Hi my name is Heather Jenson. Wife of 10 years to my best friend, mother of 2 beautiful children (plus a cute little dog) and baby #3 on the way! I am currently 7 months pregnant and in my 3rd trimester (30 Weeks). I am a certified AFAA Fitness Instructor, Marathon Runner, Triathlete and love to teach a variety of Group Exercise classes like Yoga, Pilates, Body Pump, Turbo kick and Boot camp classes to name a few. I am a firm believer in trying to eat healthy and exercise daily to look and feel your best! I like the saying “Train like a Beast, Look Like a Beauty” :)
I have had a different experience with each pregnancy so far. I have always been an active person, but it wasn’t until I had my first child, a girl, that I wanted to get back into shape better than ever. I had a decently healthy pregnancy with my first which I maintained with walking and yoga. But since I have a small frame and was not working out everyday I gained 50 pounds! If you are underweight at the time of getting pregnant, most doctors won’t worry too much if you gain a little over the required amount, but I gained probably more than I should have. As soon as I got the ok to exercise from the Doc, I signed myself up for my first Half marathon. I was so scared! But I did it and lost all of the baby weight by eating healthy and putting in the required running miles with cross training in my routine as well. You need to be strong to finish a half marathon! I became addicted to running and loved how it made me feel and wanted more. Then I took the plunge of something I had always wanted to do and signed up for my first full marathon! My daughter was 18 months old and a great training buddy in our jogging stroller :)
I got pregnant a year later with our second child, a boy, and was busy teaching 7 group exercise classes a week and maintaining my marathon training regiment. I continued to do so while cutting back a little each month as my pregnancy progressed. I taught my last class about a week before my son was born. I delivered a healthy baby boy and only gained about 35 pounds this time around. It was so much easier to bounce back after him because I had maintained a healthy pregnancy the entire 9 months. So much so that I ran another marathon when my son was just 4 months old. I was nursing exclusively and trained my body right by slowly increasing my miles and making sure I took in enough healthy calories to nourish me and my baby. I was able to lose all 35 pounds by about the 4 month mark. I also had a healthy strong body that helped me keep up with 2 kids!
This being my 3rd Pregnancy, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was incredibly sick the first trimester and beyond, until about 20 weeks. I was never this sick with my other two pregnancies so it was a complete curve ball for me. I remember many days laying in bed praying for the nausea and vomiting to end. I was able to go on some medicine which helped take the edge off but never really had full relief. I continued to bike and do yoga and ran when I could. It was a struggle everyday but I knew it would get better eventually. As long as I didn’t get dehydrated and planned to exercise when I felt good enough too, it really helped me escape from the sickness. Finally I started to feel a little better and was grateful I had kept exercising though it. I ran a Half Marathon at 20 weeks with a good friend who has the same due date as me. We wanted to run a “Half Marathon, Halfway to baby”. We even made shirts that said “Baby On Board”. It was such an accomplishment for me at my half way point through the rocky first part of the pregnancy. I am happy to say I feel better than ever with this pregnancy and am still running and teaching fitness classes 7 months along. I am grateful for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby so far and I know it is greatly attributed to exercising regularly.
Now don’t, get me wrong…. I have my days when exercising is the last thing I want to do and the pregnancy craving simply scream at me when I am trying to be good! As far as nutrition, never limit your calories while pregnant if you are running or training for anything! And of course, talk to your doctor and make sure you have the green light to participate in that 5k or take that Pilates class you want to take. At any stage in your pregnancy there are certain do’s and don’ts. Always abide by them and remember its better to be safe than sorry. For example, I am a triathlete and competed in my first Half Ironman last summer before I got pregnant and like to cycle now. When you’re pregnant your balance is off and it is not advised to be on busy roads with cars and lose gravel on a road bike if you are carrying a baby inside you! So I have been riding the stationary bike alot and going to spin class. Both great exercises for pregnancy and completely safe! I also like the emails I get each week from www.babycenter.com
and love reading the Fit Pregnancy magazine and blog.
I had the amazing opportunity of going to Hawaii with my Husband 2 weeks ago for his companies work retreat. We had a wonderful “Baby Moon” and stayed active by snorkeling, running and swimming while there. I also had the amazing opportunity to take a Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Class (SUP YOGA). I have taught yoga for about 6 Years now and had never had the opportunity to do anything like that. So I went for it! It was incredibly challenging and so fun! It was really hard to balance on the board with a 7 months pregnant belly, but I was so glad I did it! I only fell in the water once too! I surprised myself with what I could do. It is something that I will remember forever and hope to get the opportunity again while not pregnant :)
Yoga is something that I have always loved in my training regiment with running and triathlon training, and it is something that most any pregnant woman can do. I am currently still teaching Power yoga and it still makes me feel so good when I finish teaching a class. I would encourage all pregnant women to look into a local yoga class and get started! No matter what stage you are in, yoga is fabulous for Pregnant bodies and Pregnant minds. There are many yoga DVD’s on the market right now as well that are inexpensive and can be practiced in the privacy of your own home. You can try anything from Prenatal Yoga, to relaxation yoga to Power Yoga depending on you fitness level and goals for your pregnancy. I know I need my yoga at least once a week to help stretch my muscles, calm my mind, and get a little break from my 2 sweet, crazy kids before the next one comes!
You also, always need to stay hydrated! Hydration during pregnancy is more precious than usual. Your body needs water to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood volume, build new tissue, carry nutrients, help indigestion, and flush out your wastes and toxins from you and baby! Drinking lots of fluids during pregnancy helps, ease constipation and hemorrhoids, softens skin, and decreases risk of urinary tract infections and preterm labor. It’s a good idea to get eight cups each day, and if it’s hot or if you’ve been exercising, you probably need even more. I always keep a water bottle with me while in the car or running errands. That way I always have some to sip on and its always ready when I hit the gym. At home I fill up a big glass of ice water and leave it out visible in whatever room I’m in. That way I see it and make sure I drink throughout the day.
I have learned more than anything with this pregnancy to enjoy the ride and be grateful for the way my body is changing to make way for the little miracle that is coming soon. Every mom needs some pampering too, so try to find something that will relax you and make you feel beautiful! Take a bubble bath, paint your toes (Um, maybe not with that belly! Have someone else paint them for you or splurge and go get a pedicure :)
indulge in that craving you have, and take pictures of your bump! I had some maternity pictures taken of me last month and was so glad I did them. I struggled with pictures of me pregnant my first 2 times and wanted to change that with this pregnancy. I really am glad I did and I really feel beautiful in them. (Maternity pictures by the talented Brittany of www.myframedphotography.com
Good luck to all you expectant moms out there and remember to enjoy your bump!
Written by Heather Jenson
*To find out if you are the winner of the Isabella Oliver Maternity T-shirt dress giveaway, click here!