To read the first post in this series, click here. ~K
I know you’ve been feeling great. I’m glad, glad, glad for you! I felt healthy and energetic throughout my first pregnancy. I always felt grateful that pregnancy seemed to give me an extra boost and didn’t slow me down.
It also made it really easy to exercise regularly, which I did. You can find plenty of research-based articles sprinkled with quotes from experts, exhorting you to exercise while pregnant, outlining all the good reasons to do so. Google it and they will appear!
Here’s why I did it:
- To minimize weight gain
- To maintain good circulation as the pregnancy added weight and blood volume to my body
- T0 help me relax
- To keep my body strong for labor/delivery and recovery
- To avoid developing sedentary habits that might continue after the baby was born
- To make it easier to drop the pregnancy weight after the baby was born
Throughout my first pregnancy I walked most days for about a half hour. I also tried to do a pre-natal DVD two to three times a week. I picked one up at Half-Priced books and it was so dated I think someone was wearing leg-warmers, which means it was actually a VHS. It was corny and not terribly challenging, but it worked for me at that time.
My absolute favorite pre-natal DVD is Fusion Pilates for Pregnancy with Jennifer Giani. It’s a bit long–I think it runs a full hour–and it’s just stretching and light toning, but it makes a pregnant body feel fabulous. Giani has put together a fantastic series of stretches that hit all the typical problem areas. (Hello, lower back and hip flexors, please don’t snap apart the next time I try to bend over!)
If you’re not sure what you want to do to keep active, flip through a Fit Pregnancy magazine or visit their website. My doctor’s office always had a free copy available; your doctor might as well.
And if you’re nervous about exercising, chat with your doctor about it. You might be surprised what the doctor will “okay”. I was surprised to learn that I could continue running while pregnant. But, despite approval from my doctor, I just couldn’t do it. I tried to go for a light jog one day but kept imagining my miniscule child ricocheting off the walls of my uterus, losing SAT points with every impact. It just wasn’t worth the stress!
I advise movement. You choose what it is, but do it consistently. Let me know if you need leg warmers and I’ll send you a pair.
PS: I wish I had written this to myself when I was pregnant with my third and fourth!