Walking for Baby: Training for LaborPosted: March 14, 2012
I know my site is called, “Running for Pizza,” but, now, a more appropriate title would be “Walking for Baby.”
I am almost 18 weeks pregnant and living in Hawaii as our adventure continues.
Let’s talk pregnancy fitness.
Before taking on a triathlon, marathon, or any other major physical endeavor, you have to train, right? Well, having a baby is one of the most intense physical challenges I can imagine. Thus the name, “labor.” If it was called “blissful baby introduction,” you could prepare by sitting on your rear drinking milkshakes, but that’s simply not the case.
Pregnancy is not a good time to stop all exercise and eat your face off.
Exercising during pregnancy can lead to shorter, easier labor and faster recovery. Do you really need more reasons?
What I’m not doing:
- I’m not trying to prove how amazingly fit, strong and perfect I can be while growing a baby. I don’t want to be superwoman, I just want to be healthy and set baby and I up for success now and later.
- I’m not eating for two. The second person, the one growing inside of me (How cool is that?!) is much smaller than me, so I only actually require about 300 more calories/day + enough to supplement exercise. If I were to eat for two, I would end up looking like two of me after the baby. Nothing tastes good enough to make that worth it.
What I am doing:
I have stopped running and plyometrics simply to remove joint impact. These exercises won’t hurt your baby, but, as your body releases relaxin to help your joints expand to make room for baby, you are at a greater risk of injury that you might not fully comprehend until after baby.
I miss running like I miss wine. It was part of my daily meditation, and walking feels like it takes forever to cover any kind of distance. Having said that, I sure do feel good.
My current, daily routine involves walks of 2. 75 miles, 25 regular pushups, 25 tricep pushups or dips, 50 hip raises, 50 pelvic tilts, 50 straight-leg crunches, 30-second side planks, 1-minute center plank, and either rows, rear flies or shoulder rolls with a blade squeeze for my upper back. Since arriving in Hawaii, I haven’t set for in a gym (that all changes this Friday), so all of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home. No excuses.
A few rules of thumb for pregnancy exercises:
- If you were doing it before you were pregnant, you can do it while you’re pregnant, just listen to your body.
- Avoid straining, or any activity that leaves you breathless/unable to speak a full sentence clearly.
- Something is better than nothing.
- If you feel too exhausted to exercise, take the hint and sit one out, but remember that a little exercise will help your energy stores overall.
- Eat a snack before you exercise, and increase your calorie intake based on your exercise expenditures.
- After 20 weeks, stop performing exercises that require you to lay on your back. Reach out to me for modifications.
This is my first shot at being a pregnant person, but I’m grateful for my additional pre- and post-natal studies and certification, and for my pre-existing knowledge on nutrition and exercise. Getting pregnant is as much about your body being in the right condition to create and support a baby as it is about the actual act of making a baby. A healthy baby starts with a healthy mommy. If you don’t want to do it for you, now you’ve got a much bigger reason to take great care of yourself!