I just have a quick question. I recently found out I’m pregnant and want to know if it’s safe to continue doing HIIT and YOGA or what to avoid.
I also lift weights and run and have been doing intense lifting sessions with GREAT results, but now I’m wondering if I should back off the heavy weights.
This was totally unexpected. In fact because I had suffered with anorexia a while ago, I was deemed infertile due to hormone dysfunction.
HELP! and THANKS
Hey Elaina, how are you?
Congratulations! I’m thrilled for you and glad you beat the odds. But now you need to be very careful how you proceed, both from an emotional and physical standpoint.
Physically you’re going to need to modify your workouts and the further along you get, the more changes will be needed. The biggest suggestion I can make is to view exercise during this time as more of a maintenance period. In other words don’t go trying to reach personal bests or max lifts! Look at the next 40 weeks as a time to take care of your body and growing baby. You don’t want to be adding additional stress to your body by making it recover from grueling workouts.
Obviously you’ll want to stay away from any contact type exercise like boxing or mixed martial arts and avoid jumping as well. Engaging in these activities may potentially hurt the reproductive structures or worse. And when performing cardio, the generally accepted guidelines are to not exceed between 120 – 130 bpm. You never want to be out of breath because the theory is that if you’re struggling to breathe then so is baby – get it? As your belly grows I’d also suggest staying away from traditional abdominal exercises and look into Pre-natal Yoga classes that are nearby to keep your core strong. And as delivery gets nearer, your body will release hormones to allow for added flexibility (to give birth), so be very careful to not over–stretch and only go through a normal range of motion.
Elaina the key above all is to use common sense in your routine. Don’t push yourself hard, shoot for 30 minutes of exercise up to 5 days per week and be sensible. I think the greater issue here is in your food intake – you need to eat a healthful, calorie appropriate diet. Especially with your history of recovering from an eating disorder, the approach to your pregnancy diet is key. The real truth is that most women only need to consume an extra 300 calories per day to supply the body with the nutrients it needs to develop the fetus. The last thing you want to do is to gain an excessive amount of weight and then struggle to lose it. You run the risk of awakening those demons and struggling with food once again. Yes I know I’m not a therapist but I’ve seen this time and time again in my 20-year career. Plus it’s healthier for not just you, but for your growing baby as well. And studies show that women who gain excess weight during pregnancy have a higher risk of becoming obese. So once again, be sensible.
So yes, continue to workout and eat well. As I said, be sensible and listen to your body – it always tells you everything you need to know.
Check out these prior related posts for more details on pre and postnatal exercise.
And if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!
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