Dear Fitness Expert,
I am overweight and I started a fitness routine a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant. I have heard people say you can continue a fitness routine that your body was use to. My body wasn't use to any exercise!
Can I continue working out or do I need to take it easy? I am really concerned about gaining more weight, and want to get my body in better shape.
Wonderful! Good for you for working out and having the desire to continue. Yes, it is true that your body becomes acclimated to a workout routine and can easily handle it during pregnancy and, yes, experts always worry about newly pregnant women who jump into a new exercise routine.
Let's break down your situation one-by-one. You've committed yourself to working out (good for you) but because you have not be able to adjust to a new routine, you must talk to your OB/GYN. Not only do you need medical permission to exercise but it is wise to let him or her know what your plans are in terms of exercise and weight. Too many women focus on the weight issue rather than the health issue.
After getting the green light for exercise, meet with a nutritionist and trainer. Even if money is too tight for a regular visit, most gyms offer a $30-ish dollar fee for a one-time meeting. You need to talk to someone about the kinds of things you eat and drink, when you eat/drink and the amount you consume. A nutritionist can figure out how many calories you need according to your lifestyle. Again, far too many women use pregnancy as a license to eat, eat, eat while others panic about weight gain and consume too little calories.
Let your doctor worry about your weight. Instead, you need to meet with a trainer who has worked with pregnant clients (ask for references and call them!) to offer a safe, fun workout. After that meeting, work out with a buddy, periodically meeting with a trainer to make sure your form is good as your body begins to change.
Studies have shown that more important than exercise is what/how you eat during the next ten months. Exercise and have fun -- once you've armed yourself with your own personal team. As corny as it sounds, knowledge is power. You will feel more confident about working out when you are informed.
Have fun and go, go, go!