Although I am a firm believer that pregnancy is definitely one of the most magical and beautiful times in a woman’s life, there also happens to be one little problem with pregnancy for me:
I struggle with the weight gain.
After three back-to-back pregnancies, I was a little more than hesitant when I found myself unexpectedly expecting our fourth child. I can admit that I definitely wanted a little more time to get my body after baby back. But the thing is, instead of sloughing my way through this pregnancy and dreading looking in the mirror the entire time, I want to try to enjoy what is my final pregnancy.
I am determined to stay positive this time around, which has involved a lot of pep talks, imagining myself as healthy and enjoying some baby snuggles, eating healthier, and perhaps most importantly, exercising daily.
Now that I’m turning the corner on my first trimester and finally starting to lose the queasiness and constant desire to take a nap, I’ve found that mixing up my exercise routine every day helps me to stay motivated and look forward to a fun workout that will help keep my energy up throughout the day. Before this pregnancy, I actually worked out a lot after the kids were in bed, but these days, Momma is crashing early. So now, it’s all about exercises that I can incorporate into our daily routine at home, kids and all!
1. The Barre Pregnancy Workout. A skinnier, non-pregnant friend turned me on to the benefits of the ballet barre workout and after
stalking seeing several pictures of her bikini-ready body on Facebook, I was intrigued. I did a quick search online for pregnancy barre workouts and found an option that I was looking for. It came in the mail last week and I am happy to report, that I am officially a devotee. Not only is the workout perfect because my second daughter happens to be big into ballet right now, prompting her to beg me to do the video every day, but the exercises are actually challenging enough to keep my muscles challenged. The workout incorporates balance, strength intervals, and flexibility. I definitely would recommend the workout to any pregnant woman and hopefully, the results will show when I’m holding my baby in my (toned) arms.
2. The elliptical. I was lucky enough to snag my mom’s commercial-grade elliptical when she upgraded hers, and although it’s had some wear and tear on it and makes a few questionable groans and clicks when I’m using it, I love it for working out during pregnancy. When I’m not pregnant, I love running, but I just am not one of those women who can continue to run during pregnancy. (Two words: boobs and ouch!) The elliptical is so much more smooth and lower-impact than running, and although things might get interesting in a few months when my balance gets a little more top-heavy, I plan on utilizing the elliptical all the way through this pregnancy.
3. Yoga. Yoga is great for pregnancy, because it is so adaptable and focuses on gentle strength-training and flexibility. And as an added bonus, I did yoga during my second pregnancy, and I will swear up and down to you that it was the #1 reason I was able to have an all-natural delivery. All of that breathing and focusing? Really comes in handy when you’re working your way through contractions without an epidural. I have my first yoga class tonight with my sister and I couldn’t be more excited!
4. Swimming. Soooo, did I mention that I happen to be due at the end of summer? Which means lots of heat and hot, hazy days `round these parts? It may not help me get ready for the Olympics anytime soon, but spending lots of time in the pool this summer will help me to stay in shape and give me a much-needed break from all that belly weight. I can almost feel the relaxation of floating on my stomach in that clear, blue water now…ahhhh…
5. Squats.I know, I know. You’re thinking that I’m crazy for even suggesting this one. And maybe I am. But squatting is such a good way to work your entire body, burn calories, and strengthen muscles, and pregnancy provides a built-in extra weight boost for an extra challenge. And I don’t know about you, but I will be squatting my little pregnancy heart out in those last few weeks when I’m hoping that anything will help me speed labor along!
And of course, as always, check with your doctor or care provider before doing any of these exercises or beginning your own routine. I’m a nurse and a pregnant momma, but I’m not an expert and we all know that I am definitely not a fitness guru!