Our very own Elise is very pregnant, and still instructing between 4 and 5 Spin Classes a week! At 7 months, Elise tells us why she is still spinning and what this low-impact cardio has done for her pregnancy, and her own well-being.
When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I had a ton of questions for my doctor.
At the top of the list?
“I’m a spin instructor. Can I still do that?”
“Sure, that’s fine,” she replied, and then paused. “Actually, I wish more people did that.”
After having kept up with spin, both teaching and taking classes, for the past thirty weeks, I can see what she means. It’s widely known that exercise is safe, and even beneficial, for pregnant women, but some workout routines are easier to sustain than others as pregnancy progresses. When it comes to cardiovascular exercise, running started to get uncomfortable after my first trimester, but spinning has been one workout that I found I could stick with, even as my body began to change.
Odds are, if you’ve been spinning regularly at Chestnut Hill Cycle Fitness, you’ve been in a class with a pregnant woman at some point- and she was probably crushing her workout right alongside everyone else. As my workout routine has adapted to my ever-changing (and ever-expanding) body, I’ve discovered by own tips and tricks for getting the most out of a spin class while pregnant:
Listen to your body. You’re every bit as strong and fit as you were before getting pregnant, but that doesn’t mean your body is working in quite the same way. Organs shift to accommodate your growing baby, and that can make breathing more difficult and second and third positions more uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to stay seated, even when everyone else is out of the saddle, or slow down your RPMs a bit if you’re feeling breathless. You’re still getting all the essential benefits from your workout, even if you’re not breaking records.
Clothing matters. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re trying to lose yourself in a workout is what you’re wearing. Comfortable clothing that accommodates your adorable bump is essential. I love this tank top from Athleta, and Lululemon carries several great options for workout pants (including this pair) that easily stretch to fit your changing body. It’s worth noting that neither of these options is classified as “maternity wear,” so don’t feel limited by clothes marketed exclusively to pregnant women. Any stretchy, high-quality material can be a great fit (pun intended) for working out while pregnant. Look for pants with wide waistbands and tanks with long torsos that can fit over a baby bump without riding up.
Hydrate. This one should go without saying, since hydration is important for everyone, not just pregnant women. Still, it’s worth pointing out that water consumption is especially important for pregnant women, as dehydration can cause a number of unhealthy complications. Always keep a full water bottle on your bike during class, and sip water throughout the day before and after a workout, especially during hot weather.
“Morning sickness” is a misnomer. Many people were amazed that I could continue to teach early morning classes during my first trimester, when the all-too-common nausea is at its peak. For me, however, the nausea tended to hit the hardest in the evenings- working out at 6am was perfectly fine. Every pregnancy is different (see #1) so figure out what time of day is best for you and find a class that fits your body’s schedule, even if it’s not your typical timeslot.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up. CHCF has some of the best spin classes around, but our offerings include much more! Cardiovascular exercise, like spinning or running, has tons of benefits for pregnant women, but weight-bearing exercise that strengthens different muscle groups shouldn’t be counted out. If you’re a fan of our full-body, boot camp, or plyo classes, all are perfectly safe to continue. You may need to modify some of the moves as your pregnancy progresses, particularly when it comes to ab work, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you need an alternative to a certain exercise.