An Athlete’s Guide to Training During Pregnancy: 2010 Edition

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An Athlete’s Guide to Training During Pregnancy: 2010 Edition

I’ve got a half marathon on my calendar for March 5, 2011.  I’m really excited about this one, actually, because it’s run atThere are some absoluteIf you feel symptoms below, it is recommended that you stop and rest:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dyspnea before exertion (shortness of breath)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling (need to rule outI love the ACSM’s guidelines, because they justBe aware that as your belly grows, your center of balance shifts.   Things you could do before won’t be as easy, if they’re possible at all.  I absolutely cannot do tree pose in yoga in my second trimester, and it’s for no other reason than I can’t maintain good form doing it.

    Your ligaments will loosen the closer you get to delivery, so you will be significantly more prone to joint injuries.  For this reason, I avoid very high impact activities like step aerobics, kickboxing, and high-impact dance.

    Suitable alternatives are cycling, swimming, and moderate weight lifting.  I also like to hit my hip hop class and perhaps even Zumba, when I have the energy.  What can I say?  I love to dance!

    I also maintain my Pilates Reformer workout with my trainer.  She’s certified in pre- and post-natal fitness and knows which modifications are necessary for me.  We do most of the work with me on the Arc barrel so that I’m not flat on my back for an hour, and I don’t do much of the abs-only section (I do more leg work instead).

    Pilates helps me feel less schleppy because I’m maintaining my posture.  I also get a nice stretch in my back and relieve tension in the shoulders.  It’s been great for me to be able to keep up my Pilates fitness because it really enhances my overall training.

    Bottom line: the goal is to maintain your level of fitness so that you will be physically prepared for the rigors of birth.  I know that with my third, I was in terrible shape, and the labor was hard (ok, but I guess natural childbirth is never particularly easy).  Even so, I was ready to pound the pavement 3 weeks post-partum.

    I’m hoping that when this baby comes, I’ll be in such good shape that I bounce back even faster.  My goal is to lace up my sneaks when the babe is two weeks old, provided that I have a normal delivery with no stitches and my midwife’s OK.  After all, I’m going to be training for my first half-marathon 6 months post-partum.  Time’s a wastin’!

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