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When you get pregnant, people tell you your whole life is going to change. Well, as a fit and active woman who is in her first trimester, I feel like so much has already changed!
Yes, I know pregnancy is an amazing miracle, and I would never diminish that. However, I don't feel like myself anymore! Exercise used to be a natural part of my every day, but, during pregnancy, it has become a serious chore.
There is no shortage of information available about the benefits of moderate exercise during pregnancy. This list, however, is my little completely non-scientific set of observations on the benefits you probably won't hear from your doctor or favorite health website.
Sure, you may know that it is likely that a couple of hours from now you will be nibbling on crackers because you are always nauseated from 1-3 pm. Maybe you spent all morning lying in bed because you just didn't have the energy to get up and get moving. Perhaps you are still feeling guilty for indulging in a few extra cookies yesterday because they are the only thing that sounds good.
When you finally jump in to your workout, all those weird symptoms seem to disappear. Sure, you know they will be back, and, of course, you don't have nearly the energy or intensity level you did before pregnancy, but for this chunk of time, you will likely feel pretty good and be so excited about it that you forget all the not-so-good stuff.
I was a runner pre-pregnancy and switched to mainly walking for something that is a little more sustainable for my energy level. Many people like to walk or run with headphones, which is totally fine, but I'm not that person. I like to go unplugged, so I can hear that beautiful sounds of my surroundings. Plus, the lack of distraction lets my mind wander and fill my workout with some pretty fun daydreaming. I can come up with baby names, plan the nursery, and conjure up all sorts of other fun stuff that I'm usually too distracted or busy to do in the other parts of my day. It adds a little extra element of fun to my exercise time.
Ok...so maybe I'm taking advantage of the preggo card here. But, I love going for bike rides, walks, etc. with my husband, but it can be difficult to drag him away from the Golf Channel on a Sunday morning to go outside.
Being pregnant, there is a little extra element of being the good daddy and taking care of his baby mama. Not to mention, the little extra quality time will be truly appreciated several months from now.
This one is the single greatest benefit of pregnant exercise for me. It may sound ridiculous as a yoga instructor, but my sudden and extreme drop in energy made me avoid yoga studio classes like the plague. I just couldn't bear the thought of possibly getting too tired to continue, or having to deal with the confidence blow of not being able to do some of the things I could before.
When I finally felt confident enough to head back to a yoga studio class, it was a fairly emotional experience. I felt GREAT! All the benefits I mentioned before (well, not the husband one...even pregnancy can't bring that guy into your typical yoga class) were in full swing. On top of it, this was the first time I can remember doing a workout that really made me feel strong again. That was the most powerful feeling for me. The confidence boost it gave me, especially amid feeling like a rather weird-looking level of bloated, was just what I needed. Not to mention, I slept great that night.
So, there is your little non-cliche reminder of the importance of getting moving during pregnancy. Make it happen!
Having trouble working up the motivation? Head to my website or use the fantastic resources on Grokker to connect with a community to keep you motivated and confident. You are worth it!