Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Maternity Workouts

My little gym buddy!

So I thought I'd share a little about my work out regime just in case I ever get knocked up again, so I can go back and look and remember what I did this time around.

I'm not sure if everyone knows this or not (and of course always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program...bla bla bla) but with proper modifications, anything that you've done before getting pregnant you are safe to do during pregnancy.  So I'm still doing my normal daily class routine with a few changes to accommodate the growing belly and crazy heart rate.  (Do any of you other women get the crazy heart beating out of your chest when you work out of is that just me?)

When I was pregnant with Sarah I was working so I went to evening classes at the Y.  So I did 2, 1 hour long cardio classes a week (circuit and step) and 2, 1 hour long yoga classes.  However, now that I stay home and Sarah naps in the afternoon and goes to bed at 7 pm, we go to morning classes at the Y.  I'm also really lucky because the Y nursery has a 2 hour time limit.  So that means I can do 2 classes, or 1 class and then some other activity for an hour.  The downside to our earlier work out routine is that we go at 9:15-11:15 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 10:15-12:15 on Tuesday and Thursday, and during those blocks each week there is only 1 cardio class, Zumba and it's Tuesday morning.  The rest of the week I take some sort of core conditioning/strengthening/flexibility class and try to get the rest of my cardio on my own.

I tried trekking, a fun incline interval class, on the treadmill.  But I hate Satan's sidewalk, and that started to give me shin splits.  At a loss for what other cardio to do I refocused on my running an signed up for another race (the Zoom through the Zoo).  I know running is safe to do while pregnant, however, it is a LOT harder to do while pregnant (at least for me).  This baby is sitting low and even though I pee before I go out for a run about a quarter of a mile in I feel like I'm going to wet myself.  Plus, I live in the south--it's hot and humid and my body temp is already up because I'm growing a giant furnace in my belly!  So the mental game of running has been a lot harder.  I'm glad I've got great friends at the gym who are always willing to run with me even though they do marathons with a 7 min/mile pace they don't complain about helping me chug along pushing for a 12 min/mile pace.  The other real mental killer is that last time I did Couch to 5K I trained at an 11 min/mile pace and raced at a 10 min pace.  When I signed up for this race I really thought I could make 44 minutes a realistic goal (and secretly thought I could push it to that golden 10 min pace on race day).  But as I check my log from my garmin forerunner it's just abundantly clear that I will be lucky to get it down to a 12 min pace on race day as most of my race day adrenaline and excitement will be used up making sure I run those whole 4 miles.  (3.5 miles is my longest distance so far.)  The other challenges have been physical.  I've got bad knees (remember me complaining about those when I first started my C25K challenge) and sciatic nerve issues.  So after a tough long run I can pretty much feel bone on bone in my knees and if my sciatic issues flair up I'm limping the rest of the day.  So while yes, it is SAFE to run while pregnant, it's also killing me.  That being said, I think what I'll do is restart C25K so that I'm getting in my running and mix in 2-3 mile runs twice a week to make sure I'm getting 4 to 5 days of cardio still.  That is AFTER I finish the Zoom through the Zoo 4 miler.  I think doing the intervals of early C25K will help me get a better work out since I'll be able to run faster in shorter spurts and get my heart rate up and then bring it down a little with the walking intervals.  I'll probably go ahead and start wearing the heart rate monitor it came with to make sure I'm not getting it up to high.

So here's a peak at my weekly work out routine:

* Pilates class. Great workout for preggos, plus I read an article from some workout whatever that I like on fb that said pilates was one of the best ways to lose the baby fat after delivery and tone everything back up to the way it's supposed to be.  However, be prepared to start making some serious modification by about 22 weeks (right Jennifer?) since you aren't supposed to lay on your back anymore and you don't want your abdominal muscles to separate.
* 2-3 mile run.  This usually takes me about 24-36 minutes then I cool down and stretch.

* Zumba class.  Excellent cardio really works your midsection too with all swiveling you do.  However, I cannot dance and so I look ridiculous in this class.  Luckily I know everyone else is just trying to figure out the moves too so no one is looking at me.
* Ian yoga class.  Yes, that's right, I make a differentiation between the yoga instructors so don't go googling Ian Yoga like it's some special kind of practice.  Ian is more of a power yoga instructor.  He focuses a lot on upper body strength and less on the flowly one breath to one movement type of yoga.  We do a lot of tricep pushups in there for the first 30 minutes.  Then the 2nd half he does more of a pilates-yoga infusion working on the core.  (Again, if you're preggo be prepared to start making some modifications depending on when you start showing.  As your belly gets bigger you'll need to spread your legs wider in child's pose or take a wider stance while doing chair if your hips have started to spread.)

* Jennifer yoga class.  Now if you live in the Memphis area, Jennifer yoga actually is a style that you can check out here YogaLifeWay.  But she's more of the traditional flow type yoga that forces you to really focus your mental energy and physical energy to get the pose right or hold it long enough to feel the full benefits of it.  Her style is also really neat because she always seems to have a goal pose and all the other stuff we do is leading up to getting ready for that pose.  My other reason why I love Jennifer yoga classes is because in a way, she takes requests.  I can walk in and say, my sciatic is killing me or I had a huge run yesterday and she can tailor the whole class to opening up my hips or stretching out my IT band.  (I'm pretty spoiled by her--she takes care of her fan club, especially the pregnant members.)  The other reason I love her classes, especially when pregnant, is because I don't have to remember what modifications I'm supposed to be making.  She's always very conscious and aware of me and reminds me that I can do twisting poses as deep right now and pretty soon shouldn't do them at all.  Or will bring me a block to help me lengthen a pose instead of sinking into it just to get my hand to where it normally falls when not pregnant.  I really love Jennifer yoga--I think it's why I was able to go sans epidural last round when I had Sarah.
* 2-3 mile run with warm up and cool down walk.  I usually try to run a little harder this day since I take a cardio break on Thursday.

* Ian yoga
--cardio break give knees time to recoup.  (However, after the zoom through the zoo I'll probably add a 2 mile run on this day.)

* Pilates class
* 2-3 mile run

After the zoom through the zoo, I'm going to do my C25K program on MWF, and add in a 2 or 3 mile run on Thursday and depending on my knees I may add a hill run or 3 mile run on Saturday mornings.

So there you have it.  It's really important to me to be physically active.  I know I'm spoiled by having a gym membership and that money should probably go elsewhere in our budget.  But for me it's my peace of mind and sanity saver.  It's like Elle Woods says in Legally Blonde, "working out gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  And happy people don't kill their husbands.  They just don't."  However, it's especially important for me to stay physically active while I'm pregnant.  There's all kinds of studies and articles about how it makes labor, delivery, and recovery is easier if you've been physically active during those 9 months.  So that's my soap box.  Thanks for reading.  =)


  1. You are my super hero. Seriously, I don't know how you do it; I'm always so exhausted. Does chasing three kids count as exercise?!

  2. Oh, I think I'm going to cry. I do love you and look out for you! And Sarah is my little yoga baby :)