Dear Fitness Expert,
I am planning to have my second baby. I conceived in April and had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I have passed 6 weeks from the womb wash. Is it ok to join a gym and work out for 3 times a week? I mainly concentrate on the treadmill, crosstrainer and the rowing machine.
I am a full time mum and I feel very bored at home. I need to build my self esteem. Can you also recommend anything else for fitness other than joining the gym?
Absolutely "yes" to the gym idea! However, I have a few conditions for you. First, let me applaud your desire to join a gym. As an at-home mom, studies have shown that joining some kind of social group and/or staying physically fit makes you a more patient, loving, tolerant, energetic, happy and healthy mom -- all the key ingredients for a healthy lifestyle for your baby.
It is perfectly fine (and even recommended by OB/GYN boards) that you remain physically fit before, during and after pregnancy. However, you must first discuss this plan of action with your doctor. As I do not know your medical history, this is something that must be approved of by your own physician. Once he or she gives you the green light, interview a few gyms. This is an important step for you. Do not simply choose the closest gym to your home. Call a few gyms and ask about the trainers (and their qualifications) for working with moms-to-be and new moms. Ask for their resumes and check it out!
As a trainer, I expect my clients to know a little about me. I am not at all offended to have people looking into my background. It is important that my clients are comfortable with my expertise and have trust in the goals we set forward. This gym should also have someone you can talk to about nutrition, postpartum depression, be understanding to your needs and strains as a new mom and also the physical and emotion feelings you have following your second pregnancy. These "emotional" factors play a huge part in your fitness program.
Once you have found a gym and trainer you are comfortable with, arrange to meet, discuss your short-term and long-term plans and ask for a mock workout routine. Ask to take a copy of this to your doctor to make sure it is safe and away you go.But in answer to your question, the treadmill, Stairmaster, crosstrainer and rowing machines are all great ways to workout. And do not buy into the myth that weights are not good during pregnancy. You can keep your muscles long, lean and toned throughout your pregnancy by working out with lighter weights/higher repetitions.
Please be aware of your inner core temperature as you begin to workout. When you do become pregnant again, your baby is one degree Celsius higher in body temp than you are and has no way to sweat as your own body temperature begins to rise. More important than your heart beat range is your body core temperature. Talk to your trainer about this.
For more tips on body core temperature, check out our site on this very topic. There are many helpful hints as to how to check your temperature and keep you/your baby safe from overheating. Good luck.
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!