I have been blessed enough to be pregnant TWICE–and I’ve managed to stay strong and healthy for both of those pregnancies which has been a game-changer both during and after the pregnant months. I try to live a balanced life and believe eating smart is key (eating for two is not a real thing… sorry to burst your pregnancy bubble!) but getting your sweat on and burning some calories makes you look and feel a lot better than if you sit on the couch for 10 months. I’ve gained a healthy 25-30lbs for both pregnancies and I always get asked about my workout tips for pregnant mamas so here is a quick run-down of some of my favorites!
Note: Always ask your doctor that sort of workouts are right for you! I was told that as long as I was active before I got pregnant, I can continue to be active while I’m pregnant as long as I listen to my body and don’t push too hard. Every body (pregnant and otherwise!) is different, so please ask your health care provider before jumping into a new workout regime with a baby bump!
I never thought I’d be able to get on board with the whole stationary-bike-thing…I love being outside too much to stay in, right?! Wellll… with the Peloton, I can fit a quick (and INTENSE!) workout in while Leni naps, and I have no bad weather excuses to not get a ride in. It’s also amazing because there’s this whole community that is super motivating, and the instructors make it feel like you’re in a spin class and they expect you to reach your goals…not that that always happens when you’re a crazy busy preggo mama, but something is better than nothing, right?! It’s definitely an investment so if you don’t have a Peloton, a regular spin bike does the trick or going to your local gym and taking their instructor-led spin class!
I have a love/hate relationship with Yoga. It has given me core strength and balance and I know how incredible it is for my body but at the same time, it is sooo slow, I have a hard time staying present when my mind is running a million miles a minute. My mom was a dance teacher for 20+ years and eventually transitioned into teaching yoga for the end of her career (and still practices twice a week!) and not only is she a total pro but she’s in better shape than people half her age, so she’s obviously stumbled onto some kind of yoga-fountain-of-youth! Yoga is extremely low-impact, is quiet for those of us with napping babies, (or, if you just want a moment of peace!!) and is seriously underrated as a workout because it’s so. dang. hard. You can also do it basically anywhere…like the time I tricked Tim into doing wilderness yoga with me. He liked it more than he let on, I promise.
Core, core, and more core strength. Having a strong stomach is so crucial to keeping the rest of your body on track and pilates is perfect for this. I was a trained dancer for most of my life so I am pretty comfortable with a lot of the pilates-movements but if you’re not, make sure you find a good teacher, tell them you’re pregnant and if you can hack it, take a private class or two so they can teach you the pregnancy/friendly adaptations of the regular moves.
This is one of my favorite low-impact workouts (pregnant or not). It’s a combination of dance, pilates, yoga and weights and it burnnnnsss your body in the best way possible. My favorite is Barre3, but there are tons more Pure Barre locations all over the map or there may be different versions of a Barre classes that are accessible to you at your local gym.
I will admit that swimming laps is not my favorite (I’m more of a “lay on a floatie” kind of girl) but IF you like to swim, then this is the perfect workout for your pregnancy! It’s low impact so it’s easy on your joints, but is still a full-body workout and as a cherry on top, you feel weightless in the water which is a nice change from all the extra baby weight you’re carrying around these days.
Lifting weights feeds my SOUL…but after recovering from a pretty scary back injury in 2018 (3 herniated discs and a torn hip that left me immobile on the floor for nearly three months -oof), I have been very cautious about jumping back into weights, even though the injury wasn’t related to weight-lifting at all. Knowing I needed to stay as strong as possible during my pregnancy without aggravating my back, I chose to bypass this particular workout for the time being but I still believe that lifting weights is SO great for your mind and body as long as you know what you’re doing–or are under the guidance of someone who does! The picture at the top of this blog is from two days before I delivered Leni- us mamas are TOUGH!!
Shooting my bow is not only mentally beneficial (finally a moment of quiet to focus) but physically, it keeps my upper body strong! Upper arm and shoulder strength is KEY for parenthood, y’all–carting a 25lb toddler around 24/7 requires some serious pipes. It also doesn’t hurt that archery practice gets me ready for hunting season, (I gave a bit of an Archery 101 rundown on this blog) and that means filling the freezer with meat for the year. Win-win-win!
If you already have a baby (or multiples) running around, then you’re used to this! I’m ready for my apple watch to start tracking the calories that Leni helps me burn on any given day. That girl is BUSY, so chasing and lifting her was my main workout for the last few months of my super-busy second pregnancy with our son: but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
What are your favorite workouts for pregnancy? Let me know in the comments below, and see you back on the blog next time for more!!