All my sources say the better shape a pregnant lady is in, the easier it is to birth your baby, and the faster the recovery. Not to mention the many benefits for Little Bean, both directly, such as more oxygen to blood and to baby, and indirectly, such as when mama is happy and healthy, it is easier for Baby to be happy and healthy.
Of course, being pregnant has resulted in quite a few changes to my normal workouts. Basically, I just stay active and take care not to “over do it”. Here are the main things I’ve been doing to stay in shape:
- Walking — Aaron and I walk every morning with Tico. Our normal loop is 2 miles long (see Waking and Walking post).
- Yoga — I’ve been doing yoga since 1995…I started taking classes when it was cheap and I was in undergrad at TCU. Over the past several years, I have mostly done yoga at home, at least weekly…sometimes more, sometimes less. Occasionally, I would take a class to keep things interesting. I figured being pregnant is a good time to get professional help, so started going to a prenatal yoga class once a week. Actually, I first went to the class when I was about 16-17 weeks pregnant, but everyone else in the class was much further along (and, I must say, I got some envious looks from the more pregnant women, which is totally understandable). So I kept doing yoga at home and didn’t return to the class until early June (when I was about 24 weeks), and have been going weekly since then. I totally look forward to this class every week and I love the instructor.
- Pregnant lady workout video — There are many prego workout videos to chose from. I went with The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Volume 1. I was doing this at least once a week from about 3 months until about 1 month ago. I’m only doing it about once every other week now.
- Belly Dance for Birth workout video — Yes, belly dance. The makers of this video suggest that the reason belly dance exists was to help women during labor. I have no idea if that is true and don’t really care. I really like this video…despite how cool I look while doing it. It is not so much a workout as it is a way to get your hips moving, which seems like a darn good idea since my baby will be moving out through my hips. I want my pelvis and everything in that area to be as flexible as possible to make it easy for Baby to move through that passage!
The most difficult part of exercising while pregnant is the frequent need to pee! It is hard to make it through our 2-mile loop without having to pee by the time I get home.
The Little Bean is usually sound asleep while I am exercising; I am sure the rhythmic movements are quite calming. The exception is when I am in relaxing poses (like the modified savasana for pregnant ladies) in yoga. At those times, Little Bean kicks in to high gear…maybe he/she is doing their own version of yoga while I rest.