Maternity Workouts & Workout Gear

running while pregnant

Before I got pregnant, I thought that I would spend the nine months running and sweating in the same way as before. I had visions of finishing multiple races while wearing a fun pregnancy tank, further developing my muscles and strength during high intensity workouts and continuing to explore and try different NYC boutique fitness workouts via ClassPass.

I quickly realized, that pregnancy is unique for each person. Personally, I found it virtually impossible to workout during weeks 7-12 of pregnancy due to exhaustion and some nausea. Over the past 11 weeks I have luckily been able to return to a consistent workout routine, averaging six workouts per week. However, my weekly workout schedule has evolved and quite different than what I did before.

  • Most weeks, my workout schedule is as follows:

Instead of trying multiple studios and teachers per month, I am more focused. Each of the above workouts leave me feeling strong, energize and most of all – safe. The instructors are able to easily provide me with prenatal adjustments while also focusing on form and technique. These workouts are also helping me prepare for the marathon that will is child birth and being a new mom. These workouts also take place in Brooklyn, which is quite an adjustment from my previous routine.  Walking to workouts allows me to enjoy some fresh air and extra movement while also saving on commute time.

In addition to changing my routine and class choices, I’ve also had to make some changes to my workout gear. By the time I entered my second trimester,  my body was significantly growing and changing. Suddenly I felt as if I had no workout clothes, even though my dresser drawers were filled with sports bras, leggings and tops. I did my best to resist buying things but then realized that the last thing I wanted to feel or resemble while working out was a stuffed sausage. I spent an afternoon going through my dresser and made three piles – donate, keep but store for after pregnancy, and keep to wear now.  Once I purged my drawers I invested in a few pieces that would allow me to feel confident and comfortable while working out.

Here is the workout gear that I’ve been loving during pregnancy.

  • For Two Fitness Tank – I love this comfortable tank as it comes in a number of colors, is flattering and very comfortable. The technical fabric and long length ensures that the top stays in place and I stay cool during every workout  This makes a perfect gift for a new mom who enjoys working out and wants to share her news with everyone.

For Two Fitness Tank

  • Brooks Pick-Up Tank Top – This was one of my favorite workout tanks before pregnancy but now that I am the proud owner of a growing bump, I’ve fallen even more in love with it. Available in more than 15 different colors, this affordable tank ranges in price from $21-$42 depending on color and is so soft and stretchy. In fact, it’s so long and stretchy that I am still able to wear my pre-pregnancy size though I finally ordered 2 new tanks in a size larger to enjoy during the rest of pregnancy.  My friend who is also pregnant raves about the higher neck so she isn’t constantly flashing people during workouts and I love the skimming shape.

Core Power Yoga Ashley

  • Brooks Juno and Brooks Fiona Sports Bras – The first piece of workout gear I had to invest in during pregnancy were new sports bras. My 36A sports bras were uncomfortably tight within the first trimester as I rapidly grew from a 36A to a 36C. Now, at week 23 I’m between a C and a D but luckily, thanks to the adjustable straps on each of these styles, I’m still enjoying both bras. The molded cups limit my headlights during workouts and the light compression provides me with the support I need.  Many of my mom friends recommended these bra styles as they can also be used for nursing after I give birth.  In addition, Brooks sells these bras in almost every size beginning at 30B and going up to 44DD.
  • Nike Power Epic Running Tights – I’ve been surprised to find myself reaching for these black tights week after week, even as my stomach and body grows.  They stretch more than any of my other leggings and the mesh details on the calf help keep me cool.

Your turn: If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant before, what were your favorite pieces of workout gear? Unfortunately, it seems like most brands have discontinued or limited their maternity gear over the past few years, as when I read older blog posts or articles, more than half the links and lines no longer exist. 

Follow:

Finding Your Happy Place

All day today, I was looking forward to this evening’s workout date with Bo. While we rarely workout after work, this morning the snooze button won and instead, we decided that we’d find a class on Classpass that worked for both our schedules and make it a date. I know guys, we’re so romantic sometimes but seriously, when you’re working long hours, sometimes it’s nice to be together even if it’s sweating  in a class and then commuting home together.
classpass-schedule

Unfortunately, as soon as I sat down on my bike I realized the vibe of the class wasn’t what either of us wanted. The teacher we were excited to try, whose classes were called challenging and inspiring on the ClassPass site, was out sick. Instead, the substitute teacher said that his goal was to make us dance on the bike and have fun with new moves. After a long day, I wanted to zone in and just sweat out the day’s stress. I didn’t want to focus on choreography moves. I wanted a class that would push me physically. Within a few minutes of class starting, I was tempted to leave. While I’m sure some people love this teacher, his constant reference to the co-ed class as “ladies” and “girls” annoyed me and his focus on fun choreography just isn’t my style.

During the warm-up song, I tried to look past my disappointment and frustration, instead, taking a moment to focus in on why I came to class.

  • I came to class to sweat out the knots in my back, the stress in my head and the tension I was holding after work.
  • I came to class to feel strong physically.
  • I came to class to spend time with Bo.
  • I came to class hoping I would leave feeling the endorphin high.

Instead of leaving, after the warm-up we moved from our front row bikes to empty bikes in the back row. In the anonymity of that back corner, we were able to spend the next 45-minutes zoning out and focusing on what we each needed and wanted from the class.  We didn’t change the vibe of the class or stand out since no one could see us. I ignored his complex choreography cues and instead did mini sprints during the bike dancing. During the climbs, I pushed the tension on the wheel, progressively making it harder until reaching the top. Changing my mindset allowed me to enjoy the 45-minute class and even find myself smiling and nodding my head to the final song of class,  Evanescence’s, Bring Me To Life.

Sometimes it’s important to remember why you walk through doors of a workout studio or class. While the teacher may be one aspect, it most likely isn’t the only reason. So next time you accidentally end up with a teacher or class that isn’t your style, take a few deep breaths and find your happy place. Then spend the rest of the class doing your best to make the time meet your needs – whether that is physically or mentally. After all, it’s your workout and your time, right?

Follow:

The Biking Date from Hell

Yesterday Bo and I took our new bikes out for their first ride. After sleeping until our bodies woke up naturally, I had a huge smile on my face when I saw the blue sky and sunshine streaming through our window. As soon as I stepped out of bed my quads and calves let me know just how they felt about the idea after Saturday’s hilly trail run. I couldn’t let Bo head out with me and instead requested that we do a flat, scenic ride instead of hills.

Even though we took longer than normal to get our act together by 1pm we were on our bikes ready to go. We had oatmeal and coffee as our pre-ride fuel and each carried a water bottle and some fuel. I grabbed Clif Margarita Shot Blocks along with a small bag of pistachios and dried apricots.

2014-06-15 13.48.022014-06-15 13.47.44

Before pulling out of our driveway I asked Bo what our plan was for the ride and he said he’d mapped a great 20 mile route that looked like it would be scenic and take us through the French countryside. I told him that I’d assess how I was feeling and may turn back early but I secretly figured the flat ride would help flush out my legs’ soreness.

I didn’t have many goals for the day other than enjoying the scenery and getting comfortable on my bike. I immediately felt a difference riding this bike, which was fitted to my shape and size on Friday night, versus the rental bike. Everything felt so much more comfortable and I felt like I was able to get more power out of every rotation, thanks to proper adjustment. During our first few miles, while we were in a calm flat area, I practiced clipping and unclipping each foot as we were riding. I’ve read on multiple sites that it’s better to practice doing this when you don’t have to so it becomes second nature when you have to quickly unclip.

2014-06-15 16.42.31

At around the 5 mile point we approached the Saleve, which I’ve run a few times but never sumited via the roads. Bo took a moment at a stoplight to study the map and realized that the path he mapped evidently included the Saleve. In that moment I remembered the stories of co-workers who summit it via bike after work and decided that this was as good as any to give it a try. I told him to turn his phone on ring in case I needed to stop and turn around due to tired legs.

From this point we started a 1,000 foot climb including a few hair-pin curves and a few breathtaking view points.

2014-06-15 14.46.402014-06-15 14.56.072014-06-15 14.56.452014-06-15 14.57.092014-06-15 14.58.18

I think Bo heard my choice words coming out of my mouth before he actually saw me come around the corner. At 11 miles and 1,100 feet of elevation climb my body was done. I felt defeated, annoyed and frustrated. He’d tempted me with this awesome adventure and bike path but my body wasn’t ready for it yesterday. He gave me a huge sweaty hug and reminded me of two things – today was my 3rd bike ride and he’s been spending a lot of time in the spin bike saddle over the past few months since his IT band injury.

2014-06-15 16.37.04-1

Before turning around to head down the mountain we took the pictures in this post, including the gorgeous vistas and took in some fuel and water. I’m not very comfortable on the bike yet so drinking water while riding doesn’t come naturally.

2014-06-15 16.36.55

As we came to the bottom we decided to start along another path, which we thought would lead us back towards Geneva. We also both thought this would be a flat path. That seemed to be the trend yesterday because just like the previous one, this had plenty of incline as we rode through La Muraz, Annemasse, Thonex, Carouge and finally back into Eaux Vives. Two 300 feet climbs and 17 miles later we found our way back to our flat in Geneva. I was covered in salt, there were tears of exhaustion in my eyes and we both vowed to study maps and trails better before our next long ride.  While riding, this ride felt like the ride from hell. But now reflecting on it a day later I’m thankful for the experience.

image

His MapMyRide app captured the entire ride save for the last 3 miles pretty accurately, within 3 tenths of a mile of my Garmin.

Lessons learned yesterday:

1. Always carry more fuel and water than you think you need.

2. Double check your routes using the elevation button on MapMyRide before starting the ride.

3. Wear and bring extra sunscreen with you because it will need to be applied.

If you’re an avid cyclist, what apps do you love?

Follow: