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ObGyn/Pregnancy issues/Painful feet during spinning/cycling

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Question
I am almost 30 weeks pregnant and do high intensity aerobic exercise regularly. My spinning class is structured in such a way that other than the first 5 minutes, the entire class is carried out in a standing riding position. I wear cycling shoes but after about 15 minutes I start to get intense pain in my feet. I hate to have to sit down *not* because I am physically tired (i.e., because of the pregnancy) but because of painful feet. Do you know what might be causing this and what I can do about it so that it won't affect my workouts? I don't have any other pregnancy foot-related problems such as swollen feet. Thanks!

Answer
Pregnancy hormones loosen ligaments (which stabilize our joints) so the constant standing (combined with the addition of extra pregnancy pounds) in a spinning class might be enough to strain the fascia on the bottom of your feet, which support the arches of your feet. It's not unusual for feet to get slightly wider in the last tri too.

Pregnancy is a time to modify athletic activities as necessary, according to individual needs. Staying seated, at 30 weeks, in a spinning class, is not something to feel badly about. This will not decrease your fitness level.

It's common for athletic pregnant women to have a hard time adjusting to the changes that the last half of pregnancy, and postpartum, bring on. Athletic women have a lot of identity and self worth tied to what their bodies can do and look like. So it's common to feel anxiety when we have to temporarily give up, or modify, a favorite activity.

You only have 10 weeks to go, then your body will go through a transitional "mommy body" phase postpartum, before evolving back into your previous athletic capabilities. On the bright side, spinning is an activity that is easily modified. Many runners find that they have to stop running entirely in the last tri.

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ObGyn/Pregnancy issues

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Helene Byrne

Expertise

I can answer all questions regarding prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer any questions that are not related to prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer questions regarding getting pregnant, or signs or symtoms, only fitness and exercise during and after pregnancy. No due dates, medical problems during pregnancy, signs or symtpoms of pregnancy, pregnancy tests, vaginal problems/smells/discharge, periods or ovulation.

Experience

Pre-and-Postnatal Exercise Specialist ACE certified Personal Trainer Author: "Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best" Book Author: "Bounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning" DVD Founder: BeFit-Mom Teacher: Post Pregnancy Exercise Workshops

Organizations
IDEA Health and Fitness Association

Publications
numerous regional parenting magazine

Education/Credentials
Dancing Thru Pregnancy, Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist Certification 2000 Resist-a-Ball Core Program, 1999 American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1999 Peak Performance, San Francisco, CA, Pilates Instructor Training Program, 1992 Health and Fitness Institute, Cal State Hayward, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1990 American College of Sports Medicine, Group Exercise Leader, 1989 Boston Conservatory, BFA/Dance, 1982

Awards and Honors
´┐ŻBounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning´┐Ż, 2005. Winner of the Platinum Award from the Family Review Center, 2007.

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