Pregnancy Fitness; Third Trimester Style.

Okay, so I know that I have been a horrible blogger as of late. Do I even call myself a blogger anymore??? Oye!

On that note, I do want to let (whoever may still be reading this), know I am alive, healthy, and still pregnant…like something to the tune of 40 weeks pregnant! 

Looking nothing but tired these days!

I am shocked that I actually made it this far and can still muster to get myself around. In fact, I’m not just getting around…I’m still working out! I can’t say I’ve got the gusto  I did pre-pregnancy, but what matters to me is that I can still get myself through a pretty decent workout and not pass out. SUCCESS!

Still engaging my "core."

How have I been able to keep a fit pregnancy you ask? For those of you thinking about becoming pregnant or looking to have a fitter pregnancy this time around, I want you to know that it IS possible to workout all throughout your pregnancy (considering you have a healthy pregnancy and approval from your doctor). What does it take? Motivation.

From the beginning, I knew I didn’t just want to “let myself go.” I have seen this happen to a lot of moms out there and I can see NOW how easy it can be! Instead, I decided to keep my willpower and my drive to be fit. I decided that the benefits of exercise throughout pregnancy were more than worth the effort! And now that I am at 40 weeks pregnant, I am reaping the benefits:

  • Low blood pressure; usually around 110-114/60-66!!
  • No swelling.
  • Less back pain (I still suffer from aches in the back because of the way I have to position myself at night, but for the most part, I really can’t complain too much).
  • Reasonable weight gain! At 40 weeks I’ve gained ~31 pounds…can’t complain (haven’t regularly been checking my weight…just found out Monday where I officially stand).
Obviously, being fit before pregnancy helped my workouts immensely these past 10 months, so if you are thinking about getting pregnant, adopting a regular fitness routine prior could be a lifesaver!
So what did I do to keep active???

Stretching has been my friend!

First Trimester: Basically, I exercised when I could and with almost the same energy I had before I got pregnant. The most difficult part about exercising in the first trimester was finding a time when I didn’t feel sick!! I suffered from quite a bit of nausea in those first few months and eating was my only savor!!

Second Trimester: In the second trimester, I felt pretty great. I got my fitness mojo back and was still working out about 6 days a week for ~45-60 minutes. I followed my old fitness DVDs for the most part; Tae-bo, Jillian Michaels, The Firm, etc. Toward the end of the second trimester I also picked up an AWESOME pregnancy workout DVD by Lindsay Brin. It came in a set of 4 DVDs that caters from the 1st trimester through post-pregnancy. While I altered the workouts to make them harder in this trimester, I have been most thankful for them in my third trimester!! SHE is definitely my inspiration for post-baby shape-up!

She's the one in the middle...girl's got 3 kids!!

Third Trimester: Months 7 and 8 of the third trimester workouts were still pretty decent. I took the intensity way down but made it a goal to keep up with my strength routine as much as possible; I will need those muscles to carry a baby around all day! I am still trying to workout about 5 days a week for at least 30-60 minutes. We got a gym membership during this time, so I’ve spent more time than usual on the elliptical to reduce impact. I have also been enjoying using the weight machines. While I’m normally not the type to use the weight machines, I like body weight resistance and free weight resistance best, I found myself getting dizzy during sets, especially 36 weeks plus. SO, the weight machines have been glorious. This is an example of what my workout week has been looking like as of late:

  • Monday: 35 minutes elliptical, 25 minutes weights/stretch.
  • Tuesday: Day off
  • Wednesday: Lindsay Brin pregnancy DVD; 35 minutes (includes some strength for the back, bi’s and tri’s)
  • Thursday: 35-45 minutes elliptical or walking outside (weather dependent)
  • Friday: 10 minute warm-up; legs, back/chest, abs at the gym (60 minutes)
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: 30 minute walk outside (with punches, jabs, etc), 3 sets of 12 push-ups, cool down/stretch

Overall, I have been pretty proud of how well I’ve kept up my workouts. I am hoping the endurance I have can carry me through a natural labor!

Question: Did you keep up with your fitness routine throughout pregnancy? If so, what kinds of workouts did you do and did it help with labor? If you fell off the wagon, were you able to get back in shape post-pregnancy?



13 comments to Pregnancy Fitness; Third Trimester Style.

  • My husband and I are trying for kids….you’re an inspiration!

  • Still running at almost 37 weeks along! I’ll run for a quarter mile, walk for a quarter mile, run, walk, run, walk…. I am SO thankful that I am still able to move and that I am doing well- I’ve treated my body good during the whole pregnancy and therefore it has been treating me really well. I’m so blessed. Can lie, I pulled something this morning on my way out of bed to run and now I’m stuck for few hours waiting to work this kink out– but the benefits you listed are a lot of the same that I have. Working out has done two bodies good! :)
    Way to go, I pat you on the back- from experience, I know it wasn’t always easy but it was always worth it, right? Hope that things are wonderful for you + baby (inside or outside the womb!)

  • Any day now!! Looking amazing girl and way to stick with exercise. It’s definitely going to help you with a natural labor, especially pushing. That was my absolute favorite part, and I know exercise helped me there!

  • You look great, lady!! So happy for you that you are feeling good and so close to meeting your baby:-)

  • I really hope I can keep up with my workouts when I’m pregnant. I think I’ll be able to, but I keep hearing these horror stories about being TIRED all the time, yikes. Plus, I’m starting to get arthritis in my knees (DOUBLE YIKES!). I need to nip that in the bud, before it gets worse. Good for you for sticking to your workouts, you look AMAZING!

  • Looking good! I just birthed baby number 6 a week ago yesterday – and ran two miles the day before when I was overdue by three days! So yes, I kept up with my fitness – only running, though, as that’s all that really interests me or that I make time for :) Usually I was doing 3-4 miles three days a week, but the last two runs I went on were only two miles. I had a natural labor with babies 2, 3, 4, and 5 – all long and very hard!! But this time, the only one for which I’ve maintained this level of fitness, my labor was hard and fast!! It started for real around 2pm – but still I could be home walking through the contractions every 4-8 minutes. Got to the hospital at 3:30pm, and they said I was only 1-2cm dilated, so I paced the hallways and walked up and down the stairs, then labored in the bath a while – and at 5:20pm when I got out of the bath I felt like pushing a little (here in England they only check your dilation every four hours, but I must have been fully dilated by this point), which I did, and my water broke. We called in the midwife, and she got on her gloves during the next contraction while I moved over to lean against the bed, asked me if I was happy to deliver standing up (I also delivered 4 and 5 standing, so of course I said yes!) – and then with the next contraction I was pushing out his head! Less than one minute of actual second stage labor. Anyway, my point is to say that the hard labor really was only about an hour and a half this time while it was at least 4-6 hours with the others, and it never seemed to get shorter even with successive kids like you would think (the pushing got shorter, but I attribute that to delivering standing up.) Anyway, I am sure your fitness level will help you out so much in labor!! Good luck!! :)

  • You look great Erin! I can’t believe you’re 40 weeks!! How exciting that you could go into labor at any moment. I still have 19 days till my due date! :-)

    I kept up with my workouts during my entire pregnancy. Sure, some weeks I did less if I was more tired but I really tried to stay active. I’ve been mainly doing lots of walking and strength trainging.

  • I think it’s so great that you have remained active during your pregnancy! You look great!
    And of course you are still a blogger. ;) Sometimes our lives just get too busy! But glad you’re back! :)

  • Jodi

    This is definitely amazing! I am one of those moms that let herself go for sure. I am pregnant again and really going to try to control the weight gain. I have no choice! I have been trying to walk and get as much exercise as I can but I am also very nauseous and tired in these first few months!! Seeing this was very much inspiration and motivation for me to try my best and being pregnant is no excuse for doing nothing (like I did my first pregnancy!)

  • Happy due date, Erin!!!

    You look amazing! I had low BP too the whole time and no swelling until the last weeks!

    This is the hard part…but it’s the calm before the (amazing) storm! It seems like eternity, but she will be here soon!!!!

    Thinking of you! can’t wait to “meet” her!

  • Nicole

    It’s so nice to see a new post from you and hear that you’re doing so well. You look great! Thanks for the wonderful post. I’m in the pre-baby stage and have been thinking a lot about how to stay fit and live healthfully during this time. Thanks for these great tips!

    Good luck with your delivery!

  • Hey girl!! Been thinking of you!! You look SO awesome at 40 weeks…can’t believe you’re still pregnant, how crazy is that huh?? And I love how you’ve been staying fit throughout pregnancy — it’s exactly what I hope to do IF I one day find myself in your shoes. SO important not just to be fit for labor/delivery but to be able to bounce back a little bit easier after the fact. Your’e so strong!

  • Yes yes yes! I did the elliptical a lot — usually just 25-30 minutes. I walked a ton..maybe 3-4 miles a day. And I kept up with my side planks nearly to the end. Oh and lots of stretching and some yoga.

    Today’s the due date right? Good luck!!!!! hugs!

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