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MCLV Pregnancy | Second Trimester Exercise & Workout Gear

You can check out my first trimester exercise and workout post here to see where I started, but I have to say that things have changed quite a bit since then.

There’s a trade off as you finish the first trimester and head into your second – You have more energy and your nausea has {hopefully} started to dissipate, but you’re also starting to grow and feel changes in your body that can impact your ability to move and workout.

It seems like all of a sudden your clothes start to feel uncomfortable and your sports bras may not fit. And I don’t know about you, but when I feel uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel motivated.

The first thing on my shopping list was sports bras, I had to size up pretty early on. I loved the Aerie Twist Back Sports Bra, Aerie Offline Goals Sports Bra and the GAP Nursing Sports Bra. That sustained me until my belly “popped” at which point I needed to invest in some new leggings and a top or two. I didn’t want to overshop and started slowly, but ended up buying the following workout gear over the course of my 2nd trimester:

I found that all the way through my second trimester, I was able to fit into my zip up workout jackets. And I lucked out because once I grew out of them, it started to heat up and I didn’t need them anymore. I also wore my usual workout tanks and t-shirts through the pregnancy and I was surprised how well they held up to my growing belly. A little bit oversized and a little bit stretchy was the perfect combo and kept me from having to order too many new pieces.

Another thing that changed during my second trimester? The entire world! COVID-19 hit and shelter-in-place started. That meant no office gym or health club facilities for this mama-to-be. I was so grateful that I had most of the basics at home, but I did place a few panicked Amazon orders in the early days of quarantine to make sure that I had all the gear that I needed to get through my daily home workouts.

Here’s my hit list:

Around this time was also when, all of sudden, I had NO interest in app workouts. I’d been happily doing Tone It Up for months, but it wasn’t appealing to me all of a sudden so I started exploring other options. Check out my Home Workouts & Apps post for some of the workout-from-home options on the market. That post was great research for me and I enjoyed trying out new program and instructors. And you want to know where I ended up?

On YouTube.

I never would have guessed that that’s where I’d go, but it allowed me to change my workouts every day, try new things, explore different types of workouts, and get introduced to new instructors. I also fell head over heels with Dance Cardio workouts, you can check out my favorites here.

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MCLV Pregnancy | First Trimester Exercise & Workouts

I recently referred to the first trimester as the best three month nap of your life and that really is an excellent description. I can say, without a doubt, that fatigue was the biggest symptom of my first trimester. More so even than nausea or headaches or nasal congestion.

As someone who has had trouble sleeping on and off for years, the first trimester was a glorious return to easy, no effort sleep. But as someone used to working out and cooking dinner every night after work, I was shocked by how little I felt capable of for the first three months of my pregnancy. I routinely fell asleep in the car on the way home from work at 4:30pm, could barely manage to reheat leftovers for dinner, and passed out cold well before 7pm for a sold 8 weeks.

So what did that mean for my workout routine? It meant that I had to be gentle with myself, listen to my body, and take a step back my workouts. I went from two workouts a day 5-6 days a week to one workout a day, 7 days a week.

I have done a midday workout for years, since I’m lucky enough to have an office gym, and have had a calendar reminder set up in my Outlook for years to ensure that I don’t schedule things during that window. It’s a habit that really paid off, because that workout window became my only time to workout during the first trimester. I was awake, still had energy, and was usually excited to move my body. Sometimes I was tired or busy or just plain not in the mood, but I went anyway. If I wasn’t up for much, I’d just walk on the treadmill.

But, for the most part, knowing that time was my only chance to stretch, move, and break a sweat, meant that I looked forward to it.

When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started Googling workout modifications and prenatal workouts and started a long list of questions for my doctor. Her response? Do what feels good and when it becomes uncomfortable, stop. Simple right?

Note: Be sure to talk to your doctor about your individual needs and chat about changes you’d like to make in advance. What worked for me may not work for you, so it’s always best to discuss with your doctor prior to making any shifts in your lifestyle and activity levels, especially during pregnancy.

So, since I was physically feeling okay and didn’t have much nausea at 9:30am, I turned to the Tone It Up app. I started an 8 week weightlifting and strength program almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant, and loved it. I felt strong and empowered. And on days that I felt bored, I supplemented with whatever other types of workouts sounded appealing.

I also ran and took Mighty Pilates classes on weekends for most of the first trimester.

With the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, staying active was a great way to show my body some love and I’m glad that I kept myself motivated.

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Mood Boosting Dance Cardio

Whether you’re still sheltering in place, don’t want to renew your gym membership, or have just started to enjoy working out from home – I’ve got a fun, mood boosting workout for you.

Dance Cardio!

Upbeat workouts, great music, and an instant smile. I’ve come to really enjoy these workouts over the past few months and I mix a few into my workout routine every week.

Below are a few of my favorite YouTuber’s that are sharing free dance cardio workouts that I think you’ll enjoy!

The Studio by Jamie Kinkeade:

An amazing round-up of different styles of dance cardio-based workouts on their YouTube channel. And if you love them as much as I do, you can also buy on-demand classes on their website.

MadFit – The workout channel for YouTuber Maddy Lymburner

Her 90’s and 2000’s dance workouts are EPIC, such great moves and music. And she has a bunch of shorter one-song workouts that you can pick and choose from.

Pamela Reif

This YouTube legend has started adding dance cardio to her repertoire and they’re such a fun way to mix up your workouts.

What’s YOUR favorite workout right now?

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2018 Golden Gate Half Marathon

I was excited to celebrate my 36th birthday this year by running the Golden Gate Half Marathon for a second time, completing my 6th half marathon since I took up running. I ran it two years ago and it turns out that I got virtually the same time despite not training! 🙂 Read on for my thoughts on the race and my performance.

Golden Gate Half Marathon San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Runner Running

  • Course: My last race was the Kaiser Half in February which was a fairly flat race that starts and ends in Golden Gate Park, and includes running along Ocean Beach on the Great Highway. The Golden Gate Half is completely different! Starting near Ghirardelli Square you run past Crissy Field to the bridge, across, and back around to the start. It’s a hilly journey, but absolutely gorgeous. The day was bright and beautiful, no fog on the bridge or anything.
  • Organization: If you’ve ever been to the Ghirardelli Square area you know that it’s a nightmare to navigate. Tiny streets, zero parking, millions of tourists, and the San Francisco speciality, one-way streets. Now add thousands of wandering runners and their supporters. It was… Messy. Not a good space to start/finish and not a good space for the bib pick-up and expo.
  • Race Day Vibes: The race starts pretty late, 7am, so it wasn’t particularly cold and was already light. I’ve brought sunglasses to races before and regretted it, but this was the first time I didn’t have them and wished that I did! Since it was sunny and there was no fog, I got pretty hot! Lots of people and lots of excitement. One thing that happened a few times during this race that I’ve never seen before, was people stopping in the middle of the running path to take selfies. Actually blocking the path and having runners colliding with them, while they stopped to take photos. It was kind of baffling.
  • Personal Performance: As I mentioned above, I failed to train for this race. This Summer there were lots of weddings and events and weekends away, plus fires in Northern California that meant outdoor running wasn’t possible. Excuses, excuses, I know. But, but the time the race rolled around, I had only been in the habit of running 2-3 times a month, and hadn’t tackled any long runs in preparation. That being said, I’m all about that cross training life, and was still working out regularly, and in pretty good shape in terms of cardiovascular health. I headed out on race day to have fun and enjoy the views, but with no expectations. I hoped to get under 2 hours, but was planning to listen to my body and not overdo things. Check out the times for my six half marathons below! 🙂

I’m planning to run the Kaiser Half again in February and I’ll be running the San Francisco Half in July after getting married!

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Project Comeback | Activewear Loves

Welcome to my Project Comeback series! If you’ve missed out, you can check out these previous posts: Project Comeback | A Week of Workouts & Project Comeback | What I Eat in a Day. Today we’re here to talk about activewear!

Whenever I amp up my fitness goals, I find that I both want and need new gym gear. When you’re feeling great, you want to show off what you’ve got. And when you’re working out twice a day, you need a lot of gear unless you have time to do laundry on a daily basis!

Here are a few of my current favorite pieces:

Activewear Project Comeback FitLife Fitspo Workout Gym San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Nordstrom Zella Sweaty Betty Reebok Victoria's Secret Sport

{Shoes // Sports Bra // Leggings // Shirt}

Zella All In Vision Leggings from Nordstrom – Zella is a long time favorite of mine. Their gear is comfortable and flattering. These leggings are no exception – Love the little details on the legs.

The Incredible Lightweight Max Sports Bra by Victoria’s Secret SportVS Sport has killer sports bras. I’ve never ordered one that I didn’t end up loving. The Incredible Lightweight Max is just what its name implies. It’s a lightweight, easy to wear piece, but with maximum support. Perfect for HIIT workouts!

Breeze Short Sleeve Run Tee from Sweaty Betty – I’m super picky about my t-shirts because I have a long torso and a shorter tee can end up looking like a crop top. This running tee is cute, goes with everything, and is a good length.

Speed Her TR Training Sneaker by Reebok – I spend a lot of time searching for running shoes. When you’re running races and logging lots of training miles, your shoes are make or break. What I never realized though, was how important shoes for cross training were. These training sneakers provide the perfect platform for weight training or bodyweight circuits.

What activewear is on YOUR must have list? Anything I need to try?

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