A couple of weeks ago I wrote about doing CrossFit during pregnancy and I realized I left a few things out, which probably left you with some unanswered questions. Since I’m so passionate about CrossFit, I failed to address pros and cons of doing it while being pregnant, how to get started if you are thinking about it, and other options for those who don’t plan on doing it. Today I thought I would follow-up on my previous post to address all of those items and help anyone who is trying to establish a safe and healthy exercise regimen during their pregnancy.
What are the benefits to doing CrossFit while pregnant? Are the benefits more beneficial than any other form of exercise?
It’s not that CrossFit is more beneficial than any other exercise program. The main goal for anyone, whether you are pregnant or not, is to just get up and be active. The one main benefit for me is that CrossFit is more efficient. You get a high-intensity workout in much less than an hour, burning more calories and building more lean muscle mass than if you worked out at a moderate intensity in a conventional gym for over an hour. Being a mom, I’m all about saving time, so if I can get in a killer workout and gain even better results than working out conventionally, I’m sold! In addition, some other benefits are learning proper lifting techniques for life’s functional movements (squats, carrying your baby, carting around the infant carrier, etc), body awareness, increase in physical fitness and overall well-being.
What are the cons to doing CrossFit during pregnancy?
If you don’t watch your heart rate and exertion level, you could easily overdo it. Something I think is even more important–because most people don’t think about it–relates to physiology: If you haven’t been doing CrossFit for very long prior to your pregnancy, you could learn improper form due to the changes in your body (shifting center of gravity, loosening of joints and ligaments, etc.), thus developing bad habits that will follow you post-pregnancy and likely lead to injury.
What are some alternatives to doing CrossFit during pregnancy?
There are lots of options out there. Walking, jogging, spinning, dancing, Zumba, Pilates, Pre-natal yoga, strength-training, etc. There are so many new exercise classes, the opportunities are endless. The most important thing to remember: Be active! If you like something, stick with it, and see results, that’s all that counts.
How do I get started with CrossFit if I am pregnant?
Continuing to do CrossFit during my pregnancy is only natural for me, but for someone new to it (and pregnant), I would highly recommend that they start out slow, find a good box (CrossFit lingo for gym) and attend the beginner on-ramp classes and learn proper technique, especially with a growing belly, to prevent injury.
Now that I am pregnant, how do I continue doing CrossFit?
Continue doing what you were doing, but instead of working out for time, you are working out for completion. Watch your intensity and make sure you can carry on a conversation while working out. Don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion like you did prior to being pregnant. Take breaks when you need to, so you can get your breathing under control. Stay hydrated. Listen to your body and don’t do any movements that feel uncomfortable. Lastly, check out CrossFit Mom for a specific breakdown of exercises for each trimester and modifications. Andrea has a lot of helpful information!
If I’ve made you even the slightest bit curious about CrossFit, try this fun home workout, CrossFit Home or Travel WOD #12, that anyone can do (pregnant or not!), because it uses just your body weight!
Have you tried CrossFit?
If you have been pregnant, how did you stay active during your pregnancy?
What is your favorite way to workout?