- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
My midwives have encouraged regular exercise and trust me to know my limits.
Aside from personal tolerance and risk factors, there is no general reason to stop working out until your body either tells you to, or it’s time to have the baby. You will know when an activity is too uncomfortable to be appropriate any more. Trust your body, but don’t go beyond your skill level.
Don’t work out at an intensity that feels like it will make you pass out. Modify exercises you’ve always done to fit what currently feels good. Dial it back from 80% intentity to 70%, 60%, 50%, 40% and so on, adjusting for each month of growth to a new comfort level. If you normally work out strenuously, a more moderate exercise program should feel like a happy vacation in your second tri (at least, it does for me).
I’m 5 months now, and I work out 5x a week, 2-3x strength training (modified lifting regimen), 3x cardio (elliptical or stationary bike at a moderate pace — I have a bike trainer at home), plus prenatal yoga once a week or so, and daily walks with the dog. I am definitely not pushing myself to the level I once did, but still working up a sweat and getting my HR up. Every few weeks there is something I can’t do any more, or an activity that feels a lot more difficult than it once did. At this rate, I am hoping to continue regular exercise into my 8th month, if not until my EDD.
Also, LOL at the “no HR above 140” — I mean, yeah, that’s high and probably not great for extended runs, but some people have higher HR’s when exercising and their bodies will tolerate more. Doctors seriously say things that boggle my mind sometimes. One size does NOT fit all. An acquaintance’s doctor told her to stop riding her bike when she was pregnant. Not, “when it’s no longer comfortable,” just “yeah don’t do that.” What. Why?! If it’s the risk, did he tell her to stop driving her car, too? Hurts my head.
ETA: There are several bees here who ran 1/2 marathons at 20 weeks. The impact of running was uncomfortable for me far before that, but from what I understand, a lot of people keep it up well into pregnancy.