BY GWEN JORGENSEN | JULY 10, 2017, 2:37 P.M. (ET)
When it comes to pregnancy and fitness, everyone is so different. Here are the adjustments I’ve made to my fitness routine, why I listen closely to my body and my biggest pregnancy surprises:
Biggest Adjustments I’ve Made
I’ve had to really scale down my expectations. Every day is so different. Some days,, I can only go a 10-minute mile and other days I’m running a 7-minute mile. I must be willing to go with the flow and listen to my body.
I wear support on my belly and that has been beneficial. For me, it’s hard to bend over. In the weight room, I’m not bending over much and am also now scaling back on abdominal work.
I haven’t been able to swim as much because I get sharp pains, so I’ve been avoiding flip turns, pushing off the wall and doing anything fast.
In cycling, I feel most comfortable on my mountain bike, when I’m more upright and on bigger tires.
Listening to My Body
I’m making changes daily based on how I feel. I have no training program. My number one goal is to have a healthy baby, and to have a healthy baby I also have to be exercising. For me, I’ve had to make a mental shift as well and look at this year as exercising, not training. I’m taking it day by day. Some days, I wake up and everything in my body hurts and I just take a day off — and I’ve never really had that luxury before. I’m in tune with my body and listen to it daily.
The Biggest Surprises
My toenails almost fell off because my feet grew an entire size. Everyone tells me that my feet can grow, but I guess I didn’t realize it. I never get black and blue toenails so was confused when my toenails started to fall off (then I realized I had to buy a full size larger shoe). Also, I was surprised with how swollen my legs got. If I spend a lot of time walking around, they get really swollen and I need to make sure I’m wearing compression socks or keeping my feet elevated when not doing a workout. Calf cramps have been another change and surprise. On average, I am woken up about once a week with a charley horse in my calf. I’ve tried eating bananas excessively (more than three a day) but it just doesn’t seem to help.
Why I’m Exercising Through Pregnancy
There is research showing that exercise helps lower gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Staying active helps reduce pregnancy risks and I’d love to be a role model to other moms-to-be. You’re more likely to have a healthy baby if you work out. I also exercise for my mental health. If I’m happy, that’s good for baby as well.
From Gold to Baby
Since I’m not racing this year, my focuses have changed. This is a big year, buying our first home and getting ready for baby; it’s actually been busier than any other year for me. I’ve tried to work on strength exercises (like glutes) which will only help me upon return to training. I’m sleeping more — around 10-12 hours a night, and sometimes I’ll take a nap if I have time. I’m listening to my body and doing what it needs.
Gwen Jorgensen earned the U.S. its first gold medal for triathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Gwen and her husband, Pat Lemieux, are expecting their first child in August 2017.