I’ve been extremely MIA on this blog, in the third trimester of my pregnancy. Once I wobbled into month six, the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. Now, with about twenty days left to go, a serge of energy has washed over my body. If you haven’t been following me on twitter (one of the few things I have managed to maintain), then we have a LOT of catching up to do.
|Leah Keller, Pre- and Postnatal Fitness Expert|
With access to such a wonderful fitness guru, I had to pick her brain on what we belly bump babes can do to maintain our sexy figures during pregnancy. You’ll notice, many questions revolve around my personal pet peeve – leg cramps and swelling!
PP:How about all-over body water retention?
If pregnant, but not retaining water, continue to salt food to taste (trust your body to tell you how much salt it needs and monitor your protein consumption for a few days. If you’re consistently eating under 80 grams, add a little more protein to the diet as a preventative measure. And, continue drinking plenty of water. **
LK:During the final month of pregnancy, many of my clients feel great continuing with the workouts we performed together all along. This typically includes resistance training, moderate cardio, and light stretching. However, every pregnancy is different, so please listen to your body, consult your doctor, and adjust accordingly. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. **
LK:I’m not a fan of jogging during pregnancy because of hormone-induced joint laxity, which increases the risk of a sudden fall, but also because it strains the uterine ligaments. The impact of running or jumping combined with the weight of the uterus (during 3rd trimester, estimate 13 lbs. for baby + placenta + amniotic fluid, etc.) will easily overstretch the uterine ligaments. This dramatically increases your risk of uterine prolapse, a condition I would do everything in my power to avoid.
LK:Elevating the legs for 10 minutes a day is helpful, especially after work or after a lot of standing. For severe leg swelling, compression tights help dramatically. **
|The Dia Method, by Leah Keller|
Exhale as you tighten your abdominal muscles toward the spine. Repeatedly pulse the abdominal muscles tight to tighter, tight to tighter, exhaling with each slow and controlled squeeze. Close your eyes, and envision hugging your baby to the spine with each exhalation. This is a deep, subtle movement – yet powerfully effective. Start with 5 minutes a day. After one week, work up to 10 minutes a day (either 10 minutes all at once or 5 minutes twice a day). You are powerfully strengthening your core to keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy, labor with strength and bounce back fast. My second recommendation is Kegels. Work that pelvic floor! Lastly, do moderate cardio.**
LK:During pregnancy, the muscle release is as important as the squeeze when it comes to Kegels. Always be sure that you’re completely opening and relaxing the pelvic floor between each muscle contraction. I recommend my clients perform 2-3 minutes a day of each kind of Kegel:
Elevator Kegels — Slowly draw your entire pelvic floor up and in, holding it as high and tight as you can (feels like you’re trying not to pee your pants) for 10 seconds. Then slowly release and relax completely. Imagine yourself opening like a flower. Then repeat, squeezing your pelvic floor closed and up, up, up inside you. Hold for 10 seconds. Then soften, release, lower and open completely. Perform 10 elevator Kegels daily (about 2-3 minutes) to strengthen the endurance muscle fibers.
Sprint Kegels — These are power moves, working the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your pelvic floor. Squeeze as hard as you can, drawing quickly up and in. Then release completely. (Note: never bulge your pelvic floor forcefully downward.) Always draw ‘up & in’ when engaging the muscle and then simply allow it to relax and fall open between squeezes. Aim for 50 sprint Kegels (2-3 minutes) each day. **
PP:How can exercise aid in sleep disorders during pregnancy? And, what specifically would you recommend?