Pregnancy is awesome, but can be miserable if Mom is out of shape. Studies validate that Baby, too, suffers from a Mom who doesn’t take care of herself. It’s good that expectant moms ask themselves, “How can I be in better shape while I am pregnant?”
I started slow with my last one (I delivered #16 just 19 days ago). The first trimester I had morning sickness. I felt yucky and could not pull off trips to the gym or going outside to hike or walk. It was tough to make healthy food choices when everything made me nauseous.
Before too long, I started feeling out of shape and more tired than I knew I should. My exhaustion wasn’t necessarily because I was pregnant, though no one would have blamed me if I settled for that excuse. I secretly knew better: it was because I was out of shape and eating poorly. I suspect most mothers throw in the towel at this time.
Around the 16th week I started walking 1/2 mile and stretch exercises prescribed by my chiropractor. By 22 weeks, I had a routine down and was going to the gym everyday. The consistent exercises helped alleviate my minor pregnancy problems like leg aches, back ache, head ache, insomnia, lack of appetite, energy level, constipation, heart burn and so on.
Here’s the key piece of advice: exercise. Don’t settle with “poor me, I’m pregnant and can’t do anything but get out of shape.” You don’t need to knock yourself out, just go for a simple walk. On days that I could not make it to the gym I would still do my stretches at home. If the weather was cooperative (I was pregnant through the winter) I would maybe go for a walk. Even 10 minutes of walking was helpful.
I cover this idea in my book. Specifically on Page 104:
Pregnancy is no time to stop exercising and become gluttonous. Medically, it is old school to think pregnancy is a reason to do so. The most recent studies have blown many of the old wives’ tales out of the water. Women used to think exercise would drain the body of nutrients or that the baby would suffer from proper dieting. These myths have actually been proven to contribute to complications during pregnancy. (Love in a Diet, p. 104)
Really, any excuse can be given, not just pregnancy. I suppose that’s just my most common excuse. Busy moms can claim menopause, their monthly cycle, homeschool crazy busyness, whatever. It’s best to just wipe those excuses off your mind and get on with steady exercise.
I’ll cover eating during pregnancy next time. I’d love to hear your ideas for exercising. Use the comment section below.