Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pregnancy x Exercising

I must admit: second trimester is much more fun and I feel more alive now!

The morning sickness is still here to stay but it's 50% better so I'm grateful for that. Crossing fingers it fades off in June!

These days, working out has became such a joy with something to look forward to at the end of the day -  spending alone time with your body and the baby growing inside you.

Exercising used to serve as a way of keep fit, training my discipline and to look better in clothes in the past. However now, the objectives have doubled since I'm doing it for two! To maintain a fitter body for a healthy baby of normal weight as well as a smooth delivery.

The initial two weeks had me trying to figure out how to do since the baby is of priority! There are things that i used to thought is unsafe (like running) but turned out to be safe, and things that i thought is good but turned out otherwise.


After  consulting my gynae and both gym & yoga instructors, I've scribbled all their wisdom of knowledge into my note pad:-

General rule of thumb:-

1. Always make sure your gynae has certified that you are safe to exercise with NO pregnancy complications or high risk for doing so. Stop doing anything if you have been alerted of any risk.

2. Never try a new activity coz your body is not accustomed to it esp during its most fragile stage. Instead, do something that your body has been doing prior to pregnancy.

3. Modify your existing workout immediately according to your current fitness level/ body state. The workouts in the first, second and third trimester could be vastly different, just twig it around according to you!

4. Always listen to your own body because everyone is different. Never never push it. Everyone has different body conditions and fitness levels so do what that makes you fee the most comfty and is certified safe.

5. Heart rate should not be more than 140beats/minute. I've been wearing a monitor since then and so far it's all kept within 110-130 range. Slow down your workout if the heart-rate gets too high.

6. Keep hydrating and you should be drinking up more than before. I find myself peeing more than usual and have to add in more breaks to clear the bladder.

7. Steer clear of hot rooms and conditions. Example hot yoga/bikram yoga or doing activities under the hot sun. It's when your foetus has risk of heating up with you having difficulty in breathing.

8. Balancing activities (certain yoga poses, body step) that might cause you to fall,  jumping exercises (body combat) and dangerous activities (rock climbing, trail running) should be avoided if possible.

9. During the second and third tri, it's best not to lie on your tummy or your back. Modify any workout that requires it.

10. On days where you feel tired or when the headache/nausea level get unbearable, just rest as exercising will make it worse! Only do it when your body gives you the go-ahead.

11 The key is to feel good without feeling fatigue or tired.


I've never done so much yoga classes in room temperature, wore heart-beat monitors for so long and drank so much water in my life. But it's all worth it! Initially it was tough getting used but now, my body had sorta got used to it.

The intensity of my workouts are now reduced by 50% during my second trimester as compared to pre-pregnancy with certain exercises crossed out and replaced. By the third trimester, it will probably be even lower than that depending on how my body reacts to it and what my gynae says.

I've learnt to let it go, rest when I need to and treat each session as a energy-boosting one. Most importantly, listen to your body because you know it best!

1) Brisk-walk / Jog / Run

Distance - Instead of the usual 10-15km runs on weekdays, I've learnt to limit the jogging to an hour max (instead of following distance) as that's what that works best for me without feeling tired or heated up.

Route - I've read that treadmills are encouraged but personally I feel very giddy when doing the hamster loops with the fear of falling backwards. Thus, i've stick to park connectors and non-rocky surfaces while keeping the runs before 8pm as the headlights are usually too dim to see clearly.

For the route, I twig it abit to add in more water and toilet breaks. I tend to pee so much more often than before and holding the bladder while running is no joke.

Pace - I've learnt to run at a comfortable pace and getting used to the feeling of listening to my slow heart-beat (<130), letting the sweat drip and making sure I can hold a conversation at any time. In the last trimester when it gets bigger, brisk walks would probably have to be included to replace jogging if the body gets uncomftable.

2) HITT workouts

The sequences in Kayla, Shaun T or Fitness Blender workouts seem to be still doable in some sense. But I find that despite the short duration, all the workouts tend to spike the heartbeat to the maximum that causes the breathing to get a little too heavy to my comfort.

I've now tried to do it but at a much slower pace with less sets. The moves have been modified with the jumping jacks and high intensity movements replaced with standing squats or jogging on the spot.

3) Gym

Gym workouts was the most mind-boggling issue. I would get really paranoid even while working out at the machines and after consulting the instructors, I've learnt that most are safe except for certain exercises.

I've stopped Body Combat, Body Step, Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga as I'm not prepared to risk it. While some have said it's still possible, it depends on individuals I guess.

My favourite activity is now spinning and body pump besides the machines. Cycling on a stationary bike was never my top favourite item but spinning now gives me the endorphins rush while modifying the resistance and all. The instructor has told me to reduce the bouncing sequence and remain seated on the bike when I get bigger.

Bodypump was still my favourite as I have been doing it since school days! I can't be any relieved when I got to know it was encouraged and safe as long as you are familiar with it. I have been pumping weekly since my first trimester which has helped me to maintain muscle tone in the body and limbs without any backaches so far. The instructors have told me that it is an encouraged activity for preggys except that:-

- weights have to be loaded down from your usual loads
- when your belly gets bigger, the bench has to be set to an incline position for chest presses, biceps or triceps presses
- abs exercise on the mat has to be avoided

4) Yoga

This was originally the easiest and safest I thought but turned out to be one the most complicated.

Bikram and Hot Yogas - highly discouraged as the heated room will heat up the foetus and is dangerous for babies (especially first trimester).

Room Temperature-

I spoke to three yogis whom advised me to stop Power Yoga & Vinyasa Yoga while watching out for certain poses and to avoid going too deep into any stretches (especially for the side-bend or back-bend) that may hurt the baby. Instead of looking at the back of the room, turn just 90-120 degrees.

Poses to avoid were inversions, core, wheel, inverted V, cobra etc. It was pretty scary at first trying to absorb that but I've learnt to just listen to the body while stopping if it causes discomfort.

I can't wait to attend the pre-natal classes with the other mummies once I passed the 20 weeks! It looks fun and there were even pillows provided in the class haha.

5) Swimming

The safest activity of them all as advised by my gynae! And being in the water is always therapeutic in some sense.


Workout regime so far, recorded down for my gynae visits.

First Tri

Week 9
Mon - Rest
Tues - 40 mins run
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 1.5 hours (spin + run)
Fri - 2 hours (yoga)
Sat - 1.5 hours (spin+ run)
Sun - Rest

Week 10
Mon - Rest
Tues - Rest
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 1 hour (spinning)
Fri - 1 hour (spinning)
Sat - Rest
Sun - 2 hours (yoga)

Week 11
Mon - 1 hour (run)
Tues - 1 hour (climb)
Wed - 1.5 hour (circuit, run, climbing)
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 1 hour (spinning)
Sat - 1 hour (yoga)
Sun - 2.5 hours (spin, pump, run)

Week 12
Mon - 50 mins (run, climb)
Tues - 1 hour (climb)
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 2 hours (yoga)
Fri - 2 hours (spin, pump, run)
Sat - 2 hours (yoga)
Sun - 1 hour (run)

Second Tri

Week 13
Mon - 1 hour (run)
Tues - 45 mins (climb)
Wed - 1 hour (run)
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 2 hours (yoga)
Sat - Rest
Sun - Rest

Week 14
Mon - 1 hour (run)
Tues - 1 hour (climb)
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 1.5 hour (pump + run)
Fri - 45 mins (run)
Sat - Rest
Sun - 45 mins (run)

Pregnancy is the happiest reason for feeling like crap at times.
Keep working out and loving your body!


Jacqueline Soon said...

Hello, may I know where did you do your spin & body pump class?

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