If you followed my blog during my first pregnancy you know I was a runner. I ran almost every day up until Lottie was born. I loved running, it gave me the runners high that is addicting and left me feeling strong and accomplished at the end of the day. I knew 24/7 running wasn’t a good exercise plan, but I ignored my better judgement and continued to run. Every day.
What I did wrong:
I didn’t strength train consistently.
I had my days, maybe once a week, where I would do a circuit of push ups, squats, lunges and planks – but it wasn’t consistent. Strength training during pregnancy prepares you for the marathon. It takes a lot of strength to get through labor, not only physically but mentally. Two important exercises to add into your routine are squats and lunges to strengthen your lower body, but you don’t want to forget about the hundreds of other muscles you have in your body. Pregnancy isn’t the time to try to max out your weights, but don’t shy away from lifting. Pay attention to the proper movements and alignment so you won’t injure yourself.
With my second pregnancy I’ve set aside two days each week to add in a strength routine. We purchased a TRX for our home gym and I am doing bodyweight circuits, in addition to using my kettlebells.
I didn’t use support when I ran.
I looked into the belly bands and read reviews, but I honestly couldn’t bring myself to spend the money, not seeing the value. My body was tight and I didn’t feel like I needed the support. After talking to a friend and avid runner who recently had her fourth child she warned me on not using the belly band from her own experience if I plan to have more kids. Your body is already going through so many changes, with the parts that you can control take care of yourself!
For this pregnancy I’m using the belly band when I run and instead of running every day I’m adding in the low impact, but still full body cardio exercise, rowing.
I didn’t cross train.
I know better. If all you do is run, your body and muscles get really good at running, which is why at 39 weeks I could easily make it 3 miles without much thought. But just because my pregnant body was efficient at running, doesn’t mean my body was strong or healthy. I was overusing those running muscles and not exercising everything else enough.
For #2 I plan on cross training, and focusing on full body exercises with a good mix of strength and cardio. I’m going to do this right this time 🙂
The rower and TRX in the basement are great because with a toddler it is a lot harder to make it to the gym. Instead I’m working out during naps, early morning and late evenings at home.
I’ll keep sharing my pregnancy workouts as the trimesters progress, and let’s hope I have a more well-rounded exercise regime with baby #2!