When I found out I was pregnant I was ECSTATIC! I couldn’t have been happier. However, one of the first symptoms of pregnancy I found was that I didn’t have the same balance I used to have. I’ve always been a clumsy person, but add in pregnancy, and I was even clumsier which I didn’t even know was possible! During my first trimester I sprained my ankle while running (which was a pre-pregnancy workout that I did most often). After that healed the thought of running was too much to handle. Between my changing body and my lack of grace I just couldn’t bring myself to run anymore. Now I know there are lots of people who run throughout their pregnancy, but I’m just not one of them.
I knew that not exercising was not an option. There are so many benefits to both baby and mom for those who exercise throughout pregnancy. I was quickly gaining weight, and always hungry. Exercise was a must, but the type of exercise I did needed to change. So, after my ankle healed here are some exercises that I found productive during pregnancy.
- Workout Videos – There are lots of free workout videos you can find online specifically for pregnancy. You can do anything from cardio, to strength, to yoga. I personally prefer the cardio workouts. I will say that some of the workouts you find online are a little hokey, but they are still a free workout so you can’t complain too much. Here are a few of the free YouTube workout that I enjoyed.
- Speed Walking or Just Walking – About half way though my pregnancy I got a Fitbit HR. Let me tell you this is the number one thing that has helped keep me accountable during my pregnancy. Most days I work from home. Some days the most walking I would get in would be walking from my office to the kitchen a few times a day. Getting the Fitbit helped me realize how inactive I really was! I can get my heart rate up pretty high while walking (and I love that my Fitbit tells me exactly what my heart rate is!). On nice days I would take the dog out for a walk around the neighborhood. On the not-so-nice days (which there were a lot of since most of my pregnancy took place in the winter) I would just do laps around the house. My husband thought I was going a little crazy, but who cares. He loves me anyways!
- Taking the Stairs – I found walking the stairs to be one of the most effective was to get my heart rate up during pregnancy. I live in a house with lots of stairs and I work in an office on the 4th floor. So stairs were an easy convenient way for me to get some exercise. I’m going to have to say that this got more difficult the further I got in my pregnancy, but it never became impossible. I just listened to my body and took the stairs as quickly or slowly as my body would allow. On the days that I did go into the office I would make a point to take lots of breaks (2-3 a day) to simply walk the stairs and get my heart rate up.
- Swimming – I didn’t do much swimming during my pregnancy. However, it is a fantastic aerobic alternative to running during pregnancy. If you access to a pool then I highly recommend giving it a try. You can do laps in the pool, play pool games, or try a pool pregnancy workout.
- Yoga – You can take a prenatal yoga class in your local area or you can find lots of free YouTube videos with prenatal yoga workouts. I loved the prenatal yoga that I did and I credit lots of stretching to alleviating back pain and other ailments I’ve been going though during my pregnancy. Here are a few of my favorite prenatal yoga workouts that I’ve found.
- Local Class – This is by far my favorite. It offers a good sense of community and a customized workout.
- YouTube – YouTube is a great way to get free workouts and to find out if you actually like Yoga during your pregnancy. Here are a few pregnancy yoga workouts that I enjoyed.
- DVDs – If you know you enjoy prenatal yoga then it will probably make sense for you to invest in a prenatal yoga DVD or two. These have longer workouts that offer variety and it’s all offered in a bit more of a polished format which I like.
I don’t claim to be a workout or fitness expert in any way. These are just some things that I enjoyed (or tolerated) doing during pregnancy. Have you found any non-running workouts that have worked for you? If so please share and leave a comment below with the type of workout that you did while you were pregnant.