Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Truth About Exercise During Pregnancy

I have a tough time doing it. Well, I feel like I have a tough time doing anything except eating and peeing. Sleeping isn't even a comfortable endeavor these days, so why would exercise be any better?

The benefits of exercise are many, even during pregnancy. They have been proven and established and no one doubts them - not really. And I want to enjoy these benefits. I like exercising in general. The problem is cardio these days is a recipe for serious leg swelling. A 20 minute phone conversation offers enough time for me to pace/walk my legs to uncomfortable thickness.

Stretching is okay, assuming I can get up and move into position. Stretches however need to be modified so I don't smoosh kiddo or cut off circulation to my heart. There are a few alternative stretches I FINALLY found for certain parts (like hips) which I can actually do. It only took me 6 months...

Strength training is okay too, but I can't lift as much as before. The other day I tried to do bicep curls using my customary 8 lb weights and by the end of my first set I was out of breath and really struggling. This is a brand new development. The result is I have to go back to 5 lb weights. Hopefully this will be okay (as far as straining etc) and will offer me some actual resistence. It's been a while since I used 5 lbs. I just hope my arms continue moving in a positive direction despite the lower weight.

But all these only occur when I have enough energy and motivation. I am still doing better than I did in the first trimester, but only a little. Now I struggle to move and instead of nausea and exhaustion, I have to overcome my body and exhaustion. It feels like something is always getting in the way - my belly, my swollen legs, my lung capacity... Everything is modified and even then, I just can't do what I could before.

And I read recommendations by experts and recall those from my midwives and I laugh, and balk. I don't know who these people are who are able to walk vigorously for 1 hr 5 times a week, but they aren't me. I don't know these people who can do Zumba or circuit training throughout their pregnancies, but I kind of hate them. I would love to be a super active pregnant lady, but I just can't. I struggle with getting my writing goals done. I struggle with shifting position in bed.

This is where I am. My little dirt plot is being overtaken with weeds, my recycling is overflowing, and I can't waddle down the stairs without gripping the railing. I have to pee 20 times an hour and eat every 2. I take naps, which make me feel better than sleeping at night (because I always wake up aching the next day). So exercise? When I can do it (modified), when the stars align and my body isn't totally exhausted, I feel pretty good. Well, until I finish I feel good. Then when I'm done I need to take a nap.

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