Anyone who knows me knows that I love to work up a good sweat. Not only do I enjoy the physical benefits of exercise, but it also helps to keep me sane! Naturally, I’ve always known that I would continue to exercise during pregnancy. In fact, I can remember the week after I found out I was pregnant I hit the gym a few times and completed some decent mileage on the treadmill. And then morning…pardon me…all day sickness hit. For the rest of my first trimester the most exercise I got was speed walking to the nearest restroom in my office (discretely of course).
However, one sunny September day I woke up feeling like myself again. I was ready to take on the world again, and the gym. Doctors say that as long as you are in good condition you can continue your pre-pregnancy exercise routine with very little modifications. Just the other day Greg and I saw a woman at the gym who must have been 8 months pregnant doing a lifting circuit. I thought the baby could have just dropped out of her onto the mat then and there! I admire her tenacity and I always thought I would be just like that.
The truth is that every woman’s body reacts differently to the beautiful miracle growing inside of them. It’s up to us to listen to our bodies, listen to our hearts, and make healthy choices for our baby. When I go the gym my workout consists of low-impact cardio, like elliptical and walking, and then a lot of stretching. My favorite prenatal workout? YOGA! The poses and classes are extremely modified compared to the yoga classes I took before I was pregnant, but they are no less valuable or satisfying.
Yoga class creates moments to connect your breath to your body. Prenatal yoga class creates moments to connect your breath to your baby. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming to think that every bite of food, every positive or negative thought, every move you make affects your baby. A pregnant woman is no longer the same “I” she has always associated herself with – she has become a host for her baby! I feel empowered and blessed to be a woman and to have the gift of giving life to another human being.
I started this post by saying that exercise has always “worked out” my body and mind. More than ever I’m realizing how important the mind-benefits of the gym and yoga are to me. Because it’s during these moments on the elliptical and on the yoga mat that I feel most connected to my baby. My mission from the moment he was conceived is to make sure that he has the tools he needs to be healthy, be happy, be strong. Prenatal exercise and yoga feel like the natural foundation to carrying out this mission while he lives in my tummy.