My Healthy Pregnancy: ExerciseThursday, June 07, 2012
I have been discussing, thinking, and researching a lot about what it means to have a healthy pregnancy. This is my third pregnancy, and I would like to think I have learned a few things over the last 3 years. When I was pregnant with Eliana, I considered myself healthy - I didn't smoke or drink, I stayed away from caffeine and lots of candy, and I walked semi-regularly. But the more I've been thinking and reading, I have come to realize that there is so much more I can do to maintain a healthy pregnancy, and hopefully affect the little babe growing inside of me, especially when it comes to exercise and diet. So, I'd like to share a little bit of my own experiences over the next few weeks.
When I found out I was pregnant with Baby #3, I was just finishing up a 30 Day Shred Challenge, which meant I was just wrapping up a month-long exercise routine. I knew that I wanted to keep up with an exercise routine. Exercising while pregnant has so many benefits - relieving stress and possible aches, building stamina and strength for labor & delivery, helping you feel good about your expanding body - to name a few. For me, exercise also helps me sleep better. Not that I am not already quite tired at the end of the day, but I have found that when I am pregnant, I can be prone to having troubles sleeping. But, if I exercise and move my body, it helps me sleep a lot better.
It can be hard to find the time to exercise, with feeling tired from a pregnancy, and having two little babes running around the house, but I have found that if I make the time to workout, I feel so, so much better. About myself, about life, about getting through the day. And I have more patience to deal with said running-around babes. Lately, it has worked best for me to workout right after Max leaves in the morning. I wake up with him, typically between 5:15am and 5:30am, make sure his lunch and coffee are ready, kiss him on his way out the door, and then pop in my pregnant lady workout video, and groove along for about 40 minutes. It has seemed to be great, as then I have usually have about 20-30 more minutes to myself before the babes wake up for the day, where I can read and drink coffee or shower and smell decent. There are definitely days that I get up with Max and feel so exhausted, that I crawl back upstairs and find sleep for another hour or so, but each week, I try to make sure I workout 4-5 days.
There are two workout video's I mainly use. I found them both at the library, borrowed them for a few weeks, and liked them so much that I bought both online: The Perfect Pregnancy workout and Prenatal Fitness Fix. Now that I have had both for a few months, I find that I usually pick the Prenatal Fitness Fix, probably because it moves a little bit faster and I like Erin O'Brien a lot. The Perfect Pregnancy workout is also good, but can feel like it moves a little slower and therefore longer, at times.
Not only do I intentionally try to workout multiple days a week, but I try to get out and walk as much as possible. This is often dictated by the weather. Not only do I get to move my body, but Lucy gets exercise, and the kids get fresh air (and usually a stop to play at the "kid park", as L calls it!). When we end up taking our walk as a family after dinner (especially when the weather is too hot during the day, in the summer), it is usually one of the highlights of my day - spending time as a family, having discussions with Max, sweating profusely in the NC humidity - you know, all the lovely things about being outside! I've noticed lately that I've gotten a bit slower when we are out walking. I don't know if it's the belly getting heavier, or my body getting slower, or the weather getting hotter, but I know I'll only get slower as the weeks continue marching on!
Although there are some days that I fight the working out (because sometimes I just want to be lazy!) and walking, I know that exercise is super beneficial (given the go-ahead from the Doc, of course!) for me and little Baby #3. And I'll keep trying to fit it into my days.
Next week, I'll be sharing some experiences, thoughts, and struggles with trying to maintain a healthy diet while pregnant.