An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Pregnancy Fitness: Heart Rate Monitoring

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pregnancy Fitness: Heart Rate Monitoring

Most of us know, it is SO important to workout. Getting the heart pumping and the blood flowing has both physical and mental benefits. When you're pregnant, this is even more true! Women who workout while pregnant have been proven to have less painful pregnancies, shorter labors,  and the newest study even cited having SMARTER CHILDREN.

Not just slightly smarter children either; dramatically improved and advanced brain functionality in babies. Researchers think the increased oxygen and blood flow to the developing baby's brain helps it form and function at a faster rate compared to mother's who rarely to never worked out in their pregnancies. Awesome news for us fitness-fanatic mamas!

However, it's still important to stay safe while you're working out and not push yourself too hard. But what's "too hard" and how do you properly manage that? Heart rate monitors, to the rescue!



I got a heart rate monitor for Mother's Day so that I'm able to track where I'm at and ensure it's not getting too high. Make sure to wear your monitor and track where you are regularly until you start to learn how your body functions given the various exercise programs you chose to do. Consult with your doctor on what your max bpm should be given the parameters of your pregnancy.

My resting heart rate is while pregnant is only 50-55 bpm because I've been working out and training for so many years. Due to that, I feel comfortable getting up to about 150 bpm because I know I can get it back down in about five to 10 seconds with a quick rest. I know some doctors don't recommend anything above 140 or pregnant women, but mine knows I was (am?) an endurance athlete in great condition, so a quick spike given a quick recovery is A-OK with her. Again - check with your doctor on what's best for you!

I took my first trimester off from running, just like I did with Henry. Instead, I did Pilates, barre classes, yoga, circuit training, and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes with modifications. Now that I'm in my second trimester, I'm doing all those things, plus re-incorporating running. Very slow running... But running nonetheless.

With Pilates and yoga, my heart rate never gets above 130-135, so those are great options for all fitness levels and all pregnant women. Check out this post on how to pick out a studio that's best for you!

The barre classes I go to does cardio bursts in the workout, and I can get up into the high 140's. If you're looking into trying out some barre classes while pregnant, call the studio ahead of time to ask about the class format, and be sure to wear your heart rate monitor and/or listen to your body for signs of fatigue. Bring water and make sure to take "breathers" or moments where you rest.

I use the Garmin Vivofit

If you weren't a fitness guru before becoming pregnant, I wouldn't recommend starting with a circuit training or HIIT class. Even when I'm not going full-out, I get into the 150's-160's and I'm regularly the only one standing in the class, panting and watching my wrist for my heart rate to come down. I don't mind though, because I couldn't care less how foolish I do or don't look. That's been the glory of getting older; you simply stop caring what others think!

If you're pregnant or looking to get pregnant soon, I recommend investing in a good heart rate monitor. It has helped me stay far more active with this pregnancy than with my first! I can do all the fitness classes I love while still keeping myself and my baby in safe and healthy heart rate ranges.

9 comments:

  1. I mean it just makes sense that it would lead to smarter babies right? Exercising releases endorphins and increases blood flow. This is such a great informative post. I see all the mommies to be when they take barre regularly leading up to their deliveries and they look amazing! I am a believer in exercising and pregnancy. Thanks for the specifics as always you are spot on!

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  2. I've always planned to stay active when I get pregnant. My main reason was to stay healthy and avoid gaining too much extra weight. It was cool to learn a few other reasons, too! I have also heard that it's good to be in really good shape before you get pregnant, as it can make a difference for the baby as far as health, strength, metabolism, etc.

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  3. I've always wondered about heart rate monitors and think you're so smart to keep track while you're working out with the little babe growing inside!! I didn't even think to do that but now I will! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. That is SO interesting about the smarter babies thing! Even more motivation to stay fit while pregnant.

    You inspire me so much to keep going. If you can do it in the first trimester of pregnancy, I can do it after work. :P

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  5. I used a heart rate monitor with A and it was so helpful! I was doing bootcamp at the time and my heart rate would get up into the 170s sometimes! I think a heart rate monitor is a must for active mommy's to be.

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  6. I'm all done having babies, but if I weren't, I'd definitely look into this! Great idea.

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing this. For someone who works out 1-2 a day it's important that I can keep working out when I am pregnant! I currently use the garmin HRM and really like it!

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