How was your pregnancy and exercise routine during this time?
When I found out I was pregnant, I continued my exercise regime, although my focus changed during each trimester. Prior to my pregnancy, I was doing strength training (powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting) 3x/week, 1x/week of GYROTONIC, 2x/week of Pilates.
In the first trimester, with lower energy levels and changing hormones, my main priority was to simply keep moving as my body allowed. For strength training, recovery is just as, if not more important, than training. Depending on how I felt that day/week, I would vary the volume and intensity of each workout session. I found myself doing a lot more Pilates and GYROTONIC during the first trimester, and cut back my strength training sessions to once or twice a week.
During my second trimester, as my energy levels came back, I focused on maintaining strength and cardiovascular fitness in preparation for labour. I was back at the gym doing strength training at about 70% of my previous workouts. I also continued to do GYROTONIC and Pilates 3x/week, focusing on strengthening my postural muscles and keeping my muscles, fascia, and connective tissue healthy and flexible to accommodate the growing baby.
Circuit breaker started during my second trimester and only ended when I was just about to deliver. I have a gym at home so I continued with my strength training as per normal. I did a lot of mat Pilates and GYROKINESIS with Breathe live-streaming classes which was a lifesaver!
At the end of my third trimester, I stopped strength training and mainly walked and did breathing exercises and focused on relaxing my pelvic floor and core. Little known fact, 50% of women have hypertonic pelvic floor – meaning their pelvic floor is too tight (doesn’t mean it’s strong! It just means that it can’t relax which obviously is a problem if you are having a vaginal delivery). For those of us with hypertonic pelvic floor, doing kegels and focusing on relaxation is really important as opposed to the contraction.
Luckily, I didn’t experience any discomfort or physical ailments during my pregnancy. No backache, no shoulder ache, no insomnia, no swelling, no nausea. I actually really enjoyed pregnancy – I did gain a whopping 17kgs though!