Dear Fitness Expert,
I'm 40 years old. I confirmed yesterday that I'm pregnant. I had a miscarriage a few months ago. I have been on a women's bowling league since last May. The league ends in April. Is it safe to continue to bowl even though I am a high risk pregnancy? What about prenatal Yoga?
You must contact your doctor and discuss your "at-risk" pregnancy. That is the first thing you must do. Because we do not know all the details of your medical background and because you recently miscarried, it is difficult for us to answer this question based on such little information.
However, we can tell you that if 1) your physician is comfortable with your continued bowling and believes you are physically able to workout and 2) you have already been working out and your body is acclimated to elevated heart rates, cardio and other muscle regiments, you should have no difficulty working out.
The biggest problem we see are the women who discover they are pregnant and suddenly want to workout. Of course, we do not recommend this! If, however, you have been working out regularly and bowling with consistency, there will be no 'shock' to your system. In fact, studies show that women do better during pregnancy when working out. They recover more quickly and have easier deliveries but, again, this is all contingent on the fact that your body can handle the exercise.
Yoga? Again, once you are given the green light from your OB/GYN, yoga would be a nice way to stay in shape, stay loose and keep your muscles strong. But check out the yoga class. You don't want a hot house -- or hard core routine that will put new stress on your body. Yoga can be quite strenuous.
Our advise is that you first speak with your doctor, then employ a personal trainer who is certified and experienced in working with pregnant clients. [Broke? Even meeting with a trainer for a one-time-fee of $40 is money well spent for a safe workout routine and peace of mind]
Stay strong! Walk with hand weights, eat well and join a support group to keep you energized, educated and motivated throughout your pregnancy. Good luck and please, keep us posted!
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!