Our fitness journeys ebb and flow throughout our lives. We have ups and downs, motivated days and unmotivated days, injuries and changes. Throughout all of these things, the best thing we can do is to adapt and adjust to our circumstances. Throughout my pregnancy (so far) I have felt all of these feelings and more!
Training through pregnancy is an important topic because I have learned every pregnancy is different and it is completely unpredictable. I have always wanted to be a fit and active pregnant woman. I never had any doubt that I would be…then I became pregnant – and I have experienced more ups and downs than I ever imagined! I never thought it would be difficult to be an active and fit pregnant woman, but I have learned that everything changes with pregnancy – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I’m not going to give advice on how to adjust your fitness program, but I do want to share my journey and some steps to take to help with your adjustment! Hopefully it can help guide anyone else working on staying active through pregnancy. Over the past few months of adjusting, I have decided the best thing to do is:
1. Make a Plan
2. Create A Support System
3. Give yourself some grace
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled. I was extremely excited to be my healthiest self for this little human, and for myself! I read the books, looked at the apps and sought all the information I could. I quickly learned that there is a lot of conflicting information out there, so I decided to seek out individuals whom I trust and I knew had experience and education in prenatal care. I knew I needed to: make a plan. I prioritized what activities were
Most important to me and created an educated support system with a plan. First and foremost, I talked with my doctor and got his advice and clearance to keep moving. After talking with him, I had a meeting with a trusted yoga instructor to make safe changes there, as well as conferred with other coaches at BFA and in the fitness community. We had a plan that was safe for me and I was ready!
Once I had a plan, I realized that there are also LOTS of emotional and mental changes with pregnancy. I was scared to work out, I was scared to lift weights, but I was also scared not to do these things because they are a part of who I am. I knew I had to keep doing these things to make myself the healthiest I could be. A healthy mama helps make a healthy baby, right? This was when I realized I needed to build a support system.
I needed to be open and honest with the people I trusted. I created an open dialogue about my feelings with my husband, my doctor, my coaches and my Black Flag Fam. Making sure that the people I surrounded myself with knew my plans and hopes, while also supporting me during this time in my life, was key.
The people around me were looking out for my best interests, they wanted me to keep moving safely so I could stay healthy. They weren’t trying to push me to train hard, they just wanted me to find balance and adapt. I realized that I needed to be honest with other people in order for me to be honest with myself and accept that my motivation was different. Through this support system, I adjusted my workouts and learned that my priorities were different now and that is ok! It didn’t matter if I could lift my max weights, or row my fastest times – they reminded me that I was still moving, and that was perfect.
This brings me to my last (and perhaps most important) revelation…YOU MUST GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE. Let’s be honest, being pregnant can be just plain exhausting. For the first time in over a decade, there were days when I did not want to do any physical activity. These were the days that I learned that going for a walk with the dog or a bike ride were enough. I accepted that a quick yoga session is all your body needs some days.
I can assure you that I never regretted getting in some activity…and I learned to accept that a ‘workout’ looks different now and that is ok! Not only did I learn that the daily activity helped me mentally, I learned that it was good for me physically! I learned to listen to my body and to give it what it needed. There are adaptations, modifications and substitutions to safely continue to move and exercise.
It’s important to adjust your thinking and remember that walking the dog is still physical activity – and it’s good for you and your baby! My best advice to anyone trying to train through their pregnancy is to remember that being fit and active during pregnancy looks different for everyone. You don’t have to lift your heaviest, or move your fastest to be healthy – just keep moving Mama, just keep moving!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: COACH MICHELLE KRIVOSH
Michelle has always had a passion for teaching, as well as being active…so coaching was a perfect fit! After coaching high school basketball for many years, I joined the Black Flag team as a Kids coach and transitioned to adult coaching last summer. Coaching at Black Flag puts my two passions together! She holds a Bachelors Degree in Education and a CrossFit Level 1.