Last week, due to a family emergency, Jay, Lucas, and I all had to board a plane and make our way to the Netherlands. During our time there, I was reminded of how wonderful it is to be active everyday. This pregnancy started off much more uncomfortably than the last, as such I lost a lot of my “fitness momentum” from before it and have admittedly been more sedentary the past few months (between February and now). However, in the Netherlands, because of the lifestyle and culture there, errands and tasks were done predominantly on foot and I averaged about 10km per day worth of walking (and chasing after a toddler). This, in combination with the incredible fresh air, left me feeling more energetic, with a clearer-head, and a brighter spirit. It even seemed to help stave off some of my more irritating pregnancy symptoms (indigestion, trapped wind [eek], ligament pains and cramps – especially around the stomach area, and back pain).
As such, I’ve been inspired to push myself and am now publicly declaring my personal 30 Day Baby Bump Bootcamp challenge. I’m hoping this helps me build a habit for fitness, and also prepares me better for labor in the way that my active lifestyle during my last pregnancy did (26 hours of labor, a complicated birth, and a bleed after, but I was calm and positive throughout, and it all worked out. I still delivered a healthy baby naturally, and recovery went quickly and smoothly).
As a pregnant, working mom of a toddler who never stops moving, I understand that exercise is not exactly a #1 priority for most moms (no matter what your situation is). A lot of the time, we just want to lie down when we get a 30 minute window to do so. And that’s okay. I’ve done that too, and I’m sure I’ll have more days like that ahead of me. However, staying fit does have its benefits. And it’s worth establishing a habit if you have a healthy pregnancy, and are able. If you won’t take my word for it, here’s what the American Pregnancy Association has to say about it:
Exercising for 30 minutes on most, or all, days can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is still beneficial, as well. The important thing is to be active and get your blood flowing.
Benefits cited on the website include:
- Reducing back pain, digestive issues (constipation, heart burn), swelling
- Potential prevention or treatment of gestational diabetes
- Increased/improved: energy, mood, posture, muscle tone, strength, endurance, hormone regulation, and sleep
- Potential to bounce back quicker postnatally
Now before you worry about me and call me crazy pregnant lady. Don’t fret! I’m not insane. I know that since I’ve now been significantly less active for about 13 weeks, I have no delusions over how “hard” I’m going to go. The intention of this project is to do one active thing for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. I will likely do prenatal yoga most of the time, but may throw in some dance and interval training on high energy days. The point is not to push myself so hard, rather to establish healthy habits and improve my wellbeing. Note that if you are pregnant and want to try a similar challenge for yourself, clear your intentions with your doctor first before you start any exercise program. Better to be safe than sorry.
As for me, I plan to do weekly progress reports to discuss what I’m learning, feeling, and doing, and a summary report at the end to see what changes (if any), I’ve experienced in full. I technically started last Saturday, so stay tuned for updates the coming Saturdays/Sundays!