Hey ladies! For those who are interested, here is a link for 14 Prenatal Yoga Videos online. I tried two of them today and enjoyed them very much. I have never enjoyed working out at home before, but as I get bigger and work gets harder, I am less motivated to go to the studio yet still want to get in some poses and movements. I always feel so much better immediately afterwards and I DEFINITELY notice a difference in how my body and mind feel the day after. Check them out!
At eight and a half months pregnant, there are many uncertainties crossing my mind on a daily basis as my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our precious baby. That said, there is one thing I do know for sure: I will never ask a mom-to-be whether or not she plans to breastfeed her newborn. Here’s why….
About a week ago, I decided to freeze my crossfit membership and I signed up for a monthly membership at a local yoga studio. I have done yoga many times before and even experimented with Bikram for awhile a few years back, but I haven’t really taken many classes lately. I love the community at my crossfit gym and I was enjoying modifying workouts when I was attending class there, but at eight months pregnant, I started to crave a different type of movement.…
I belong to a crossfit gym in NY. Recently, a friend/coach of mine, who is also an awesome photographer, took some pictures of members working out during two of our regular classes. The first day he was shooting I was in my 28th week of pregnancy and the second day I was in my 30th week. When he shared the pictures on social media, I was excited to see them. I felt proud of myself for still being able to participate in WODS with modified exercises. At 28 weeks, I had gained almost 20 pounds and I was still able to do kipping pull-ups and some strict banded pull ups. At 30 weeks, I was squatting with light weight, stepping up to a box, and doing pistols (one legged squats… with support). I felt great.
I wanted to share the pictures on social media myself to possibly inspire other women to continue exercising in moderation and with modifications during their pregnancies, but I hesitated.
“What will people say?” “What if people comment that I am ‘crazy’ or ‘hurting myself or the baby’? ” “Will I be able to handle that?”
These are the thoughts that entered my mind before almost hitting the “post” button. But, a few days have passed and I have since gotten over that. New thoughts began to enter my mind.
“I listen to my body, I learn from my body, I love my body.” “I am dedicated to being healthy and happy.” “I have made a decision to help others do the same & this is one way to attempt to do so.”
I have been exercising my entire life. Until my 20s, I was an avid dancer and swimmer. I run often & I experiment with yoga, but about 4 years ago I really got in to crossfit. I love how I felt during and after class and I also love how it feels to be a part of something bigger than myself. The crossfit community is inspiring and life-changing… and there is little to no room for negativity. That is what makes it addicting.
Before I found out I was pregnant, I was lifting heavy weights and participating in metabolic conditioning work outs that elevated my heart rate, even if for short bursts of time. During my first trimester, I am fairly certain I got this question just about every single day: “You’re not still doing crossfit, are you?”
The answer was “Yes, I am” then. It is, “Yes, I am” now and it will continue to be the same until I decide it is no longer meeting my needs, whenever and if ever that may be.
The reason I feel comfortable continuing to attend our gym is because I have been actively listening to my body (& my coaches) for many years now, in and out of the gym. I know when I am tired and need a rest day. I know when I am dehydrated and need more water and nutrition. I know what my max weights are. I know what it feels like when my heart rate spikes and what exactly will make my heart rate spike. I am comfortable modifying work outs to better meet my needs, taking breaks when I need them, and asking professionals for help and advice when necessary.
No, I do not know every unexpected “side effect” of each week of pregnancy. No, I have never been pregnant before. No, I cannot predict what will happen each day, but, for the most part, I feel confident that I am prepared. I am prepared to listen to what my body needs, what will make me feel my best, and adjust accordingly as things are always changing.
When you make deliberate choices about the food that goes in your body and the physical activities you engage in and then actively reflect on the effect of those choices on a daily basis, you start to grow a sense of autonomy and control over your health and mind. You begin to trust your own intuition. This is incredibly empowering. It makes it easier to tune out the background noise and negativity around you and keep making small, positive changes each day.
You don’t need to do crossfit… you don’t need to do yoga… you can choose to do whatever types of physical activity you would like to engage in that will make you happier. For me, these activities change often, both before and during my pregnancy. These days, a long, brisk walk on the boardwalk makes me feel energized and limber. A 45-minute walk outside can do wonders for your mind and your mood. During my second trimester, I took several yoga classes because I just felt that that was what I needed. They helped me to relax and aided with the digestive issues I was having at the time.
Including physical activity to my daily routine has not only helped me to stay in shape as I naturally grow in size, but it has also helped keep my mind at ease. The normal, escalating anxieties that grow along with your belly throughout pregnancy can really attribute to mood swings and lack of sleep. Exercising is a way for me to release tension and stress, to socialize with like-minded positive people, and to release endorphins naturally. I also have to say that I have had little to no aches and pains or swelling over the last 7 ½ months.
I should add that it is frowned upon to start up a brand new work out routine when you become pregnant. But, if you are someone who regularly exercises, it is now generally recommended you continue to do so with appropriate modifications. Make sure to keep your heart rate down, reduce the risk of falling, drink more water than usual… these are a few of the recommendations I have heard from my doctors and read in “the books.”
This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice in any way – or to be advice just for pregnant women. It is for all of you and it is just a personal share of my experience with physical activity during my pregnancy thus far.
I hope that all of you women reading take a few minutes to think of the physical activities you choose to engage in and then consider these questions:
- What are those activities, if any?
- Do they make you happy?
- Have you considered expanding your range of physical activity in terms of type, occurrence, or intensity?
- Are you sleeping well?
- At what times of the day do you feel stressed, if any?
- At what times of the day do you feel relaxed, if any?
Reflect on your answers. If you are inspired to make a change to one or more of your answers to these questions, start small and set an achievable goal. Perhaps you want to read up on your local yoga studio, or go to the local pool for ½ hour one day, or try that dance class you’ve been afraid to take. Build in some time to notice your feelings before, during, and after you meet your goal. Use those noticings as guidance to set your next goal.
I encourage you to be brave enough to experiment with what your body needs. This takes courage, time, and practice, but the reward is invaluable.
Feel free to message me via my contact page to ask questions or share your experiences. I would love to hear from you!
My godmother spoils me rotten. Really – she does. I am super grateful for her constant love and support throughout my entire life since the day I was born… and I am also super grateful for the awesome gifts she has a lovely habit of giving me!
Last week, I came home to a pink box sitting at our front door. …
Written on October 8, 2015
One of the first things you learn when you are pregnant is that EVERYONE and their mother has an opinion on, well, just about everything and most of these people think it is okay to share these opinions even when they are really not warranted (or wanted, for that matter!). It is just part of the process. If you listen to these opinions (and I mean hear them, not necessarily heed them) you will quickly realize that, despite how convincing and demanding people may sound, the advice and suggestions you will come by are typically quite ironically contradictory, overly subjective, and sometimes just plain right ridiculous.
September 29, 2015
So, last week I had to go to the doctor to test for gestational diabetes. At my previous appointment, they gave me the 10 oz. bottle of glucose and instructed me to drink it all an hour before arriving. I was dreading it. I don’t think I have ever purposely consumed 50 grams of concentrated sugar syrup at once (unless maybe it was masked in a lovely flavored cocktail on a beach somewhere beautiful).