the spin on pregnancy……

March 24, 2015

katiespin (1 of 1)

so the number one question i am asked during this pregnancy is hands down: “how are you still spinning?”-the inquisitors typically a mixed bag of the horror-stricken, the supportive and those who are truly curious as it pertains to their own current or future pregnancies.

the benefits of exercise during these 40-plus weeks are plentiful, but the major reasons for me to keep vigilant with my fitness are those that directly benefit my baby: i.e my risk of gestational diabetes is lowered by more than 27%, pre-natal exercise is linked to more brain-power in newborns, cardiovascular exercise strengthens my baby’s heart, and when i’m working out my blood volume, oxygen delivery and blood flow all increases—meaning my baby is getting her nutrients and all other pulmonary and cardiovascular needs met at boosted levels.

my commitment to fitness during this time has always been, first and foremost, for the health of my baby.

but none of my advice or personal experience takes precedent over what your doctor tells you; every body and pregnancy is different, and should be addressed accordingly.

the advice and exercise prescription given to me {by my obstetrician} allowed me to continue with the same type of activity i was enjoying prior to pregnancy; this includes indoor cycling, sometimes even multiple times a day due to my job as an instructor. it was recommended to continue with my normal hustle, especially since it seemed to be the only remedy for my nausea–which i’m still experiencing here in my 36th week.

 the following guidelines have allowed me to spin several times a week, resulting in stellar stats for my baby girl during her pre-natal check ups:

1. hydration!

this has been a huge wake-up call for me because i am typically a d-minus student when it comes to drinking enough water. the fluids needed by the body during pregnancy are more invaluable than ever–extra water is required for that sweet baby of yours. blood volume, amniotic fluid, baby’s tissue–it all is created, maintained, and nourished with proper hydration. my rule of thumb, in addition to consistently drinking water throughout the day, is to consume an entire bottle of water {life factory bottles are my favorite} 30 minutes before spin class, one bottle DURING said cardio session, and another within 30 minutes after.

2. heart rate

the old rule of thumb for keeping a pregnant woman’s heart rate under 140 beats per minute went out of fashion with home perms and reeboks with the straps. the current recommendation is to NOT “lose your breath.” for me this means forgoing any anaerobic intervals which could leave me panting or gasping for air.

in my workouts i’m consistently alternating between an “in through the nose, out through the mouth breath,” and even just nose breathing when i’m starting to feel winded.

another test i give myself is the talk/sing test—if i can do both, i’m getting enough oxygen to my baby–so if you hear me singing it’s not just because i’m fantasizing myself in a jay z video…..well, not solely.

3. overheating

i have to say this has been the hardest to get used to. typically when i teach or take a class i detest the fans! i’d rather be boiling hot than even slightly chilled. but when you’re growing a little person inside you, climate change is not up for debate!

overheating is a major concern during pregnancy. your baby’s body temperature is already warmer than yours {hence the “bun in the oven,”}—so when you heat up, it’s even hotter for sweet baby.

i’m either under a fan or near an air vent {typically both} when i take classes these days. if i sense that the room is getting a little warmer i take my pace/intensity WAY down–this isn’t the time of my life where i need to keep up with the front row or personal bests need to be set.

4. modifications on the spin bike

the pregnant body is undergoing crazy, physical changes. besides weight gain, ligaments and tendons are moving/stretching, joints are relaxing, and you’re more prone to back pain {regardless of how in-shape you were before.}

if you’re experiencing discomfort, play with your bike set up. in accommodating my burgeoning bump, i’ve had to move the seat forward, the seat lower, and the handlebars higher; and there are just some things i cannot do anymore: i.e. high speeds out the saddle, certain choreography, etc.

i always get the approval from the instructor before i take any class; letting them know i’m pregnant and most likely won’t be able to do everything. i can’t emphasize the importance of telling your instructor before class any limitations/conditions/injuries you may have—we instructors are SO grateful when students notify us beforehand of these things. otherwise we’re left wondering if we’re not cuing properly, that you hate our class, our outfit, hair, etc.

it’s like having a dinner party, and a guest not eating your food due to dietary restrictions, and not telling you why.

5. find a supportive community

hormones are no joke during pregnancy. forget about the massive remodel your body undergoes; the changes in you mood, your sensitivity meter, and stress-levels can reach an all-time high. there’s something about a baby bump that can sometimes coax out the most ridiculous behavior from non-pregnant people–horror stories, judgements, lectures abound–these can send a pregnant woman into her own fetal position for days.

it is vital to find a community where you feel supported, welcomed, and nurtured. this pregnancy, my home away from home has become grit cycle–maternity leave has not kept me away from the saddle room. the benefits i receive from riding with my fellow gritties have not only benefitted my baby’s health, but also my mental and emotional health as well, and this has been an immeasurable gift.

for more tips on indoor cycling and pregnancy check out this article written by my friend and fellow grit instructor, cassie piasecki {remember her from shut the fridge?}

stay tuned for more #fitpregnancy posts and an upcoming giveaway from a major voice in the fitness industry.

tuesday fit-healthy+ happy to you m’loves!

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  • I didn’t know so many of these things about fitness during pregnancy and my degree is in maternal and child health! I love that you’re not having to completely sacrifice your love of spinning, because goodness knows there are enough things you have to forego during pregnancy!

    • hahahhaah…this made me laugh mughda…i, too, was clueless on a couple of these things too…

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