When I was newly pregnant with my first baby, I remember feeling nervous about how my body would respond and change. Working out has always been a priority to me, not only because it helps me to maintain a healthy weight, but more importantly because of how it makes me feel. Exercise is my happy drug. When I’m stressed, it’s the first thing I do. When I’m crabby, it’s likely because I haven’t broken a sweat for a few days.
Since I had been consistently exercising before I became pregnant, my doctor encouraged me to continue doing so. When I asked him if I could keep running, I remember him saying, “Of course…women run marathons when they’re pregnant!” He also told me to listen to my body and that I’d know when I was pushing myself too hard.
I’m thankful all my pregnancies so far have allowed me to continue working out. Even when I was pregnant with the twins I was at the gym up until the day before I delivered. I know many moms aren’t always so lucky and are often put on bed rest, so I’m beyond thankful I was given the green light to be active.
I gained 21 pounds when I was pregnant with my first, and 22 pounds when I was pregnant with the twins (they were born four weeks early). I know the amount of weight women gain while pregnant varies quite a bit, and some of it has to do with genetics. However, I think in a lot of cases we have the ability to control how our bodies will bounce back after we give birth. From my experience, if you’re able to put the time in while pregnant, it makes postpartum recovery a snap.
I’m often asked what I do for a workout while pregnant, so today I thought I’d share that with all of you! I tend to spend the majority of my time targeting my lower body. I happily welcome growth to my tummy and LOVE seeing the bump get bigger by the week, but my lower body is an area I attempt to control. I incorporate my upper body lightly, but keeping my butt and thighs in check is my top priority.
When I’m pregnant, it’s typical for me to get cardio in 3 – 4 times a week, 5 if I’m really feeling motivated. I usually do about 30 – 40 minutes of cardio. Depending on the day, I jog or go on the arc trainer. I LOVE the arc trainer. I set it to the highest incline and it really works the leg muscles.
In addition to cardio, I have a free weight routine that I follow religiously. Whether I make it to the gym or not, this gets done 5 times a week. I find a way to squeeze it in, even if that means it happens after the kids are in bed while Jake and I are watching something on our DVR. I feel SO much better when I take the time to do this. I actually haven’t stopped doing this little routine ever since I was pregnant the first time. It’s great for the butt and thighs no matter if you’re pregnant or not!
What I love about this is that it only takes about 20 minutes. Perfect for all of our busy lives! I made a video for you to walk you through the exercises you’ll find in the routine. Then below I wrote out the routine for you!
Okay, here’s how I lay out my workout. The key is to find weights that feel comfortable to you. Start slow and small, and work your way up as you feel you need to.
I swear by this workout. It’s served me well and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
My changing prego body is a beautiful and miraculous thing, and when I’m able to do my part and take care of it, I’m able to enjoy the journey of transformation!
Disclaimer: Please ask your doctor before working out while pregnant. Keeping that baby safe is always the first priority!