I know being pregnant is the perfect excuse to become a couch potato. Eat every 5 minutes, sleep, eat again and probably sleep again – I know because I have done that before! At the end of the pregnancy, my weight gain was a whooping 40 lbs (I was heavier than my father!).
I was lazy in my last pregnancy (I blame the cold Japan weather haha) but this time is different, I have energy and I actually love exercising! I was taking it slow by walking only until the 10th week but after that, I’m back at the gym (of course after my doctor said I’m ok to go).
My gym buddy for the past year didn’t even suspect that I was pregnant (until I told her a few days ago). We were exercising 5 days a week at a nearby gym during our lunch break and while she has noticed that I have gone ‘low impact’ on my routine, she didn’t think it was because I was pregnant.
Because I told her I sprained my ankle a few months ago. Which is not entirely true – I just didn’t want to tell her yet.
After I told her that yes, I am indeed pregnant (after she pointed out that my hips have expanded, have I eaten too much bread) she started to worry about me at the gym every 5 minutes.
“Are you ok?”
“Please tell me if you’re in pain…if you feel dizzy..”
“Is that dumbbell ok? It’s 4 kgs!”
“Pregnant women in my country are not allowed to lift anything! or walk for more than 5 minutes!”
I get where her worries are coming from but exercise during pregnancy has benefits (at least for me):
- Relieves back aches brought about by long hours of sitting at work
- Improves my moods
- Help me sleep better
- Keep weight gain at logical levels (I didn’t exercise on my last pregnancy and gained 40 lbs)
- Keeps my vitals (Blood pressure and sugar most especially) at normal
* Additional benefits of exercise during pregnancy, some studies have shown that exercise may even lower a woman’s risk of complications, like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
I wear a race trainer heart rate monitor watch that reads my heart beat rate. It is important for pregnant women not to exceed 140 beats per minute when exercising.
I’m not doing anything drastic – in case any family member is reading this – you don’t need to cringe at the thought that I am still going to the gym. I am only doing mild exercising like walking on the treadmill or doing ellipticals for 30 minutes, strength training with less weights and doing lots of squats and swimming once a week.
Moms, did you exercise when you were pregnant?
* Do remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. If you’re pregnant and have not exercised before, please check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.