No Excuses Exercise Tips
Here's how to stay active even when you're uncomfortable and as big as a duplex.
Obstacle Frequent peeing
Solutions A gym workout means you'll be close to a bathroom, and if you're taking a class, tell your instructor you're pregnant so she'll understand your frequent departures. If you prefer walking in the fresh air, plan your route in a neighborhood that has a coffee house or restaurant on every block, or locate the bathroom at a local park and do laps in the vicinity. For trail hiking, bring along toilet tissue—and make sure you're still able to squat.
Late in pregnancy, as your baby moves deeper into your pelvis, you may leak urine when you work out. "Wear a pad so if you drip a little, you'll be protected," says Hoff.
Obstacle Swollen feet and ankles
Solutions Swelling is partly caused by the pressure of your uterus on the veins in your legs, which causes fluid buildup. Swimming offers relief because the water's buoyancy lifts the baby off your pelvis. "If you have a hard time kicking, place a buoyancy ball between your legs and use your upper body only," Hoff advises. "Just being horizontal should help with swelling."
Avoid the treadmill and elliptical trainer, but consider the recumbent bike, which places less pressure on your ankles. Buy athletic shoes one-half to one size bigger than normal so you have plenty of wiggle room, and remove the laces from the top holes. Make sure the rest of the shoe is snug and supportive.
Swelling typically subsides at night, so work out earlier in the day. Massage may also help, says New York City fitness trainer and prenatal-massage therapist Anne Taylor. "Have your partner use an exfoliation brush to massage your feet and calves in an upward motion, which will help recirculate extra fluid that can accumulate in the legs," Taylor says.
Solutions "Everyone has a time of day when they have the most energy, so schedule your workouts then," Hoff says. Dial down the intensity and break up your workout into 10-minute sessions, either stretching or resting in between. Weiss suggests choosing an activity that's enjoyable and social, like taking a walk with a friend. "Stroll around the block once and tell yourself you can stop. Chances are, you'll get to the front door and feel like doing another lap."