Disclaimer: I am not a health care provider. If you have any questions regarding physical activity during your pregnancy, please consult a health care professional. This post is meant to show my personal experience.
Being pregnant can take its toll on you mentally as much as it can physically. There’s a lot going on! Hormones are flying everywhere; your body is changing completely. You’re crying one minute, laughing the next (one time, I even cried and laughed at the same time).
While I wasn’t the best at eating healthy all the time and I think I only went to the gym once (and I was only there for 15 minutes), I did still want to make sure that I was keeping myself “in shape” both mentally and physically during my pregnancy.
So, what did I do about it? I started to walk to work. I’m fortunate that I have that option. It’s a little over a mile from my apartment to where I work, and I walked to work every morning. Sometimes, I even walked home from work in the evenings. I’m also fortunate that I live in a climate that allowed me to do that year-round.
I 100% believe that doing this had a huge impact on my pregnancy.
Delivery wasn’t very hard, and recovery was a breeze. Not to mention that my mental state throughout my pregnancy wasn’t too bad (I still had my moments, don’t get me wrong).
The activity, the fresh air, the time alone to think/ reflect/ mentally prepare… it was all great for me then and it’s still great for me now. I know that not everyone has the chance to walk to work or even get out and walk everyday, but, walking doesn’t have to be the only option! Thirty minutes of activity a day will do wonders for the body–especially the pregnant body!
- It helps to build stamina- and trust me, when you’re in that bed pushing, you’re going to want stamina
- It keeps you mentally sane. Endorphins=happy you!
- Your recovering body will thank you!- I was up and around (i.e. cleaning/ organizing my hospital room because I’m weird like that) the same day I gave birth. I even asked the nurses if I could walk down to the cafeteria. They were not fans of that idea. Either way, the point is, I felt great just hours after giving birth (as great as I could have hoped, I mean). And I definitely believe that my walks played a huge part in that.
If you’re trying to find a great activity to spend 30 minutes a day on, consider some of these options:
- Brisk Walking
- Weight Training
- Elliptical or stair master
I don’t personally have much experience with many of those activities. The reason I chose walking as my daily exercise is this:
I wasn’t necessarily “in shape” when I got pregnant. It’s been years since I’ve been to the gym (for real), and I can’t remember the last time I put on my running shoes. I wanted to do something to build up my stamina and keep myself active, but I definitely didn’t want to hurt myself or my baby by overexerting myself. I had to pick something realistic that I could do everyday.
That’s the key: find something that’s realistic for you! Don’t go into this with mile-high expectations. Remember, anything you do will be great for you and baby! And if you keep it to something you can do and enjoy regularly, you’re more likely to stick with it!
Trust me, your pregnant and post-pregnant body and mind will thank you!