Meet Alisha, a women's fitness and health coach who is pregnant with her first child and in the early stages of her pregnancy. She's a goal-oriented go-getter who is sticking to her pre-pregnancy workout schedule and modifying things as she needs to. Her message on exercise: something is always better than nothing!
What was the biggest pregnancy exercise myth told to you that you knew (or now know) wasn’t true?
One myth I’ve heard is that you shouldn’t start exercising while you’re pregnant if you didn’t regularly exercise before.
I believe that’s rubbish. Of course, a newbie isn’t going to jump into bodybuilding weights in the middle of their pregnancy, but any woman can definitely start moving regularly through walking, swimming, and basic weight training.
What was your exercise routine before becoming pregnant?
Before I fell pregnant I was doing 3 functional strength workouts a week, and aiming for 3 cardio sessions a week (e.g. HIIT session, interval running, boxing, etc). My daily activity goal was 30+ minutes of exercise, which I hit 5-6 days a week most weeks.
What does your exercise routine look like now?
Currently, I'm 14 weeks pregnant, and since falling pregnant my goal has been basically the same - 3 weights sessions, 3 cardio sessions a week. For my weights sessions, I usually try to do a full body workout hitting legs, glutes, back, shoulders, chest, and arms. Sometimes I might do an upper/lower body split, but generally, I'll do a full body circuit. I usually do either 12-15 reps or 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds rest.
I've been a little less strict on the time for my cardio sessions. Sometimes I may just get a 20-minute brisk walk in, but I believe SOMETHING is better than nothing. Over the past 8 weeks or so, I've probably hit 4-5 out of 6 workouts a week.
What has been the biggest challenge in pursuing physical fitness and exercise during pregnancy?
Tiredness. I've been super blessed and haven't had any serious nausea, but fatigue - hello! My struggle has been to just make exercise happen around that. Some days I listen to my body and just rest (such as taking an extra nap if I need to).
How did you overcome this challenge to Shape Your Pregnancy?
The way I've tackled this challenge is to commit to getting my workouts done in the morning before the day gets ahead. I figure if I get my workout done even if I'm feeling a bit tired, I can always nap later! Most of the time this is working for me.
What message would you want to share with other expecting and new moms?
I would want them to know that your body needs to keep moving and exercising for a healthy mumma, healthy birth and healthy baby! AND exercising is completely safe within the parameters of what you've previously been doing. Our bodies don't just automatically become unable to exercise once we're pregnant. I've personally learned that aside from the challenging fatigue and/or nausea we may experience at first, our bodies can continue almost as normal with our exercise, and slowly taper off intensity as pregnancy progresses.
Do you use Baby2Body? Feel free to share any thoughts or experiences you’ve had with Baby2Body so far.
I'm new to Baby2Body but loving what it promotes and how it empowers women! I love that you are trying to dispel the myths about fitness and pregnancy. I’m a women’s fitness and health coach and I’m currently pregnant (first time yay!) so I’m LOVING that I’m finding other women and communities like Baby2Body who support and promote fitness during pregnancy.