Staying fit and motivated through pregnancy
A few different strategies that may work for you throughout or at different stages of your pregnancy.
Being pregnant is one of the most wonderful life experiences but it can be a different experience for every woman and potentially for every pregnancy. Some feel more energized, and are lucky enough to not have any nausea. However, for other women there may be terrible morning sickness and exhaustion. It’s easy to “fall off the wagon” as there are a million excuses as legitimate as they might be to get out of shape but don’t let this happen to you! It’s tough to give advice that will work for everyone when it comes to staying fit and motivated throughout pregnancy. So here are a few different strategies that may work for you throughout or at different stages of your pregnancy.
Keep setting goals. Don’t just call it quits from events just because you are expecting. Early in your pregnancy you may still be able to do some races; you may just need to adjust your distance and/or intensity. Maybe a 5km walk/run? This can be mentally tough for some people, i.e. to participate instead of race but it’s a great way to learn discipline and to enjoy a race for different reasons than you may have had before. Always talk to your doctor about your plans and hopefully together you can work out some ideas.
Volunteer. If you feel doing a race would be too tough during your pregnancy (especially if you are far along) sign up to be a volunteer at one. This is another great way to appreciate racing from a different perspective and a way to give back to your fitness community. It can be very inspiring to be a spectator, more often than not you will get the itch to get out there as soon as you can!
Try something different. If swimming, biking, or running isn’t working for you during your pregnancy try a new sport or maybe something you used to do and would like to revisit. Hiking, yoga, or whatever you feel like. It’s just important to keep active to maintain your fitness as best as possible.
Having a healthy pregnancy. Obviously you want to do everything you can to have a great pregnancy. Studies show that staying physically active throughout pregnancy can help you get back to your pre-pregnancy shape, help you in your postpartum recovery, give you more energy, and contribute to that “glow” your friends always comment on.
Focus on your swimming. Most women enjoy swimming for exercise when they are pregnant. The water makes you feel weight less and when you are potentially carting around 20-30 extra pounds that feels great! You may not be doing interval sets but you can work on technique and drills so that when you are ready to get back into triathlon you may have actually set down a good foundation to improve your swim split.
Staying fit and motivated through pregnancy can sometimes be tough with all the changes that continually happen to your body; however, the benefits are numerous. If you can stay positive and focused you should have as healthy a pregnancy as possible and be able to get back to your old self sooner than you expected.
LifeSport triathlon coach Jessica Adam has been a coach in Victoria, Vancouver and now resides in the Toronto area. She loves to share her years of experience with beginner triathletes and also experienced triathletes that are trying new distances like ½ IM or IM for the first time. She coaches athletes online all across the country.
If you are interested in working with Jess, write Jess@LifeSportCoaching.com