In the last of our 3 part pregnancy fitness series, we've asked Amanda Chalmers, a personal trainer and owner of CrossFit Equipped in Brisbane has some advice for women you are already fit, healthy and active. During her pregnancy she recorded her own exercise experience and gave birth to her first son, Levi in 2010.
Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
"If you’ve never heard of “CrossFit” before, it’s a strength and conditioning program that uses Olympic weightlifting; basic gymnastics and plyometrics; and works all the metabolic pathways (running, swimming, biking etc). Our workouts are short, intense, heavy and hard.
To date, there’s not a lot of research on the effects of high intensity, load based exercise on pregnancy, so when I learned I was pregnant, I immediately sought the advice of my OBGYN. Given I had been doing this type of exercise for many years and that CrossFit workouts are short (generally 20mins or less), he supported me to continue on with regular check ups and monitoring. If you’re interested in exactly what I did, I logged every workout on a blog and even videoed some: www.amandafitpregnancy.tumblr.
Over the entire 40 weeks, I worked out 3 to 4 times a week using kettlebells, barbells, skipping ropes, rowing machines and continued to do chin ups, push ups, dips and hill sprints. However, a word of caution – if you’ve never done intense heavy workouts, after you conceive, is not the time to start.
From a safety point of view, I did the following:
- Listened to my body. If something was uncomfortable, hurt or simply felt weird. I didn't do it.
- If I started to feel like I was really breathing heavily, I slowed down or stopped until my breathing normalised and I felt comfortable to continue.
- I kept myself cool during workouts by sipping on water and putting an ice pack on the back of my neck when required.
- I backed off the heavy weights toward the end of my pregnancy as the hormone relaxin started to affect my mobility.
- I always worked out with other people so if something unexpected occured, there would be help on hand.
Levi was born at 40 weeks, weighing 3.8kg. He’s now 1 year old and very happy and healthy. So if you were fit heading into pregnancy, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain a fitness regime throughout your pregnancy if your medical practitioner tells you it is safe to do so. If you’re not sure what to do or your don’t have someone to work out with, get a personal trainer with experience in working with pregnant women. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you've enjoyed reading this week's fitness posts.
Keep healthy and happy.