Guest Post: Fitness Activities for the Third Trimester


7.1 miles/60 mins

1.0% incline



My friend Ashley from Alaska has written a pregnancy running post for SR before – check it out here.  She’s a former collegiate athlete, an incredible runner and is dedicated to having a balanced, healthy pregnancy so I hope you enjoy this second guest post from her.

{Once again just to be clear, I am not pregnant.  My hope is that the readers who are at this stage in their lives can be encouraged, motivated and inspired by this post.}

Planning My Comeback: Third Trimester Running

If I were to be completely honest, I would admit that very little running has been happening this third trimester of pregnancy (unless you count running across a parking lot because I was late for my brother’s basketball game).  I have gravitated more and more toward low impact activity these last few weeks, enjoying the variety and the rush of endorphins as my small parasite slowly takes over my body.

Despite my trend away from running, I have still found many activities to stay active, and will quickly tell anyone that asks that keeping "fit" while pregnant has also kept me sane.  At almost 35 weeks I am so thankful to still be working out five days a week, collecting gawks and stares from others at the gym and on the trail, doing whatever activity comes my way.  So without further ado, here are my top five activities for 35 weeks:

{At the school where I teach, at 34 weeks}

1. Elliptical: I love that I can vary the resistance and cadence as needed from day to day, and even minute to minute. As the pregnancy progresses and Braxton-Hicks contractions kick in more and more it’s nice to crank down the resistance (from say 6 to 4) for a couple minutes while my body does its thing.  Sometimes my heart rate is sky high due to a particularly stressful day of teaching, and I just coast at 6mph instead of 8.  Actually, who am I kidding; most days I coast at 6mph at that gets me to a heart rate of 150 in no time.  The other nice thing about the smooth nature of the elliptical is that I don’t feel the constant need to rush to the bathroom.

2. Yoga: I said it before and I’ll say it again: Yoga is the best new workout I’ve discovered during pregnancy. I love the camaraderie with other pregnant women, the strength training using my body for resistance, and building flexibility to prepare for the birth.  Some of the positions get more awkward as I try to fit a thirty pound belly into position, but the instructor I have is phenomenal in encouraging adjustments and the use of props to maximize the workout.  I fully intend to continue yoga postpartum and as cross training beyond my recovery.

3. Cross Country Skiing: The snow finally showed up in Alaska, better late than never.  I have been out a handful of times and while my balance is slightly off, I love the different type of workout it provides. Sure, I may stop halfway up hills now and then, and run into the occasional moose, but for the most part it’s been a great outdoor activity to get some fresh air.

{Cross Country Skiing with my husband Curtis at 32 weeks}

4. Snowshoeing: Also in the category of "great ways to get fresh air" has been snowshoeing, which I realize is another option many of you don’t have due to location.  Obviously I wouldn’t try this unless you’ve done it once or twice in the past, but when the snow is soft it’s like the stair-master at the gym–with way better scenery and fewer noxious smells to aggravate the hyper-sensitive pregnancy nose.

5. Planning My Come Back: Technically this isn’t physical exercise, but it has been doing wonders for me mentally.  If I can’t get out for a ten mile run (or ski!) on my favorite trails, or follow a training plan because I’m at the mercy of "how I’m feeling" on a day to day basis, at least I can look toward the future when I will be back to my normal running self, not carrying around a bowling ball everywhere I go. 

{At the gym at 34 weeks}

I have been perusing race options, scouting out training plans, devouring running blogs, and looking at everything from a 5k to a marathon to a triathlon as I look toward what I hope to train for in the next 18 months.  I haven’t given up on my goal of a sub-3 marathon; maybe 2013 or 2014 will be the year.  Knowing that my running is merely on hold–and not gone forever–makes tapering and adjusting my current fitness a lot more fun.  My current modified workouts are supporting my comeback, one session at a time.

{Skiing at 33 weeks}

So to those of you pregnant, past, present and future, know that I am with you in spirit.  Way to get out there and conquer modified workouts!  Way to keep going after taking a break for an ill timed contraction or your seventeenth bathroom break!  Way to still fight to fit in an elliptical when you have a one hour window between your eight hour work day, a doctor’s appointment, and a three hour birthing class!  It may not be easy, but it is definitely worth it.

Current prego readers:

What’s your latest workout favorites? Are you planning a comeback? How late into your pregnancy did you workout? How did your "comeback" turn out–faster or slower than you expected?

What Next?

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