Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: 4 Tips to Staying Active As A Fit Mom To Be

Friday, January 17, 2014

4 Tips to Staying Active As A Fit Mom To Be

I have just over 5 weeks until my first 1/2 marathon! I AM GETTING SO VERY EXCITED! This weekend is the Tinkerbell half Marathon at Disneyland. My friend Kat and I almost signed up for it but decided against and and to try it another year. I could have been running a 1/2 marathon this weekend! EEK! That is kind of scary.  But my training for the Princess Half is coming along quite nicely!

Yesterday in prenatal yoga I mentioned that I only have about 5 weeks until the race and all the women's jaws dropped with the fact that I am still running, let alone training for a 1/2 while pregnant. I also saw my doc yesterday for my monthly checkup and he was very proud of me for my training, and my lack of weight gain. My blood pressure is better than average, my weight per his records has only gone up 4 lbs and that is because I lost so much and I am slowly gaining it back, still 2 lbs under what I was when I got pregnant by the way.  Baby sounds great, and looks great per the ultrasound. He said, this is how pregnancy should be. Continuing what you were doing before and having fun with it.

So as a momma to be my question to you is, how can we continue to exercise and be fit when we don't feel so fit, or in the beginning really like doing anything at all? It is hard. I tell this all the women I talk to. It is hard to get that motivation to go running most days, even now at 23 weeks. I still would rather just lounge on the couch or in my bed staying nice and warm and comfy than go to the gym and exercise. But exercising while pregnant is pretty cool. I am still getting tons of looks at the gym when I am running, because I look pregnant now and it is just not common to see a pregnant lady running. (plus the older generation were told not to run at all or had specific rules which have since changed but they might not know about those changes) I also get a lot of "good job!, great workout" too which is pretty cool because I look pregnant and I am still working my body! But I feel so empowered and I know I am doing something good for my body and for my baby. And he likes the bouncy ride too. Here are some tips to help you get back into exercising while pregnant even if you are just newly pregnant or if you are 38 weeks and are going to do some serious walking to get that baby out!

Start small-
If you haven't exercised in months or years or ever. Do not go to the gym and decide to start walking/running 4 miles in one day. You might feel great after you finish but your legs and feet will be barking at you tomorrow. YOU MUST START SMALL! Make it more of a time thing than distance. Don't go too fast, maybe just a little faster than you would normally walk so that you are doing something different. Start with 30 min at a 3.2-3.5. If you feel yourself struggling to keep up with that speed, slow down. If you sign up for a class for the first time, stand in the back or to the side, and take it easy. Allow yourself 2-3 classes to learn the moves and get the groove of things. Also look for shorter timed classes as taking an hour step class is a very long class, or choose a machine that lets you look in on the class to get a sense of what they do.

Pain vs Soreness-
Know the difference between being sore and having pain. Yes, after your first exercise like the day after, you will be sore. It is ok. You feet will ache, your muscles in your legs will be tight and won't really let you walk all that much, or if you lift for the first time ever you might have a hard time lifting your arms up to brush your hair or teeth. Been there. Felt that. Biggest thing go walk again that day. It will help get the soreness out by moving the lactic acid around and getting it out of your system. That is what makes you sore. The lactic acid being released from your muscles, oh and the little micro tears but they are ok too. But go walk it off. It will feel better. I promise. Pain is different on the other hand. Right now my feet are sore after I do my long runs. But if my knee really hurts than that is cause for concern. Usually muscles are sore. Joints are pain. Think about that in your sore/pain assessment after you exercise. If you have pain, ice it and take a day or 2 off to let it heal and try to think about what you did to make that pain, don't do it again. Maybe you stepped wrong in the step class, or your knee didn't like the 4 miles you did because it wasn't conditioned to do it. Think about what you did and try not to repeat it again for awhile.

This is the biggest thing. After you exercise you must stretch. No before. Don't stretch before. After! Take some time, a good 15 min really to get a really good stretch. Stretch your whole body. It will feel good. I am having a hard time stretching right now because some of my favorite stretches I can't do anymore because of my belly. IT Stretch. I miss you! But I still do the old fashion sit on the floor and stretch my hamstrings. If I really need a good stretch then I also have my foam roller which is a great device to help move that lactic acid around. But take the time. Even if you walk, stretch out and don't forget to get your upper body too. Your shoulders were working, your arms were working, stretch them out too. Show them the love!

Water. You must drink water before, during and after you exercise. It is really important again to stay hydrated. If you feel thirsty than you should have already drank something! So drink and drink a little more. Try not to drink too much water while exercising so you don't get that sloshing feeling or puky feeling, that is why drink before. After you exercise it is important to drink because it helps to flush that nasty lactic acid out of your system. Drink a glass of water before the gym drink during and then drink another glass after the gym and during the rest of the day. WATER is the key too. No fruit juices, or sugar drinks. WATER. We are made up of 80% of the stuff it is the stuff we should be drinking!

In all honestly these are things that we already know. I am not a fitness expert or a doctor but we have heard these rules a thousand times. These are the things I follow too. Last summer I started small with the running and now I am up to 7.5 miles. Progress is a great thing! We need to be reminded of them every now and then. I was last night at a church activity and that is why I wanted to write about it today. We all need a reminder.

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