S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO on July 27, 2010
Lack of Stamina/ Muscle Soreness After Exercise During Pregnancy
I have noticed that my muscles are so sore after I work out, even since very early on in my pregnancy (started about 12 weeks). Before pregnancy, I ran about 2-3 miles at a time, about 3-4 times per week. Now I am attempting to run about 1-2 miles 3 times per week. I am by no means big and have only gained about 14lbs thus far (5 months preg now), so why is working out so difficult for me? I start my run/eliptical/walk and within 3 minutes my legs feel like dead weight! I am getting very frustrated! I refuse to accept the "you are pregnant, maybe you just can't exercise" thing. I know plenty of women who exercise for the duration of their pegnancy (including myself during my first pregnancy), and considering I was very fit prior to this, I should be able to continue.
I always stretch before and after my workouts, and I include a warm up and cool down period. I eat healthy and drink plenty of water. I have excellent Asics running shoes, and I renew my shoes every 300 miles. I am at a loss as to why my legs don't seem to want to cooperate and why my muscles hurt so bad for 2 days after any workout. I do not experience any pain at all during my workouts, it is always about 24-48 hours later. I am not adding anything new or increasing the intensity of my workouts, in fact, I am decreasing the intensity. I am sooo tired! Suggestions?
M.M. answers from Chicago on July 27, 2010
Yep, you're pregnant and that happens.
I've been working out (bootcamp, tae bo, heavy weights, circuits, etc..) for 10 yrs, and have continued my intensity through 2 pregnancies - I'm 37 weeks into my second now.
I have found that my body responds differently with each. With my first, I had to decrease my intensity during cardio because my heart rate would soar very easily.
With this second one, muscle fatigue set in around month 4 and I'm only now starting to get it back. That just means that I've been lifting 10-20lbs lighter with my workouts. I'm just now increasing them to rebuild my strength as I go into delivery, and cardio has become too cumbersome. So I'm doing a 4day split with heavy weights only.
In other words, keep your intensity as much as you can, but DO remember that while it seems like a cop out, you ARE pregnant and your body will decide what feels good. Keep at it as long as you can. I plan to go until delivery (did with the first, too), you just have to expect that it's going to be challenging after the fact. I constantly feel beaten up after my workouts. Simple things like walking are tough, yet I can bang out kickboxing or 50 squats at 40lbs with no problem. Very strange, but go with it. It'll pay off SOOOOO much more afterwards when you drop the weight quickly (and everyone will hate you. :) )
N.R. answers from Kansas City on July 28, 2010
First of all it sounds like your baby could be putting pressure and leaning against the nerves in your spine, which just happens to control the leg muscles-nerves. As you get further along, she/he should move and "squish" other things, I promise.
We all know every pregnancy is as different as each child is. Therefore it effects our bodies different. You were very lucky to have been able to exercise throughout your first pregnancy. Most do not.
The main thing you should think about is, What is more important in the long run:
1) gaining a few extra pounds-inches, during this PG. (You've stated your size and how much you've gained so far in your question so I understand this is an important issue for you)
2) having a very healthy baby and good pregnancy.
Ok, silly question. Of course, we all know what is really the most important.
I know it is frustrating, not being able to do what you usually would do, but having a healthy baby is worth it, right!
When our bodies "hurt" or are "tired" and " feel rundown" during pregnancy at any trimester, it is telling us to slow down. Remember, some mothers are are bed-rest for their entire pregnancy.
Just as a headache or fever, is our body telling us something is not quite right, so slow down for a moment, in everyday life. Pregnancies have "un-explained aches" to slow down for. Undue stress on the baby is the last thing you would want to do. Give it a few weeks, yes weeks.
And if it is just pressure on your spine, remember they move throughout the pregnancy, so maybe the baby will adjust her/himself soon and decide it is time to lay on your bladder next, and let your legs have peace.
Good luck. It sounds like you are very healthy, so a few extra inches will not be a problem after the pg, to remove right.
Please remember this an pass it on, The outside package is not as important as the inside package, during pregnancy.
I wish you the best from a mother of 5.
R.N. answers from Kansas City on July 28, 2010
Uh, sorry you don't want to accept it -- but pregnancy does change things. It's is a complete physiological transformation that puts a huge stress on your circulatory system -- on all your systems! Each subsequent pregnancy will probably be harder, too. It's not the same every time or for everyone. Just because you heard about someone running marathons up to the end, doesn't mean it will work for all women, including you. **Listen to your body.** You have nothing to prove. Your focus right now should be on having a healthy pregnancy, not an athlete's physique.
V.D. answers from St. Louis on July 31, 2010
maybe you just dont have enought of the proper nutrients for you and the baby, I would ask your ob/gyn
M.H. answers from Atlanta on July 27, 2010
I'm sure that your body is just reacting to the changes. I use a energy bar (simply food) that actually keeps my muscles from getting sore. They are inexpensive and they work great. They inhibit the adenosene in the your system that allows the lactic acid to build up in the muscles. That's what causes the soreness. A really good absorbable prenatal will help too. All prenatals are not created equally.
If you're interested, let me know. I'd be glad to help.
K.G. answers from Wichita on July 28, 2010
I'm pregnant with #3, and all I can tell you is that each pregnancy was different for me too. With #1, I was very paranoid about everything, so I pretty much stuck to walking. With #2, I ran until 34 weeks and felt good the whole time. With this one, I only was able to run until about 28 weeks. Like you, I felt fine while running, but I would be so sore the rest of the day (especially my back) that I could hardly move to take care of the other two. I cut back to walking, but even that makes me sore now (38 weeks).
Just listen to your body. It's doing a lot for you right now! I agree about adding some protein to help with soreness. I did p90x after my 2nd was born, and drinking a protein shake (20 grams of protein) within an hour of a workout really helped to prevent soreness.
J.R. answers from Kansas City on July 27, 2010
Try not to think of miles so much as time. 30 min. of elevated heart rate is a great start for "preggo-cardio". Do shorter time/distance and increase frequency. Muscles contract when your pregnant naturally so that coupled with only working out 2-3 times a week may be the culprit. Work out a little 5 days a week to keep the muscles toned and stretched. Your body is just becoming acclimated to a lot of changes right now. Good luck!
A.B. answers from Kansas City on July 29, 2010
You are pregnant. Every pregnancy is different. It's entirely possible that your body just can't renew as quickly, so your muscles stay "torn" from the work out longer. Your body is busy putting all of your nutrients and energy toward the baby. I suggest you stop running if it bothers you so much.