I've never been one of those people who finds it hard to motivate myself to workout. I've just been active my whole life! From training 6 days a week at ballet school, to then performing around 8 shows a week while touring, to working out 6 days a week in the gym – sometimes even twice a day if I had the time/energy!
Before I got pregnant, my training hadn't been normal for a while, as I had actually been suffering with Glandular Fever. I was told by the doctors just over a year ago that I had it, and I needed to slow down and rest! Rest? What is that? I don't think I'd ever rested in my life?! It was a really testing time for me, the battle of listening to my body, rather than letting my passion to workout and be on-the-go overrule me! A Personal Trainer, that can't train.. infuriating! Anyway... back to when I got pregnant, my training hadn't been as good as it had been for around the past 6 months. Funnily enough, this actually made the transition into adapting my workouts for pregnancy quite easy!
During the first trimester, I found it hard to do much at all as my sickness was so bad (as described in my morning sickness blog post). If I wasn't delivering PT sessions to my clients, I was curled up in bed trying not to throw up. I started managing to train again around 15 weeks and would try to train 3-4 times a week. My workouts consisted of 30-45mins of steady cardio, keeping my heart rate around 140bmp. Then followed by 30mins of weights. I would use the cross-trainer, spin bike or walk on the treadmill on a high incline for the cardio part of my workout. For my weights, I would do a little lighter than normal (as I hadn't been at my normal standard for a while due to the glandular fever), but I'd do high repetitions in each set. Then I'd stretch out and used the foam roller. I kept up this routine till I was around 25 weeks. At 25 weeks I found myself really starting to struggle as I was getting out of breath quickly due to my bump growing very big very quickly. I also started to get tired more easily. So I decided to change up my routine again.
I'm now 31 weeks, and the only working out I do is a lot of walking! Either round town, in the park etc. I find it's very therapeutic and I can keep going for a good couple of hours (until my bladder interrupts me!) It's not much, I wish I was up to doing a lot more! But lots of walking is just the right amount for me to feel satisfied that I've not been sat on my bum all day. It's especially nice getting outside now that the weather is getting warmer and sunnier, you can't beat the fresh air and sunshine!
It is frustrating looking back on what I used to be able to accomplish in the gym compared to what I do now. As said at the beginning, it's just not me to be someone who doesn't workout! I don't do it for aesthetics, although I'm not going to lie, seeing abs and tone on my body does make me feel good! But it is more the fact I absolutely ENJOY working out, it's not a chore, it's my release, my escape, my happy place! I just have to keep reminding myself that I will get back there post baby. It's not that much longer till I will start training again properly and get super sweaty!
I think if I hadn't gotten ill with the glandular fever before becoming pregnant, I probably would've been able to keep up more of my training at a higher intensity (obviously within reason to protect myself and my baby), and I more than likely would've kept going for longer! Then again, I had no idea how my body would be being pregnant! I always used to imagine that when I got pregnant, I wanted to be one of those super women that could keep going till I pop, have the healthiest diet, and glow 24/7. Some of that is possible, but until you do get pregnant you just don't realise how much you need to take a step back, listen to your body and do what is best for the baby growing inside of you! While she is in my tummy, she is my priority.
Something I haven't done much of in the terms of exercise is swimming or pregnancy yoga. Both of which are recommended as they have low impact on the body. In all honesty, I like the idea of swimming more than actually doing it. I've never really been a pool kind of person! Even on holidays, I'd rather sunbathe around the pool then actually go in it! The yoga, this didn't work out for me as I physically couldn't find a class at the right time and location that catered around my PT work. However, I am pretty lucky from my ballet background (and from the few yoga classes I have done in my lifetime), I can do a variation on my own and include some stretching and Pilates too. With only 9 weeks or possibly less to go, I highly doubt I'm suddenly going to have an urge to start swimming and yoga this pregnancy. However it is definitely something I will be more willing to try in my next pregnancy!
Looking to the future...
I see post birth as my fresh start. From a year and a half of ups and downs, physical challenges and changes, I plan on wiping the slate clean and build up my training again steadily from scratch. Focusing on my technique in everything I do, gradually building my strength back up, and conditioning my body to maintain my flexibility and mobility. I've had a good amount of time to decide what areas I wish to focus on and what my specific fitness goals are. The realisation of juggling life, training and work, with a newborn baby... I do understand it may take awhile to get my body and fitness levels back to where I want them to be. But I feel determined. It's going to be a long steady process and hard work, nothing happens overnight! But I am so eager to get going again!
In this post I have been 100% honest. My old expectations that I used to have years ago of training while pregnant just didn't match up. I do feel the glandular fever played a big role in this, but the sickness and tiredness have also caught me by surprise! Ladies... I know it is advised to stay active during pregnancy, not only for yours and the babies health, but also because of factors like making labour easier! All I can say from my experience, (and this is coming from a Personal Trainer remember..) is just do your best, even if it does end up being lots of long walks, that's much better than sitting on your bum. As long as you are doing the best you can, that's all that matters, and DON'T compare yourself to others. Growing a human being is hard and different for every women!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. It's something I felt a little nervous about writing, as I wanted to be a better role model being in the fitness industry and preach about exercise in pregnancy... But I have been totally honest with you, which I think is far more important and hopefully lots of women can relate with my experience. Looking forward, (despite the challenges of being a first time mum,) I know because I am normally and naturally very active, I will get going again as soon as I can post birth and feel more like myself again!
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