to pregnancy and kept on going the entire time, namely Janae. She is an absolute rockstar runner and kept it right up during her pregnancy. She ran half marathons and ran training runs several days a week with seemingly no problem! I thought that I could probably just do the same thing.
When I went to the doctor for the first time after I got pregnant, she told me that they don’t want their patients to get their heart rates above 140 bpm. I had been doing the Insanity workout and running when I was actually pregnant, which I’m sure my heart rate got into the 200′s. I always heard that you should continue exercising as you had been doing previously, but listen to your body and if you need a break, take one. Easy enough…
When I went to run for the first time, I realized quickly that at the slowest pace I could run without walking, my heart rate wouldn’t remain below 140 bpm. I was still pre-morning sickness, so this frustrated me. I researched online and found this information was severely dated and other doctors decided against this advice in 1982, yet I was still scared to do anything my doctor told me not to do. Within another week morning sickness set in, I was in the heat of the Arizona summer and the mere thought of running or any intense exercise went out the window until the second trimester.
By the second trimester, I was ready to try it again! I went for a run/walk one day and realized (pre-anemia diagnosis) that I did feel short of breath, dizzy and pressure down under. This is when I realized that running while pregnant simply was not going to happen for me. I realized that several other women had these expectations to run to full term and they, too, had to face that this wasn’t a reality for them. It was a little emotionally tough when I realized this, but I increased my walking (since I was feeling better) and tried to add some strength training and now I feel great about it.
Next week, I will pass into the 3rd trimester and nearly every day of my pregnancy since I’ve known I’ve at least gone for a walk. Currently my exercise routine looks like this:
Walk 3 miles most days of the week and strength train 3-4 days per week.
I leave the gym after the strength training portion of the workout, come home, eat breakfast, and then take Otis for the remaining two miles.
This is working really well for me and I hope that I can keep it up!