Three Tips for Exercising While Pregnant
“I want to exercise, but I’m so tired I fall asleep instead.”
“I know I should exercise, but I just don’t have the time.”
“I feel like I am running out of steam and just going through the motions.”
Movement during pregnancy is a beautiful thing. If I’m being 100% honest (which I like to be), it’s not always easy. During pregnancy, it is pretty common to be tired. I’m not talking about “Oh, I didn’t sleep well and I could really use a nap.” I’m talking about repeating “MUST. KEEP. EYES. OPEN.” as I drive down the road. Here are three tips to help you exercise while pregnant:
- Redefine the Word “Exercise”
What stories have you created around the word exercise? Does it HAVE to be 60 straight minutes of exercise? Does it ALWAYS need to include strength and conditioning? Do you truly not have enough time or are you struggling to exercise in the same way you did before you were pregnant? It’s not only okay, but it is healthy to slow down. Train for birth and train with intention. Walking for 20 minutes, doing only the functional progressions, or swapping out a day of lifting for yoga is still exercise and has physical and emotional benefits.
- Move for Energy and Birth Prep
Exercising during pregnancy is a bit of a conundrum. We are too physically (and sometimes mentally) exhausted to exercise, but exercise also helps boost energy levels during pregnancy. If you are struggling to find the time to exercise, find the time to move and call it birth prep. One reason I love the functional progressions is because the movements mimic positions you can utilize in labor. Breathing in quadruped (all-fours), or doing BIRTHFIT Functional Progression 3, lunges, quadruped with your arms resting on an exercise ball or even tripod movements, can help you prepare for birth. All of these will help you build strength and endurance in your arms and can help you feel more confident while in labor.
- Listen to Your Body
Give yourself grace and know that your body is really freaking smart if you listen to it. The thing about listening to your body is that you have to actually listen. If your body is telling you to slow down, respect your body. If your body is taking longer to recover or you are sore after you lift, your body is asking you to decrease the weight on deadlifts. If you are feeling pressure or pain down there, schedule a consultation with a BIRTHFIT Professional or pelvic floor therapist. Get connected to your body, listen to its cues, and know that slowing down is a sign of respect, not weakness.
Lauren Keller, DC, DABCAElemental Chiropractic, Inc @mamaspelvicfloor
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