After a week of very little intentional exercise, I returned to the gym yesterday. I don’t think I’ve been giving endorphins enough credit for what they do for my mood! I hopped on the elliptical and wondered why I had forgotten about it until now.
I actually got my heart rate elevated and having a little sweat running down my face made me feel like me again.
Working out has really only become part of my life over the past couple years. Before that, I liked staying active and participating in sports, but never truly focused on intentional exercise. Now, as I’m unable to do very much towards the end of pregnancy, I’m realizing how much I miss it. I’m no fitness buff by any means, but feeling like I am in good physical condition, being able to keep up with Hailey and having a solid energy base to get me through the day feels amazing.
However right now, as expected at almost 35 weeks pregnant, it’s becoming harder to just get up and go. My energy levels drop around 1pm and sometimes I need to sneak in a quick nap. My feet are sore by the end of the day and I often wear my back brace to support the growing belly. Though I am in love with what my body is doing right now, I can’t help but to not feel like me some days.
(Kettle bell swings at 34 weeks pregnant will get you a gawking audience by the way. I think they were scared for me!)
Part of me longs for the challenge of running, the focus required to get through a hot yoga class, the burn of making my butt and thighs WORK for it. To compensate, my mind has been racing with putting together postpartum fitness plans (I use that term loosely). Here is some of what I have in mind:
Running: Though we have a complicated love/hate relationship, nothing makes me feel accomplished than running. I am optimistically hoping to start with walks a few weeks after baby girl arrives. Once cleared for exercise, I hope to kick things up a bit and relearn to run. I’d be elated if I could get my stamina and strength built up enough to tackle a 5k or 10k (Ok, that might be a bit optimistic for me!) come Octoberish. I’m starting to poke around looking for fall races near Charlotte to help with my motivation.
Running at the gym will be an option once August comes, but until then, it will take some figuring out. We don’t have a double stroller and don’t have plans to get one as of now, but we will see. I’m hoping I can finagle a schedule of some sort, but most likely I’ll be running when I can, around David’s schedule.
Yoga: I did prenatal yoga the entire time I was pregnant with Hailey, but with limited options this go around, I haven’t done any. I like yoga for the flexibility, total body strengthening and general feeling of wringing out the body and mind it gives me. I’d love to incorporate it at least once a week, but honestly am not sure how I see that happening. Though there is a new studio near me (hooray!), there is no child care offered and with David’s work schedule, I’m just not sure how I see that working out.
Strength Training: Ah, yes, I look forward to feeling the burn again! In my dream world, I’d have a trainer that would lay out a plan for me to start toning and tightening areas I feel like have been neglected during pregnancy (butt, thighs, midsection- obviously). More realistically, workouts will be taking place at home when I can fit them in. I’m hoping to scour some of my favorites, Jen, Jess, Paige, etc for at-home circuits. Plus, it won’t be hard to fit in planks while giving baby kisses, though the toddler on my back might make things more challenging…
Just talking about fitness gets me excited, but I’m well aware that there is only so much planning I can do. With these “plans,” I’m assuming that baby girl arrives safely and in good health, and that labor and delivery go smoothly. I’m anticipating things to go as such (positive thinking!), but child birth is no joke and then there is adjusting to being a mom of two, handling recovery, dealing with interrupted sleep, hormone changes, breastfeeding, etc.
I am acknowledging these new challenges I’ll be facing and aware that there will be even more to face that I don’t already expect or know about, but hey, a girl has got to dream! And right now, having a fitness carrot (and a glass of wine) dangling in front of me as motivation is keeping my spirits up as I maneuver my way through the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Has fitness always been a big part of your life?
What sort of exercising is your favorite? Why?