Saturday, June 7, 2014

Guest Post: Working Out While Pregnant with Twins

I can't imagine what it's like to carry two babies in my belly at one time. One is equal parts insane and surreal and awesome, but two...or more...probably something I will never experience for myself. Knock on wood. So when Sarah of Creating Better Tomorrow volunteered to write a guest post, I asked her specifically to talk about what it's like to exercise while carrying twins. Because, you know, she's pregnant with twins!

Imagine being so excited to find out you were pregnant after a rough road getting there. Now imagine lying on the exam table of your first ultrasound, so happy to hear a heartbeat—and then you hear the words, "the heartbeats sound great!" Yep, you got it. Imagine finding out you were going to have twins!

As Tara indicated, I am a mom-to-be of twin boys. We struggled with infertility challenges, and at first I was shocked, terrified and completely surprised, but now I almost can’t imagine it any other way (I know...ask me about this again after they've both been here for a month). I’m currently in my 3rd trimester, due late July.

Before our pregnancy, I was an avid runner and diehard exerciser. I cut back in our attempts to conceive and it helped. So when I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure what or how much exercise I could work into my daily routine. I won’t lie, with twins...the hormones come double-duty. In my first trimester, I tried to walk 30 minutes a day. Some days, it just did not happen. I was exhausted and though I never got sick, I just felt terrible! Welcome, 2nd trimester!

I picked up with a nice five to six day routine of working out. Now, this working out pales in comparison to my pre-pregnancy regime, but I know my body is working hard to make two babies! So, per Tara's suggestion, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the ways I have kept on moving throughout my pregnancy—even with it being a slightly higher risk pregnancy. And me being a bit bigger than normal.

Each Sunday, I like to lay out my workout plan for the week ahead. One HUGE difference compared to my pre-pregnancy days—I really listen to my body each day. If my body isn’t up for the planned activity, then I don't do it and I’ll either rest or find a more suitable exercise. Listening to your body whether you're pregnant, not pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or postpartum is key!

A sample week of my workouts might look like this:

Monday: Walk 45-60 minutes on the treadmill. Speed of 3.8 to 4 with 1% incline.
Tuesday: A resistance DVD
Wednesday: Walk 45 minutes on the treadmill. Speed of 3 to 3.5 with 5 to 8% incline.
Thursday: Two 10-minute circuit videos, one lower and one upper body.
Friday: Rest.
Saturday: Leisurely dog walk with the hubby.
Sunday: Rest.

For some, this might seem like a lot. But some of you reading this might think it's too easy. But I want to circle back around to the best part of pregnancy for me—It has taught me to LISTEN TO MY BODY when it comes to food and exercise. My body knows what is best for me and my babies. I know once the babies arrive I will have a new appreciation and love for my body, and I hope I never forget to LISTEN TO MY BODY!

She's right, you know. Whether or not you're pregnant, pregnant with twins, or just a fit/active person—you absolutely have to listen to your body! Kudos to Sarah for continuing to listen to hers while she finds fitness throughout her pregnancy. Remember, every pregnancy is different and every mother's needs are different, too. Always consult your OB or midwife when making fitness decisions while pregnant, just to be sure what you're doing is safe and effective without being harmful to you or your baby...or babies!

Follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep track of her journey toward the birth of her boys!

Question: If you've ever been pregnant, tell me how you approached fitness. Were you able to exercise throughout your pregnancy? If you carried multiples, how did that affect your fitness?

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