Fit Follow-Up: Liz Plosser
- Editors of FitBump
- Sep 21 2015
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- Name: Liz Plosser
- Children: George (born March 25, 2015), twins Charlie and Lucy (born March 21, 2011)
- Claim to Fame: As the fitness director of SELF magazine, Liz Plosser keeps on top of what’s hot in the fitness world for a living—and that didn’t change when the mom of four-year-old twins was pregnant with her son last year. “Part of my job is meeting with trainers and trying new classes. I’m very lucky!” she says. “And I continued doing that throughout [my pregnancy].” The avid runner, who is currently training for this year’s New York City Marathon (and is pictured above with her newest addition at a baby-and-me fitness class), chatted with us about the energizing power of movement during pregnancy, lofty post-baby fitness goals and how she hopes her kids grow to crave endorphins as much as she does.
A: Twin pregnancies are at a higher risk for complication, but my OB was very supportive of my desire to exercise. I remember being a little nervous about everything—and my belly got big quickly!—so I phased out running early. My last run was a turkey trot 5K with my family when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I stuck mostly to swimming and the elliptical and weight training. I was put on bed rest at 30 weeks and had to completely stop exercising until the babies arrived at 35 weeks. For someone who loves to move, that was a tough time mentally and physically!Q: And this last time around?
A: With George, I was quite active throughout the pregnancy. I ran until about 35 weeks, I lifted weights the entire time and I got really, really into spinning, which I found ideal because I could control my center of balance and the motion didn’t (TMI alert!) press on my bladder in a way that made me need to hit the bathroom.Q: How much did you need to modify as the pregnancy progressed?
A: I stopped doing core work and burpees after the first trimester and I abandoned HIIT [high-intensity interval training] workouts at about 30 weeks. It became too frustrating to have to modify every single move.Q: How do you think your level of activity affected your birth experience and did you work out with it in mind?
A: That’s a great question. I didn’t so much prepare for birth with exercises, but I definitely went into labor feeling strong physically and I think that was a huge bonus. During my final two weeks of pregnancy with George I did a lot of wall-sits. A friend told me her doula highly recommended regular prenatal yoga classes to get in top form breathing-wise and I sort of wished I’d done that. But I was about 38 weeks pregnant at that point, so it was too late.Q: How long did it take you to come back after having your son?
A: George rocketed into the world. He was born about an hour after I got to the hospital and there was no time for an epidural. I really believe that the fast labor and delivery helped me recovery quickly. I was up walking around within a few hours of having him and I felt up to jogging two weeks later. I was lifting and spinning a few weeks later—obviously at a slow, mellow pace.Q: Fantastic. What was your timeline with the twins?
A: I was really lucky that I felt pretty good pretty quickly after I had them, too. They were in the exact right positions so I didn’t need a C-section, though I did get an epidural. But I think I was so physically exhausted acclimating to life as a mom—and, of course, there were two of them—that getting to the gym didn’t happen nearly as quickly.Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge new moms face as they look to get back to their workouts?
A: Fatigue. Even if you feel like your body has physically recovered to the point that you can work out, chances are you are so overwhelmingly tired that it feels insane to go to the gym rather than try to sleep or relax. But, as I learned, getting the body moving can energize you in a way coffee or even a catnap cannot. You really have to take it day by day. And you have to lean on the people around you—a partner, a babysitter, a family member—for help getting out the door.Q: What is your post-baby fitness philosophy?
A: Be kind to yourself.Q: How important is it to you for your kids to see you active and healthy and enjoying movement of all kinds?
A: So important! I love that every morning, when I come home sweaty in my sneakers and workout outfit, my kids ask me what I did at the gym, or how many miles I ran. Sports and fitness have always been a huge part of my life. My dad and I have been jogging together since I was in high school and I credit him with instilling that healthy addiction to endorphins—and the latte reward at the end of a run—in me. I hope that seeing how happy exercise makes me inspires them to be active, too.Q: What advice do you give pregnant women when it comes to fitness and continuing to do the activities they love?
A: I tell them to do what makes them happy and to listen to their body. You want to run? You can run. You want to sleep in instead of running? Do it. Every day is a little different as your baby grows inside of you and you have to respect those changes and not force anything. But I encourage pregnant women to go for it if they’re feeling up for a workout. It’s okay to sweat and challenge yourself! Pregnancy is such an exciting time, but it can also be fraught with worry—you’re always gearing up for an ultrasound or a blood test or some such—and exercise is an amazing way to keep yourself centered. It also puts you in a physically fit place for labor and delivery.Q: And for new moms?
A: I think it’s important to remember that your fit, active life is not over just because you have a baby at home. I watched the New York City Marathon with my kids while I was about 20 weeks pregnant with George and thought to myself, “I want to do one!” And here I am, training for the 2015 race. You can be a fab mama and go after your fitness goals.