5 Fitness Products I Used to Stay Active While Pregnant
By Haya Al-Ghanim ·
March 25, 2017
Eight months ago, I had my marathon training plan all set. My training gear was all prepared, and I began with the new running plan. A few weeks later, we got the happy news of expecting a baby! The gear, it would turn out, still came in handy for staying fit during pregnancy.
That’s a tougher marathon to train for on its own. I obviously shifted my goal from running a marathon to staying fit and active for as long as my health and the baby’s allowed. Being hit with strong waves of fatigue and giving up on fighting sleep certainly didn’t make the goal of staying fit and active any easier.
There are few things I used on daily basis during my pregnancy that did help, though. Overall, I was able to sustain a 3-5K fast walk per day until now (with a couple of weeks left in my pregnancy). How did I manage?
The gear and gadgets I got for marathon training turned out to be what I used the most throughout my pregnancy! Here’s a list of the top five products and gadgets I used on daily basis to stay fit and active while pregnant.
1. Activity Tracker – Garmin vívoactive® HR
When shopping for an activity tracker, I wanted centralized data for all my activities with a heart rate monitor. Since I already used a couple of other Garmin trackers for running, hiking and cycling, it made sense to go for another Garmin tracker for daily activities (the usual steps and stairs count and sleep tracking) in addition to workout tracking.
I’m so pleased with this purchase and have been using it 24/7. I only take off the Garmin vívoactive® HR for charging. It kept me on track with daily steps of 10,000 in the first and second trimester and 8,000 in the third trimester. Basically, if I don’t get close to half the step count by 6pm, I have to go for a brisk walk until I reach my daily goal. That’s a total of 1,831,451 steps over 9 months and 1,407 km in distance so far.
I was surprised how exhausted I’d be with minimal level of activity during my day, which was easy to view in an activity tracker. What surprised be even more is how much better I felt after an exercise, even if it was hard to get out of bed to do it. If you need data to convince yourself to get your workout of the day, I highly recommend investing in an activity tracker. I purchased mine from our local bike shop, Carbon Wheels.
2. Treadmill – LifeFitness F3
I’m a huge fan of outdoor running, but beginning to train for a marathon during the Doha summer, I knew I had limited options of time and places to train with the challenge of heat and humidity. Therefore I decided to have access to a treadmill, either through a gym or having my own.
I really wanted to train at any time I wanted, so decided it’d be a better investment to get a treadmill. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought the treadmill would now collect dust for the coming year or so. To the contrary, I’ve been using it on almost daily basis for my brisk walks or to simply take a break to clear my mind. I still prefer to go out for a walk outdoors, but the convenience of having a treadmill has definitely kept me on track with staying active. I purchased mine from a local Life Fitness distributor. I went with the LifeFitness F3 Folding Treadmill, and it’s been a great piece of equipment for staying fit while expecting.
3. Running Shoes – On Cloud
A friend recommended On Running shoes for the stability they provide while still being very light. I ordered a pair of On Cloud running shoes and immediately felt the difference in my strides.
As time went by, I realized On Running shoes also became my everyday shoes! They’re so comfortable, cushioned and stable that they helped me a lot with my balance as I got heavier in the second and third trimesters.
The shoes come with elastic laces which make the shoe fit like a glove. I loved this feature especially as it got harder to reach my feet in the third trimester, let alone try to tie shoe laces. The limited-edition all black shoes are my favorite. I even got a size bigger than I normally wear to account for potential swelling.
4. Water Bottle – Camelbak
Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate! Whether you’re running or body-building (a body of another human) proper hydration is a must.
I carried around two alternating water bottles that I originally got for training. One bottle contained cold water and the other one would typically contain flavored water. I tried the combination of lemon, sugar, salt and pepper to overcome nausea and as an electrolyte drink during the summer.
Later on, I made infused water drinks with fruit and mint. Those bottles came in handy during long commutes, travels and exercises. I also kept one on my nightstand so that I don’t go for extended hours without drinking water. I’m definitely now a fan of Camelbak.
5. Loose-fitting Sportswear – Oola
The launch of Oola’s collection came at a perfect time: When I started to show. I was lucky to fit in size Medium in the first trimester and most of the second trimester, and now I’ve upgraded to size Large in my third.
The outfits were so useful for outdoor exercises, especially since I didn’t need to layer up other pieces of clothing. I could use every bit of cooling, for sure!
Higher & Higher and Moodify were both suitable for early pregnancy and The Top! looked the best during the third trimester out of all the options in Oola’s collection. Another style I liked is combining Higher & Higher with The Jacket during colder days. I’m so glad I didn’t have to buy maternity clothes for working out. Oola was loose-fitting enough, and kept me cool and covered.
Header image is a composite of images courtesy of On Running, Camelback and Gamin