As a working mama at Octane Fitness, I’m serving as a guest blogger to share my favorite pregnancy workouts, hoping that my experience will motivate other expectant women. As a former athlete and a current fitness fanatic, I exercised through my first pregnancy and witnessed first-hand the benefits for me and my daughter, Lillian (pictured above). With this second pregnancy, I’m repeating the process but have added new exercise equipment, thanks to my relationship with Octane!
First, get your physician’s clearance to exercise through your pregnancy to ensure that it is safe for you and your baby. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most, if not all, days of the week during pregnancy, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication, but your doctor knows you best.
Some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy include:
- Reduces fatigue and insomnia
- Increases energy and stamina
- Lowers weight gain and decreases incidence of gestational diabetes
- Decreases incidence of backaches and pelvic pressure
- Enhances mood and self-esteem
Exercise helps my mood and energy level – especially when I feel like my hormones are all over the place – by balancing me out.
I try to exercise most days of the week, with various routines, but I listen to my body and am flexible and rest if necessary. Now that I’m in my third trimester, there are days when it is challenging, but I modify or try to do a short workout.
Octane Fitness machines provide total-body, zero-impact workouts. So, I get to work hard and hit every major muscle group without jumping or jarring, which are tough to withstand right now.
Here are some of my favorite pregnancy workouts:
- LateralX – This combines elliptical movement with side-to-side motion, so it feels really different and hits the hips, glutes and thighs. I love the variety and used it a lot in the beginning of my pregnancy. Now that my belly is larger and my balance seems off, it is harder to train laterally.
- XT-One – This all-in-one cross trainer is my main go-to, because I can walk, run (not so much these days), hike or climb by simply adjusting the stride length and the incline. Now I don’t max out the incline, because my knees are hitting my belly as I climb.
- XT4700 – I love the adjustable stride on this classic elliptical so I can change my range of motion based on my pace or direction. The motion is smooth and natural, and I really push and pull with my arms and change my hand positions on the MultiGrip handlebars for variety.
- xRide – Nothing like a comfy seat to help take the pressure off my hips and lower back! This recumbent elliptical is great because I still can work hard, and keep my upper-body engaged, so I’m not simply dogging it. The Workout Boosters challenge my strength at the same time.
- CROSS CiRCUIT – Unique to Octane, I love, love, love these workouts because I get to do both cardio and strength intervals. I usually alternate two minutes of cardio with one minute of strength for 30 minutes. Perfect!
- Prenatal yoga – So this isn’t Octane-related, but I go to class once per week or do an online session. This is a wonderful way to relax, connect with the baby, tone my body and center my breath.
Remember, pregnancy is temporary, and take it one day at a time. Listen to your body and don’t be too hard on yourself when it might be too challenging for a workout!