“Now while no one would recommend starting a brand new sport or workout routine while pregnant, it is perfectly alright during a normal pregnancy to keep up your workouts.”
When you are pregnant the last thing you may want to do is go work out in an exercise class or take a run or walk. This can be especially difficult in the first trimester when nausea and morning sickness are having their way with you. It is important to try to keep your body moving as much as possible during this strange and wonderful time. Give yourself a chance to at least get out for a twenty minute walk each day. Gone are the days where women are treated like hothouse flowers during this time. After all, Serena Williams just won the Australian Open pregnant with her first child.
Now while no one would recommend starting a brand new sport or workout routine while pregnant, it is perfectly alright during a normal pregnancy to keep up your workouts. It is important to always confirm with your doctor, but a milder version of your normal routine is a reasonable approach. As a teacher of prenatal yoga, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of stretching. Keeping our bodies limber is absolutely essential as ligaments loosen up and our center of gravity completely shifts to prevent injuries. A yoga practice geared toward pregnant women is a great idea to keep your body in balance, to keep the sciatic nerve supple and to help with anxiety and mood shifts.
Nothing helps your body bear the weight of the baby and balance your body better than squats. Yes, squatting down as low as you can go on the ground while keeping your knees pointed straight forward and propping your heels up with a few inches of a folded yoga mat for added support. In my classes, we often do partner squats where each woman supports each other as they squat down by facing one another and holding elbows. This not only builds leg strength, endurance and confidence, but readies the mom for birth so that she may be upright as much as possible to let gravity do it’s magic.
During pregnancy, our bodies go through enormous shifts and changes which can affect our self esteem. We may find ourselves looking in the mirror and feeling overwhelmed by our own metamorphosis and all the implications of this huge life change. Instead of going into fear, stretch, walk and move! A healthy exercise schedule may help you feel more balanced. Being able to use our bodies while pregnant will inspire confidence as we transition into this new definition of ourselves as mothers.
Nothing lifts us out of a dark mood better than getting the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing. A brisk walk, a light swim or a yoga class can completely shift us out of a funk that we might want to just drown in a tub of ice cream. While there is no shame in occasionally treating ourselves, chances are we will feel far better if we choose movement over stagnation.