We often think of adventure as something that is outside ourselves, I would say that having a new human being growing inside your body is one of lives greatest adventures and not something every person is privy to experience. Considering all a women’s body is going through many people would like to encourage pregnant people to sit on the couch with their feet propped up for an entire pregnancy. If I did this I would feel like a big blob, forget about all the excess weight I would gain, I would feel pretty gross. Luckily for active women out there who enjoy getting up and moving, confinement (the medieval sort) is no longer a universally recommended practice and in normal circumstances movement and exercise are highly encouraged.
Exercise has all sorts of health benefits and in my experience if you stop moving during a pregnancy it become even harder to resume as the baby gets bigger. Being active can tremendously help with pregnancy related symptoms, such as nausea, mood and keeps joints lubricated with the aches that can come with carrying another human being inside.
Here is the disclaimer; in any activity the most important thing is to be attuned and aware of the signs and symptoms of our bodies and this holds true especially during pregnancy. It’s important to develop the art of being able to realize when something is too much. In many athletic communities there is an attitude of I can push through everything and anything, yes we can do a lot more then we think we can, but its important to stay cognizant of real preventable dangers. At any time is important to be able to tune into our inner cues but especially during pregnancy when the stakes are higher and a women’s body is experiencing all sorts of added demands and pressures. So be attuned and aware of your body be aware and adjust if something does not feel right. We often come into a situation with a certain agenda; it can be a process to recognize when hazards abound and when our agenda is just not working.
I really enjoy pregnancy yoga and have been taking classes. It’s uplifting and inspiring being surrounded by other expecting mothers and seeing how other women are able to retain fitness and flexibility. We can only do our job as mothers if we take care of ourselves first. It’s inspiring to see women approaching there due dates, exhibiting beautiful and athletic yoga poses. Whereas in a regular yoga class working on stomach muscles or “core” is often emphasize, in prenatal yoga in accordance with doctor’s orders core work in avoided and strengthening other parts of the body and learning to adjust to the transformation your body is undergoing is central and the yoga studio I go to I get a great workout.
Hiking is also great and although it is to be expected that as the baby grows you will slow down, it’s always nice to be in the great outdoors. I have been hiking and camping while pregnant and yes at times there are quirks to work out such as needing more padding in order to sleep comfortably. I even have gone backpacking, as long as the weight of my pack was less then 20 pounds the doctor said it was fine, the hubby had to carry an extra load.
I tried ice skating at around 7 months of pregnancy and found my balance to not be adequate, so after circling the rink a couple of time and having a close moment of imbalance I realized that ice skating would have to wait for another time.
Apparently one can even go rock climbing late in pregnancy with the right kind of harness, I attempted to indoor rock climb while being in my first trimester and even though theoretically there would not be a safety issue in me doing so, I felt much more comfortable with both feet on the ground and ended up belaying the hubbie. I was nervous each time he climbed and relieved each time he made it safely down to the floor. I don’t usually get nervous about such things, but for some reason the whole hanging by a rope dynamic made me anxious, I’ll blame it on pregnancy hormones.
I really wanted to keep up biking during pregnancy, a women’s balance changes as her baby grows. Theoretically I should have been able to adjust my balance as my body changed, and bicycling can be a great low impact exercise. I kept up biking until about 7 months pregnant, my baby bump got so big that every time I pedaled my knee’s would touch my stomach, rather awkward and a little uncomfortable, so I did not continue to bike late into pregnancy.
The more you keep on being active during pregnancy the more active you will be able to remain, but even so there still is as slow down factor. Feel proud and happy if you can decrease the aches and pains of carrying another 20 plus pounds of weight on your body. Toward the end of a pregnancy taking a trip to Costco and walking through the long aisles of the store could be activity enough. I wonder if you can borrow one of those electric scooter things while shopping there.