It’s amazing how endorphins tend to keep a woman sane. But when I found out I was expecting, working out became a different world for me.
Exercise has always played a huge role in my life. When asked how I handle stress or remain perky on those rough days, the answer has always been that I beat out my angst on the treadmill or in a high-intensity dance class.
I had heard stories from friends about how some women were too scared to workout while pregnant, and I was terrified that would be me. (I mean, I was already paranoid about cleaning products and beauty supplies, so it wasn’t a huge leap to think that all of that moving around was something I should consider investigating.) I might still be learning a lot about myself on this journey through life, but there was one thing I knew for sure: I needed to work out like butter needs a biscuit. I was determined to continue exercising unless my doctor disagreed and I was going to find out the best way to do it while pregnant. I decided to take on an article about prenatal exercise to learn all the details about making sure that I was in no way harming the little bean in my belly.
I wasn’t sure exactly where to start. I knew I had to cut out my cardio groove class (it was always a little more cardio and a little less groove) and I knew my weight lifting would have to take a severe cutback. After researching and speaking with my doctor, I was so excited to learn that exercise is vital to life and to pregnancy. There were safe steps that I could take to ensure a healthy workout process for the duration of my pregnancy. The best part of all is that I learned exercise would actually help with labor and delivery.
After speaking with my doctor and the trainer at the gym, I was able to develop a new routine. Though I have always been a wee bit competitive, it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to calm down my routine. Running went to power walking (Never fear though, I have some girlfriends who were big marathon runners that got the okay to keep their normal pace for their first trimesters so definitely check with your doc if you want to keep trucking it), and cardio dance changed to prenatal yoga. I was excited to learn that some of the staples, like the elliptical (for the first two trimesters) and swimming, stayed the same.
It was liberating to have a new routine to follow but it was interesting just how many changes I was able to note. I may have been raring to go but my energy level, however—not so much. I quickly learned that my five-days-a-week pace was going to have to change. I switched to 3 days a week and added in some light walks around the block after dinner, as well as some longer strolls with my dog, CiCi. And at the gym, the water fountain made me gag so I bought a new water bottle and for some reason I just couldn’t use those perfectly bleached towels because they grossed me completely out. Logically, I am sure they are very sterile (probably even more so than my own towels at home) but I had to start bringing in my own. The changes weren’t all bad, though. Once my belly started to pop, I noticed everyone was a bit friendlier at my workout sessions. I mean, they didn’t jump off the treadmills for me by any means, but they did seem eager to let me pass first and let me cut in line at the bathroom. All perks which I hadn’t previously experienced in such a focused environment.
All in all, I was relieved to get to continue my exercise routine and I know it will be a healthy and beneficial choice for my baby. I would love to know—what you are trying at the gym or how has your routine has suffered some cutbacks? I can’t wait to hear!
Lots of love,