Pregnancy and exercise.

Everyone has an opinion on it.

Most of those opinions are based on varying levels of experience or knowledge on the topic.

My parents visited for Christmas and wouldn’t let me carry their bags upstairs. Bless them. I didn’t tell them what I get up to in the gym.

I don’t really talk about the particulars of my training with anyone too much. I’m not afraid of judgment; I’d just rather not have to deal with it.

Which is silly. And as a first-time mum-to-be, an athlete and a trainer I feel I am in a position to add another positive voice to the topic.

Training at 23 weeks

As I head into 2016 I prepare to head into my third trimester.

Things have slowed down a bit since the first trimester. I’m no longer considering Spartan Races and CrossFit competitions that’s for sure.

But I am actually loving training for health and wellness rather than competition and PBs.

As great as they are, they can suck it out of you and run you into the ground physically and mentally. It’s nice to just slow down and breathe every now and then.

The second trimester provided a very good reason to do just that, enjoy some down time, put my body back together and freshen up the mind.

I’m loving going into training sessions now days without the pressure of hitting big numbers or the certain knowledge (and sometimes dread) of how much a workout is about to hurt me.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE smashing out hard sessions (more so when they are finished).

I know that’s where results are made but those sessions can be hard to get up for when you’re feeling tired and unmotivated. It can become something you just have to do if you want to achieve your goals.

Right now, I can still train hard but within my comfort zone which is so refreshing for me.

I am really loving taking each session for what it is and have never felt more fantastic walking away from workouts than I do now, regardless of what was achieved.

I’m still lifting weights.

I actually find it the best form of training since my ability to run and jump is decreasing and the effectiveness of doing so is reduced.

Deadlifting, squatting, cleaning and pressing are all feeling good – I’m just favouring moderate loads and higher volume sets.

It seems to work well. It keeps me strong and also gets my heart rate up – which doesn’t take much these days!

I’ve had nothing but positivity around me with regard to exercising so far.

I’ve been surrounded by and inspired by other fit and active mums-to-be who have trained safely and effectively up until their very last week and all have gone on to deliver healthy, happy babies.

I genuinely feel that all my years of training have me more in-tune with my body and it’s very individual capabilities than anyone else could be.

The odd twinge or strain during exercise or particular movements can be easily identified as muscular or attributed to relaxing, weakened ligaments and nothing to stress over. I know what’s what and can adapt, modify and continue on.

I don’t know whether my tight core and strong muscles will make delivery more difficult or painful but I can’t stop doing what feels right because of what may or may not be an issue three months from now.

The important mantra of “listen to your body” is great not only for knowing when to slow down, but also for knowing when it’s okay to keep going.

It’s such an individual thing and while we should be mindful of exercise guidelines, we should also try things out for ourselves because what feels uncomfortable for someone else, might feel fine for me.

For more information about these guidelines, check out my How to stay fit while pregnant blog on the website.

Pregnancy 23wks 2