Exercise During Pregnancy Makes You Feel Better!

Oh how I wish I could do such a perfect downward facing dog!  It’s really too bad we lose the elasticity (and energy!) we had when we were 2.  If I had even half of the amount my son has, I would have all the motivation necessary to move my body.  As it stands, I have very little of either.

However, I know the importance of it.  I have never been as disciplined working out as I was when I was pregnant with my son.  It had something to do with knowing I was doing it more for him than me, hearing that labor was easier and quicker if one consistently exercised throughout pregnancy, reading that if you even walk ONE flight of stairs during pregnancy it dramatically lowers your risk of developing gestational diabetes, and having a fitness guru for a husband who lovingly took a prenatal training course just so I would be comfortable knowing that he had learned exactly what to do and what not to do with a pregnant woman.  Whew.  Think that’s enough reasons?

I am now almost halfway through my second pregnancy, and I (of all people) am here to say that exercise makes a huge difference.  So far, almost 20 weeks in, I have not been to the gym once (ok, I did walk through it to give something to my husband) and I haven’t walked nearly as much as I did when pregnant with my son.  (I walked 4.5 miles 2 days before I delivered him, and walked to the hospital to give birth!)

This pregnancy has not felt the same.  I have much less energy, have felt generally out of sorts for the majority of the time and have had strange food and smell aversions.  None of this occurred with my first pregnancy.  The two biggest differences are lack of sleep from parenting a toddler, and lack of exercise.  I have basically done an experiment on myself, and the results are in.

Exercise really helps.

I have decided to start now- better late than never, right?- because if the actual pregnancy is this different, then labor probably will be too.  And I really hope to have the kind of labor and delivery I had last time.

I started out yesterday with another pregnant friend.  Our plan was to walk a 3 mile loop around the lake in about 45 minutes.  We took my 2 year old, and we had a great time.  Only it took us 3 hours and we fed ducks, picked up sticks, studied rocks, watched squirrels, played in the dirt and pretty much never increased our heart rates.

feeding ducks with a 2 year old

I know that I need to do more than walk, so I’ll be in the gym with Pre/Postnatal training fan tomorrow.  That thing is awesome- you must buy one!  It was created by the woman who taught my husband’s prenatal training course and is super easy to follow.

Oh, and maybe I’ll take advantage of the extra elastin coursing through my body and do some light yoga.  If you’re in the NYC area, check out Strala Yoga.  It’s owned by my friend Tara Stiles, and her philosophy of yoga is exactly the same as mine.  And her classes are only $10 each!  Here’s a great article profiling her in the New York Times.

Maybe, just maybe, with my renewed motivation, I’ll be able to do that perfect down dog again just like my son.

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