Ok, I'll admit it—at 21 weeks pregnant I finally got out the prenatal exercise program I bought months ago. I brushed off the layer of dust. And opened it. And actually popped the DVD in the player. And did a 30-minute program. Shocking, I know.
I had every intention of using the program right away, after all, it only makes sense that prenatal exercise would make labor and recovery much easier. I think of delivery as a marathon—and you wouldn't go into a marathon without some training beforehand.
But a day or two after the program came in the mail, the nausea hit, hard. I reached the point where, to move from the couch to the kitchen, I'd have to make a pit stop in the bathroom to empty the contents of my stomach. I don't think lunges and resistance band aerobics would have been a good idea.
While severe nausea, not to mention doctor prescribed bed rest, made taking it easy for a while much healthier for baby than sticking to a workout plan, I probably could have started a few weeks ago. But I'm finding that, after I put in an eight-hour workday (or sometimes a 10-12-hour workday) and cook or pick up dinner, I don't have much energy left for anything else.
All the other mothers I've talked to say the second trimester is the most energetic, and while most days I feel anything but energetic, I do have a little more than I did two months ago. I have 19 weeks to go—not a whole lot of time to dawdle any longer.
So, I put in half a half hour before work, and while it's only my first day, I actually don't have much to complain about. That muscle tiredness from starting a new workout? Its minimal. And my hip and lower back have bothered me less today than they have all week. Hopefully, strengthening all the muscles that are getting shoved out of their regular place by my expanding belly will help to minimize the discomfort. Which sets me back to thinking again, I should have started this a few weeks ago.
I think it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the excitement and have set plans for a pregnancy, like more fruits and veggies and very few empty calories (haha, yeah. Right. Maybe I'll tackle that one next week). And then once the reality sets in, the tiredness, the cravings, the all-day sickness—plans change. Which is perhaps yet another one of nature's ways in preparing for a baby, because babies and perfectly executed plans don't usually do hand in hand.
It’s only the first day of something I hope will become a habit both for now and post-pregnancy. But since I'm posting this to the World Wide Web, it would be rather embarrassing for me if I didn't stick with it. I'm sure I'll miss a few days here and there, but I don't think a goal of at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week is too much to commit to. After all, some pregnant women actually do run marathons.