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Exercise in pregnancy.....what did you do?

(33 Posts)
whiterose2011 Thu 11-Apr-13 16:03:14

I love running but am a bit nervous about keeping it up. I was thinking about doing a pre-natal Pilates class and swimming twice a week, with one gentle run at the weekend. Does this sound sensible or am I just chickening out??

I'd love to hear others' experiences of what worked well for them in pregnancy and also whether it made a difference to your overall health during your pregnancy/birth/post birth recovery.

TIA xx

Forgetfulmog Thu 11-Apr-13 16:08:29

I walked a bit & ate loads of cake grin

babyradio Thu 11-Apr-13 16:26:20

Sounds fine to me, I do pregnancy yoga once a week, swim once a week. I mean swim too, none of this floating about on my back lark doing a couple of lengths here and there. I have to swim around the grannies a bit but I swim at a womens only session hence why only once a week. Otherwise I try to walk SOMEWHERE every day.

If you've been a runner for a long time you should be able to keep running, maybe ask your midwife if you have concerns.

You don't say how far along you are but I'm 32 weeks and while I don't feel it's making a difference to my overall health in pregnancy (I feel rubbish ALL THE TIME) it makes me feel better just to get up and do something.

One thing I do when swimming, I'll do five lengths as I usually would, two at a slower pace, then have ten seconds rest before doing another set of seven... does that make sense? I'm a good swimmer but just to avoid pushing myself too hard by accident.

Sorry this was long but hope this helps!

I was a keen runner pre-pregnancy. 12k 3-4 times a week, early in the mornings. I cut down to about 6-8k 3 times a week, but random faintness, starting back at work and general inability to motivate myself in the mornings led to me finally giving up at about 24 weeks. Mostly due to having less time and prefering to stay in bed. I'd slowed down quite a lot and enjoyed it when I could get out, but just lost my running mojo. I eventually decided to listen to my body and take it a bit easier. I do miss it and regret stopping, but I just don't know how I'd fit it into my day any more!.

dadofnone Thu 11-Apr-13 16:37:35

I carried on with weights, swimming and step classes right up to the last few days. I took up yoga because I had to give scuba diving up at 6 months.

Hmm thinking about it I did more then than I di now! Better get back to the gym I think!

barbben Thu 11-Apr-13 16:41:42

sounds great to me. you should also advice your doctor.
i go to the pool and its great during pregnancy.

Hadassah Thu 11-Apr-13 16:42:41

You can definitely run. Don't chicken out! I ran my last 10k one week before delivery, and first 5k 13 days after. If you use a heart rate monitor, you will gradually see the heart rate creep up, so if you are aiming for the same effort level, you'll slow down.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 11-Apr-13 16:50:08

Dc1 just regular vomitinggrin
Dc2 pregnancy yoga and some swimming but not too much

cyclecamper Thu 11-Apr-13 17:29:26

I had to give cycling (just didn't have the energy), so I've been doing an aqua class and yoga. I'll have to give up yoga in a couple of weeks (I'm 31 weeks tomorrow) because I'm doing a general class rather than a pregnancy class and the teacher is getting twitchy about it, although she is very good at giving me alternatives to the moves that are unsuitable.

I'd say do what is comfortable and be realistic -I was cycling 20-30 miles a day before I was pregnant and I just couldn't do it - I was getting breathless riding up hills that I do daily and it was taking me nearly 2 hours to get home in the evenings, when it usually takes just over an hour.

CareerGirl01 Thu 11-Apr-13 17:43:01

I've done loads and still at 36 weeks. But I stopped running at 26 weeks and even then I'd scaled it down after finding I was pregnant. Swapped to weights/cross trainer/stationary and reclining bike. Do yoga and Pilates moves gleaned from DVD and classes (used to do ashtanga every morning) as a cool down.
Another lady on the boards worseter was a real inspiration to me. She's had her baby now. I am going to rethink my whole exercise regime post pregnancy - this is no 2 (I stopped exercising with DD1 pg as was too tired) and my last! The running I was doing was ageing me and after having a baby I know how gaunt I will look if I take it up again! Will be spinning, dancing and yoga for me. It was running while pg that I realised how much my joints and bones were being pounded. Shame because its free and easy to fit in my schedule!

ExpatAl Thu 11-Apr-13 18:11:39

Pilates is the way to go! Good for everything pregnancy wise.

HazleNutt Thu 11-Apr-13 19:39:33

Everything, 30 weeks tomorrow and so far have kept up all my normal classes - did Tae Bo yesterday, Bodypump today for example. Still run sometimes, but slowly. Will probably have to switch to pregnancy pilates at some point, but not just yet.
I do believe the exercising has made a difference - I don't have any of the usual complaints like backache.

Zara1984 Thu 11-Apr-13 19:41:10

Until 22 weeks I cycled to work everyday. Then sciatica got me.

I did yoga until late pregnancy.

I also did many bicep curls which involved lifting a forkful of food from plate to mouth grin

VinegarDrinker Thu 11-Apr-13 19:48:19

I'm still cycling my usual commute - 6 miles each way, 4 days a week, albeit slightly less recently due to the shitty weather. I feel so unbelievably better when I cycle. I had to stop due to totally exhaustion and unremitting nausea between about 8 and 14 weeks but apart from that I'm happily keeping going (28+2 now). I really notice a difference in my ability to get up any kind of incline, and I am definitely slower than usual, but I love the feeling of freedom I get on my bile, none of the discomfort, Braxton-Hicks, backache, general heaviness I get when walking.

I swum quite a lot in my last pregnancy but struggle to find the time, working 4 days (plus nights/weekends) with a toddler and a DH who works evenings. Also struggled with finding strokes that didn't aggravate SPD, as I am not a great front-crawler.

Would love to do an antenatal Pilates/yoga thing but they all seem to be in the middle of the day on weekdays.

fibrecruncher Fri 12-Apr-13 11:41:22

Hiya,

You can't really predict how you will feel in any pregnancy. The general advice seems to be if its something you were doing before pregnancy you can continue as long as you feel well. I'm 20 weeks and a dance teacher, I've noticed little things here and there seem to send off a twinge or cramp so I just stop doing them as I discover them smile I find that sitting down is the most uncomfortable and putting on my shoes seems to make me get out of breath! The dancing so far is just fine. I'd say just take it as it comes, you are the only one who can feel what effect things are having on your body, so your in the best place to make a decision about it.

Lavenderhoney Fri 12-Apr-13 11:52:13

Pre dc I ran cross country, swum, Pilates, gym bunny. The moment I got prgnt I abandoned all that due to being so tired all the time and 24 hour nausea. I ate instead, which got rid of the nausea.

I was huge, truly huge with a huge baby 5kg, biggest jeans mothercare had were a bit tight, but had a cs and was back to size 10 in 4 months of bf, gentle Pilates and walking miles with the pram. Same with 2nd prgnt.

I'm a great believer in doing what your body tells you and mine told me to sit down, watch tv and eat lots of nice healthy food. It was quite a walk from the kitchen to the sitting room anywaysmile

I watched a yoga for mums class once when prgnt with my first and could only admire the way these ladies got on the floor and did stretches. I felt quite panicked at the thought - I knew I wouldn't get up againsmile

My mil kept a diary of my weekly weight and fussed I wouldn't get my figure back. I ignored her and had another cheese roll.

I walked a lot. Everyday, at least one hour, if not two. Went for a 3 hour hill walk on the Friday, had baby on the Sunday! (39 weeks).

fibrecruncher Fri 12-Apr-13 14:22:37

lavenderhoney, OMG your mil kept a diary of your weekly weight!! I'd have had two cheese rolls! smile

CareerGirl01 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:03

lavender that's unbelievable!!!

DS1 cycled till 38 weeks (gradually cutting down from 85 to 50 miles per week), horse riding till 25 weeks, gardening, walking, ante-natal yoga.
DS2 cycled till 30 weeks (with DS1 on the back), horse riding till 20 weeks, gardening, walking ante-natal yoga. Would have cycled longer but it was going into winter and long stretches of unlit cycle path aren't ideal.
Mind you, I didn't get morning sickness nor the overwhelming tiredness that many suffer from. Keep up what you normally do while you feel happy about doing it.

upsydaisy33 Fri 12-Apr-13 18:59:55

First pg I did nothing till 14 weeks, then went on hour long walks instead of running. Pulled a muscle in foot at 18 weeks and had to walk with a stick for 6 weeks, doctor said, wrongly, nothing to be done.

Then it snowed and I didnt go anywhere for a week, and it healed, and I started swimming. By 32 weeks was swimming twice a week and from 36 weeks to end was walking up to five miles a day and swimming 3-4 times a week. Was bliss being in water as I was size of an elephant.On day I gave birth walked 4 miles, in what I now know was early labour.

I also did do yoga throughout but it was v gentle. And cycled to work until 38 weeks but only ten minute ride. Yoga teacher phenomenally helpful with how to adjust bike and walking stride to fit changing shape and weight.

Am 14 weeks now and have done nothing from week 6 till last fri, have started swimming and am hoping to keep it up. But if tiredness intervenes I will take my exercise on the sofa, and keep going to yoga.

So it isn't always worse as things go on. For me it got much better and I distinctly remember yoga and walking suddenly getting easier again a couple of weeks before due date, baby descending and ligaments getting stretchy I guess.

CareerGirl01 Fri 12-Apr-13 19:06:26

Yes agree with upsy it does get easier - baby's head is right in my pelvis and it's a bit easier to breathe!

ratticus Fri 12-Apr-13 19:29:49

Does anyone know of any decent exercise books/ DVDs for pregnancy? All the ones i have found have been for very gentle yoga/ pilates, while i am trying... albeit not very successfully, to continue proper exercise for as long as possible.

I can't run anymore due to discomfort and constantly needing the loo, but don't totally want to blob out for the rest of the pregnancy! I'm currently 21 weeks.

bigkidsdidit Fri 12-Apr-13 19:32:27

I haven't done any formal exercise this time as I have a 2yo too and logistically it's really hard. But I still walk 2.5 miles each way to work at 33 weeks. It's the onlyh thing stopping me being massive frankly. Already three people told me today how big my bump is FFS

Lavenderhoney Sat 13-Apr-13 06:20:26

Yes, I think she couldn't believe the change! she always gave me double helpings when we were there thoughsmile

IPreferCats Sat 13-Apr-13 06:37:23

When I was pregnant with my twins, I ran til 17 weeks but then physically could not do it anymore. I continued fast walking to about 24 weeks, and continued swimming til 32 weeks. I was still swimming in the fast lane and overtaking (I suffer from a competitive streak!).

I had a trouble free twin pregnancy, c-section and was running again (pushing the buggy) 5 weeks later.

A lot depends on general fitness levels pre-pregnancy obviously, but there's no need to stop moving. Exercise was my saviour!

megarobotdiscoparty Sat 13-Apr-13 07:53:23

Keen runner and have scaled back a lot but still go for a little trot if my bladder isn't too squished - gone from 10ks to 2ks though with a LOT of walking in between slow jogs (at 35 weeks). Mostly I use cross trainer for cardio now tbh, easier on the joints.

Pilates and weights have helped my achey hips and sore back enormously. Pretty sure I'd be hobbling if I hadn't kept them up. My training has gone from 80/20 cardio/strength to 50/50. I thought I'd be bored but I'm loving it!

Christelle2207 Sat 13-Apr-13 11:59:13

keep going! i am 24 weeks and scaling back running now but my friend carried on till almost the end and credits short labour with keeping fit. your body will tell you when you need to stop.

Thanks for the mention careergirl smile

I'm another keen runner who gave up in early pregnancy (nasty bleed) and adapted my regime to one which with the benefit of hindsight is a lot better for my health, appearance and fitness. It was a personal trainer who pointed out to me that endless running was doing nothing for me other than wreck my joints and burn calories as I find it easy, so I needed to stretch myself in other areas.

During pregnancy I worked on power walking (hilly terrain), squats, lunges, light weights, and worked out weekly with a personal trainer who devised a routine to strengthen and tone back, legs, arms, core. I also swam daily in an outdoor pool (usually 2km at moderate pace) until the weather meant I had to switch to more walking. I was walking approx 5 miles per day until 37 weeks, at which point SPD kicked in. I think next time round I will walk on flatter routes in later pregnancy as I think the steep hills overstrained my pelvis.

My advice is forget you are pregnant and keep up the exercise, just adjust your activities and lower the intensity. Getting hot and sweaty isn't advised, remember you are aiming for a maintenance regime. Also get advice from a qualified instructor as to what is/isn't ok. You need to consider things like protecting your stomach muscles from splitting, possible faintness in the second trimester when your blood volume ramps up, and avoiding lying on your back.

It is definitely worth keeping up the effort as there is evidence that exercise improves blood flow to the baby and gives them the best possible start. I certainly gave birth to a tough healthy little mite who was much bigger than expected given my skinny build. I also found labour much easier than I expected, and walked out of the labour room approx the same size as I was pre pregnancy. 5 weeks later I am back in a size 8, and I haven't had to lose a gram. I didn't curtail what I ate in pregnancy either - I ate loads, and was careful to get enough protein, fat and carbs. All I cared about was growing a healthy baby.

Enjoy your pregnancy.

CareerGirl01 Sat 13-Apr-13 16:16:28

Such great advice worseter defo recommend getting a personal trainer - or someone with an ante natal exercise specialism who can give you advice and/or an adapted workout. I have been doing the oyster (Pilates move) which has helped keep my hips mobile; though I've not suffered from SPD. Cross trainer is great machine to use because you can take the strain with your arms for an all over workout.

whiterose2011 Mon 15-Apr-13 13:25:25

Thanks ladies for all your ideas and suggestions. It's good to see that others have kept going. Think I'll see how I feel over the next few weeks (shattered at the moment) and will just listen to my body! smile

Aoifebelle Mon 15-Apr-13 13:32:55

I am feeling a bit nervy about cycling, normally cycle to work every day - about 5 miles each way. I had a MC last time round, and I suppose I want to avoid all risks (which I know is impssible). I am hoping rational brain will kick in once I am more confident that the pregnacy is sticky.

Also did badminton on Saturday - boobs weren't as much of an issue as I was expecting thankfully. Had brekkie beforehand and was fine on the court, but went shopping after and by the time I got home I was about to pass out with hunger. I definitely be packing snacks in future.

Priya1 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:54:15

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