I read up on how to stay active, I wanted to keep doing Muay Thai, I wanted to go mountain biking on easy trails, I’ve wanted to do more runs… I basically had all these intentions but little time or energy to execute them. While other mothers I know who weren’t so active before pregnancy have started doing way more in their pregnancy, I’ve mostly taken it easy.
Especially with my job involving travelling and moving house with all these gazillion tasks that came with it, I just decided not to beat myself up about not keeping up with a more regimented exercise programme. I have gone for a few walks and runs and a couple of pilates sessions, but compared to what I was used to previously, I really haven’t done very much.
So how have I kept myself free of the tubs and aches so far?
Here are a few simple things I’ve tried to incorporate into my day.
Instead of whinging about not going for workouts, I’ve tried to keep moving. It’s really easy to sit back and let everyone treat you like you can’t do anything – They’re doing it out of the good of their hearts but if you let it go too far, you can get really lazy. And laziness makes you feel even more exhausted, I find. So I’ve tried to do little things like take the stairs whenever possible, stand up when I’ve been sitting for too long, brisk walk or trot whenever I’m off somewhere on foot, but rest when I’ve needed to rest.
Stay conscious of your posture
I’ve been especially mindful of my back this entire time. When you’ve got a back injury which might flare up at any time and you start reading pregnancy books about how sciatica can affect women who didn’t have back conditions, you get pretty paranoid. I’ve been especially conscious about my posture as a result. I catch myself slouching and try to straighten up, I do some stretches if I’ve been sitting for too long, and I try to think of my spine as something that’s long and straight. It sounds silly but when you think about it that way, you automatically start to stand taller. This is just me trying not to put unnecessary strain on any part of my spine whilst I’m obviously hauling around a heavier body full of fluid and such.
Don’t eat for two
Everyone says you are eating for two when you’re pregnant. The truth is, whilst you’re a grown adult and needing several thousand calories a day to function, your small little baby fetus only requires about 300 calories to grow. I’m definitely not dieting but being equipped with that knowledge does prevent you from over indulging. Admittedly, I haven’t been eating healthy, healthy, healthy, but I think I’ve definitely been eating enough. This Olive is now an heirloom tomato.
Use isolated muscle strength
While everyone tells you not to lift a finger to carry anything, I’ve tried to stay ‘active’ by again not being lazy about the littler things. Obviously I’m not lifting boxes and stuff like that, but I’m definitely carrying my own groceries and such. Come on, if a mother can carry her 2 year old whilst pregnant, I don’t see why I can’t carry my own stuff. One thing I have taken away from Fightshape and my prenatal pilates class though is that using isolated muscle strength is best when doing anything active. NEVER use your abdominal muscles. If you want to lift something, make sure you are only using the strength in your arms and not anywhere in your body.
Don’t feel bad to rest
I try to remind myself that my body is literally being a factory at the moment so it’s using up all my energy stores to create life. So as long as I keep going and don’t plonk my ever-growing ass down for prolonged periods of time for nothing, I’m allowed to get some well-deserved rest. And I tell myself that making myself go for a run when I am knackered isn’t going to help me or the baby.
So those are my simple things.
The husband has just asked me to go for a babymoon in January whilst he’s in China for work – Sounds like a plan since I’ve never done the Great Wall or the Forbidden City. Silly boy absent-mindedly also suggested skiing. Duh!