Dear Fitness Expert,
I am 5 weeks pregnant and teach an Aqua Boot Camp class three mornings a week for an hour. The class includes 5-7 minutes of warm-up, 40 minutes of hi/low intensity exercises, 3-5 minutes of abs, and 10 minutes of cool-down/stretching. We burn about 700 calories during the class.
I drink water throughout class and am able talk throughout the class. Is it safe to continue teaching and is there a time during the pregnancy that I will have to decrease my intensity level?
Thanks for your help!
This is a great fitness class to have while pregnant. As a result of being in the water, we don't have to worry so much about your inner core temperature. However, I would still ask that you get on our site and read about inner core temperature. It is important for you to understand why you do not want to exceed 101° F and why you can't simply guess how hot you think you are.
That said, I want to make sure I understand what this class entails. Initially, I was thinking you were in a pool. Is this correct? For this reason, I was not as concerned about high impact or increased inner core temperature but I would love some feedback on that to be sure I am on the right track.
Either way, because you are an athlete and in the first trimester, you are reasonably safe. I say reasonably because we need to be sure you talk to your doctor and are given medical permission to continue. Assuming that you are, you are in an excellent position because none of this is a new activity.
Our biggest concerns are when a pregnant person suddenly decides to start working out to hold off excessive weight gain. In your case, you are already acclimated. You know how the routines already feel. As long as you are 1) getting plenty of rest/recovery time, 2) staying properly hydrated and 3) checking your inner core temperature (important!) and keeping a log on what activities you do, when you checked your inner core temp, what the temp was, how you felt, and how you feel after the classes are over ... and it's all good, you can feel good about what you are doing.
Because you are a professional, you already said the magic words ... you will decrease the intensity level as you progress. By the end of your second trimester, you will feel a shift in the body. Your joints will begin to soften in preparation of child birth. At this time, I always recommend that the higher impact activities become something you TEACH and not do. You can continue to do the light cardio (to comfort) and upper body routines with weights. Ab work, of course, is limited. In the pool you are safer. On the floor, you may do side crunches.
The two greatest tools you have are checking the inner core temperature and the fact that you are a professional. You KNOW what feels good and what does not. Don't worry about weight gain, losing strength or cardio. Stay faithful to those 3 things previously discussed and have a great pregnancy!
Please keep me posted as you move along.
Alexandra Allred is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, models, actresses, trainers, doctors, and health/fitness experts as she sought to find answers to her own questions about working out while pregnant, arranging breast-feeding around a training schedule, diet when pregnant and breastfeeding, and encouraging her whole family.
Alex is the author of ten books, including Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone: Balancing Self, Health & Family. We're excited to have her on board!