Kim Schwabenbauer: Finding Fertility in an Ironwoman-Fit Body

March 11, 2016


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Pro triathlete, coach and dietician Kim Schwabenbauer joins the show for the second time to talk about the journey she made with her body to transition from the top level of Ironman racing to becoming a soon-to-be mom! We discuss how intense endurance exercise can cause infertility (mentally, physically), and the specific tweaks Kim made to gain fertility and have a healthy pregnancy.

What we cover:

  • Why can’t we get pregnant? The reasons Kim thinks she struggled to pregnant at first, including racing several Ironmans.
  • Even with a normal period, why some women (athlete or not) may struggle to conceive.
  • The secret that ended their struggles and allowed Kim to get pregnant
  • The role of relaxing and letting go of stress in hormonal balance and overall health
  • Discussing body fat and BMI levels, and Kim’s body fat ranges as a pro athlete
  • Getting comfortable with a healthy amount of fat
  • Why female athletes have it hard when it comes to knowing how much exercise is acceptable to do during pregnancy–and how their exercise amounts can safely differ from conventional norms
  • Mentally letting go of the training and competing for another, greater purpose–becoming mom
  • Going through the phases of pregnancy: sick and tired at first, but now back at consistent exercise
  • What’s Kim’s exercise like right now at 18 weeks:
  • 5 X a week of low-intensity cardio, 30-60min per session
  • 2 X a week of weight lifting, 30min per session
  • Wearing a HR monitor to keep things in check, but also just listening to your body
  • Will Kim go back to racing pro?
  • Kim keeps it busy: Coaching; registered dietician; teacher; in grad school; studying for a personal trainer certification…. how does she do it especially now with the pregnancy?

Top 5 tips: What female endurance athletes can do to maintain a healthy body even if pregnancy isn’t a goal, or an athlete who’s wanting to get pregnant but doesn’t want to have to quit exercise completely.

  1. Lower stress – keep it controlled!
  2. Sleep – don’t neglect it!
  3. Communicate – have your network, ask questions
  4. Test – know your health and where you stand
  5. Diet – clean eating wins all

More resources:

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