Exercise During the Third Trimester

Well, I better get this posted before a) I forget how much my fitness has changed during this last trimester and b) I pop out a baby.

Here are my first and second trimester recaps on exercise in case you missed them.

At 37 weeks pregnant, it truly feels like you live your life in this little waiting game. Part of my brain is being completely rational and preparing to be pregnant for another four weeks, but another part of my brain is saying "but you could also have a baby in your arms in a few days." Basically, I'm trying not to expect things to go a certain way.

Running takes a back seat
Anyway, the third trimester is considered to be week 27 on. As I posted previously, it really felt like my third trimester (in the exercise realm) started around week 28. All of a sudden, running much at all became more uncomfortable, even with a belly support band.

And by 31 weeks, I was down to alternating 1 minute of running with 1 minute of walking. It no longer felt like I was really "going on a run," so at 31 weeks I decided to put my running on pause and stick to walking and hiking instead.

Hiking, I found, was a great alternative to running because I could still get my heart rate up with the inclines, while challenging my muscles too. Not to mention the fact that the trails around here are gorgeous and perfect for personal reflection. Highlights included: taking the bump up Misery Ridge at Smith Rock and hiking with the manfriend at Sweet Creek, Mt. Pisgah and up Spencers Butte. And finally, hiking 8+ miles at Silver Falls with Elizabeth at 34 weeks along!

I definitely had to take a few breaks during hikes and take it slower than before, but it was still worth it!

Oming it
At 34 weeks along, I took my last studio yoga class before opting for my own mat practice or yogaglo classes at home. This conveniently coincided with the point in time where my running tanks stopped appropriately covering the belly.

Jogging (of the aqua variety)
As I started getting a little antsy, I decided to head to the nearby pool for a little aqua jogging 1-2x per week, which got my heart rate going and my muscles fatigued and sorta, kinda, almost felt like running. On top of that, a 10 visit pass is only $34 making each visit pretty affordable. Plus, they have a little workout center upstairs, which includes a few good treadmills, elliptical machines, and a decent variety of weights.

Sorry, no pics of me aqua jogging in my pre-preggo polka dot two-piece, although I'm sure it's a sight to see. Hellooooo bump. 

And finally, in these last few weeks, my yoga has slowed down (pre natal online classes only), hiking is minimal, and walking and weights are where it's at.

I mentioned this in last week's pregnancy post, but I'm pretty impressed with how I've embraced the downshift in my fitness over the past few months. It hasn't been easy mentally, but it seemed natural to slow down and do what my body was asking for. That being said, I'm really getting the itch to sign up for a race to have on the calendar for late summer/early spring!

Let me know if you have any questions about exercise during pregnancy.

Please keep in mind that each person is unique and our abilities (pregnant or not) are so varied. Check with your doctor before trying anything new, especially during pregnancy. And above all else, listen to your body. 


missris said…
I was seriously thinking to myself yesterday "huh, Lauren hasn't posted yet this week. I wonder if she had the baby early?" I'm glad to read you're doing well!
I am glad that you have been able to get some hikes in! You are lucky that you live in an area with such beautiful and challenging hikes! I know there's no true replacement for running but hopefully you will be back to it soon! Signing up for race is a fun idea as it's nice to have something to look forward to!

It's crazy that the baby could be here any day now! How exciting!
Leigh said…
I think you've done amazing keeping active while pregnant even if it means changing your workouts. I stopped running at 27 weeks as it just got too uncomfortable. I know it's hard, but enjoy the final few weeks of just you and Pete :)
Amber said…
Hiking is such a great alternative to running! I'm enjoying adding it into my schedule as a lower impact / less strenuous workout these days and I'm not pregnant!

I think you've done an amazing job staying active throughout your pregnancy! I am super inspired by people like you and Leigh and my coworker who kept up the exercising through pregnancy and hope I can do the same one day.

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