The past few weeks have been an emotional roller-coaster for me. I’ve had to step back a considerable amount of hours from work because of my health. The truth is, I’m not very good at admitting when I need help and when I need to take a break – and now I’m starting to see the effects. I haven’t been able to make it through my work days anymore, so during my yearly review I finally had the chance to swallow my pride and admit that I’m not doing very well and I need to take priority in my health.
The problem with not working as much is that I’m not as active. I spend most of the day on the computer writing, which means I don’t get up very often. Luckily, I drink a ton of water and eat really well. However, I can feel my body starting to slow down. So while I do need to step back a considerable amount – I still need to stay active with my body so I don’t lose even more energy and proficiency.
5 Ways to Stay Active During Pregnancy (I’ve tried them all!!)
Try Prenatal Yoga
If you’re looking for something mild, I recommend trying prenatal yoga. I try to go to a class once a week – but I don’t always make it. In any case, it’s not something you need to go to a class for! You can do it right at home in your bed or in the living room. When I first started doing yoga before pregnancy, I was doing Yoga with Adriene on Youtube.
Two For One
Stretch. This one seems the most obvious, but tons of pregnant ladies forget to do it or don’t realize how beneficial it can be. Labor is right around the corner – so it’s time to start preparing those hips for birth! I know stretching is in the same category as yoga – but focus more on loosening up the tension in your muscles. Stretching can be quicker than yoga if you don’t have a bunch of time!
Fit4Baby or equivalent
Check out the prenatal fitness classes in your city and see what’s offered! In Annapolis where I live, we have this program called Fit4Mom that offers classes for moms! I liked trying this class because it has a higher intensity than yoga and made me feel strong.
From the website: Fit4Baby is a prenatal fitness program that teaches women how to exercise safely and effectively throughout their pregnancy. The hour long Fit4Baby class is interval based, combining elements of strength training, cardiovascular exercises and stretching and balancing exercises. We train and certify our Fit4Baby instructors so they are fully equipped to lead a pregnant woman in exercises that are safe and appropriate for her changing body. The class is for all stages of pregnancy.
Tip: Even if you don’t have this program where you live, it doesn’t hurt to search for one like it! Try asking your OB/GYN for recommendations or your hospital what classes they offer.
Go For A Walk
No, seriously! Especially if you’re stuck at home all day – going for a walk to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing is the perfect idea. Take your dog with you if you have a dog!
On the days I do get to go to work, I walk to and from home on the way there, on my lunch break, and at the end of the day. Even if you just walk out to your mailbox each day or do laps up and down your hallway, find a way to get out of your chair and move your legs around.
Tip: If you’re feeling a bit more active, try some ankle weights during your walk!
People seem to go back and forth on whether squats are safe to do through pregnancy. But I’m here to tell you that they are safe. As long as you’re doing them right, of course!
Tip: Don’t hunch over. As you squat, your back should come to a 45 degree angle over your legs, but should not be rounded out! Keep it straight! And if you want to add more bang for your buck – grab some weights to use.
During pregnancy, squats are a great resistance exercise to:
- maintain strength and range of motion in the hips, glutes, core, and pelvic floor muscles.
- improve posture.
- aid in labor and delivery.
Skip the Elevator/Escalator
If you’re out shopping, heading to the doctor’s, or at work – opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. This one is easy for me because of my weird fear of elevators… seriously, I hate them. Is there a term for that?
I understand needing elevators for the persons in wheelchairs or who are otherwise physically-impaired, but everyone else should honestly just take the stairs anyway! It doesn’t hurt to be more active – I promise.
Pregnancy can be really hard – but you don’t need to make it harder on yourself. Staying active will not only help with your body, but it’ll help you sleep, too! (Oh, and it’ll totally help with the feet and ankle swelling, too…) Like I said, there’s plenty of benefits to staying active, especially throughout your pregnancy!
What do you do to stay active in your daily life?