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Just breathe…


… if you can…

I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but I like to workout. My husband calls me a “workout fiend” which has a negative connotation, but I can accept that for the benefits that working out provides me like increased energy levels and the ability to have dessert. I’m the type of person that hits the alarm, jumps (ok these days it’s more of a roll than a jump) out of bed and heads for the gym each morning. Yes, I’m one of those people you hate.

Lately though, my workouts have been lackluster. Though it’s tempting to blame this on the typical tiredness associated with being in the third trimester, I would assert that it’s more of a physiology issue. Realistically there is only so much space to go around in this body of ours. Admittedly, a good portion of the baby/associated anatomy is fast projecting laterally from the body, but some of it is crowding the rest of the organs including the highly compressible lungs.

Decreased space (aka volume) -> Decreased lung capacity -> Less O2 for those workouts

= Less energy.

I found a graphic (below) showing this lung squeeze which I think helps explain my disappointing workouts.

Normal vs. Pregnant Lung Capacity

Normal vs. Pregnant Lung Capacity

So what to do? Well, I guess the next logical step would be to lower my expectations of my workouts. It won’t help the workouts, but it will help how I feel about them afterwards!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/19/2011 12:27

    im a huge workout addict also – logging in at least an hour a day, every day. its hit and miss for me though. some days i find that i can do my tkb classes with plenty of energy and some days i can barely eek through without feeling like i’m dying. im concentrating less on cardio now and adding weighted gloves so at least i’m feeling that im working on strength if i cant do the cardio portion. i was hoping i would be able to do this until i deliver but at 34 weeks now, i know that my workout days are numbered. sigh.

  2. Kate c. permalink
    08/19/2011 17:42

    My first pregnancy I ran until 30-odd weeks, but each subsequent one has been less and less. If you want to know why look up what relaxin does and imagine pelvis bones rubbing together. But swimming is awesome – being weightless is wonderful!

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