Our good friends Claire Koch and Joy Parrish of the Girls Gone WOD podcast aren’t afraid to lift heavy, work hard, and be a little ridiculous. When Claire got into the groove of keeping up her training while pregnant, we thought we’d ask her how she was doing it. Below are Claire’s 5 tips for staying fit while pregnant.
Being pregnant is an amazing and indescribable experience. But let’s be honest: it’s also sort of a pain in the ass.
If you’re an athlete, you are suddenly faced with the task of adapting your activities to keep you and your future child safe without totally giving up on your fitness. But as long as you have a healthy pregnancy and stay in communication with your doctor, staying active should be a priority from the moment you see that little pink line.
I’m not an expert (and I’m certainly not a doctor) but I have been navigating the ups and downs of working out while pregnant for the past 30 weeks, and I like to think I’ve done a pretty good job so far. Here is what I’ve learned:
1. Make It A Priority From Day One
I like to think about it this way: If I knew I was going to run a marathon in a few months, I would be crazy not to start training for it. Yet many women approach labor and delivery with little more than a few weeks of birthing class under their belt (and a marathon is nothing compared to labor)!
Apart from thinking about your pregnancy as “training” for labor, staying active can help combat things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and even provide health benefits for your baby. Sounds like a priority to me!
2. Find Support & Stay Accountable
My CrossFit trainers were some of the first people I told about my pregnancy–yes, even before I told some of my family members. I knew I would need their support and expert guidance from the get-go, and their input and encouragement have been a huge factor in my ability to keep coming to the gym.
3. Listen To Your Body
Being pregnant means waking up to a totally different body every morning. Some days that body will think running is a great idea. Other days you’ll feel like you’re wearing a fanny pack full of rocks.
Your body changes so rapidly that an exercise that felt great last week could feel awful this week, then go right back to feeling fine next week. Here’s the key: pay attention to those cues and honor them without judgment.
4. Get The Right Gear
Invest in a sports bra that fits your new huge pregnancy boobs. Recognize that even the spandex of your favorite pre-pregnancy leggings has its limits.
And in your second and third trimester, things other than your belly will be swelling, too. Make sure you have the right footwear to help keep your feet and ankles supported and stock up on a few colors of QALO rings so you have something to wear once your wedding ring won’t fit over your swollen fingers anymore!
5. Stick With What You Know
Most articles about exercise usually end with “Get out of your comfort zone!” or “Try something new!” Don’t listen to them when you’re pregnant.
Stick with activities that you and your body are familiar with so that you know how they should feel—and, more importantly, so that you know when a certain exercise stops feeling “normal.” When that happens (and it will happen), modify or adapt to another similar movement–or just skip it altogether.
And on those days where you are feeling stuck, huge, and unmotivated, just remember: you are doing (almost) everything that you did before, except now you’re wearing a 20-pound weight vest.
Which is pretty badass. Keep it up, mama!
Any other women out there with pregnancy advice? Let us know in the comments below!