Working out during the second trimester has been… interesting! When I first found out I was pregnant, I continued working out just as I had before I was pregnant. Doctors agreed that as long as I wasn’t adding any intensity, I could continue my workouts throughout my pregnancy.
I continued to take spin classes every week, went for short runs, lifted weights, and spent a good amount of time on the elliptical. I felt great when working out, even when I went through a few “blah” weeks, weeks 5-8 of my first trimester.
By week 10, my energy was non existent. I really struggled to stay up past 8PM and had an even harder time getting up at 5AM to go to the gym. I created plan, laid out my workout clothes the night before, and set my alarm with enough time to snooze, but I really struggled to get to the gym. Once I was there I always felt great, but it was definitely a struggle (you can see all of my workouts from Week 1- Week 12 here)!
Around week 14 my energy returned, so I tried to take full advantage of it, but a weird thing happened around week 14. Although my muscles and joints felt great my lungs went down hill. I haven’t talked about it much here on Coffee Cake and Cardio but I’ve battled asthma since I was a little kid. It wasn’t until I lost weight in 2006 and began running that I learned how to control it, but it is something I’ve always battled.
Around week 14 my workouts started to really took a toll on my lungs. What once was an easy workout became much more difficult. Again, my body felt great, but I was out of breath and my heart rate during workouts was much higher than normal though nothing crazy.
My doctor said that this wasn’t uncommon. As I have more blood in me and more to carry around, my body is in overdrive. I think the most eye-opening moment was when I went to a spin class around week 16 and I had to leave at the 30 minute mark. I honestly haven’t done that since my very first spin class back in 2006 when I just couldn’t make it through the entire workout.
So what have I done to work around this? Well, I’ve done a few things:
1. I pay much closer attention to my body, my breathing, and my heart rate.
2. I’ve become much more understanding. I love taking spin but some days I may just need to leave at the 30 minute mark. It still gives me a chance to take spin, but I only take as much as I can handle that day.
3. I’ve started swimming, which is not necessary an easy workout. I feel like swimming is actually helping me to build up my lung endurance. Right now I’m swimming for 30 minutes, swimming free style one lap and then backstroke the next. Doing this back and forth helps me to catch my breath while still getting a great workout in.
4. I’ve started going on more walks. Again, because I get short of breath walking is not a cake walk, but it’s a lot easier on my lungs than running or doing the elliptical. The added bonus is that I get to be outside and enjoy the warm sun.
Every pregnancy is different, but I’m grateful this pregnancy has allowed me to workout. I’ve learned to enjoy every day movement and to listen to my body more and more each day. Working out is now more about moving my body and rejuvenating my energy, than it is to stay in shape (though it’s an added bonus).