Pregnancy & Exercise: Why I want to be a Strong Mama!
As I prepare for the most incredible journey of my life, I've been reading tons of books, articles, and blogs on the labor and delivery process. I am educating myself on my options and my goal is to be as strong as I can to put myself and our future child in the best situation as possible. I don't know what to expect, or how I will personally handle it, but what I do know is that millions of women have labored. Our bodies have been designed to go through this process. Our bodies know what to do, so I have to be confident in my innate ability to bring my little human safely into this world.
I wish I could remember where I read this, but someone compared labor and delivery to an athletic event and the 9 months of pregnancy to the training period. Now if I was signed up to run a marathon in October 2013 instead of welcoming our first child, I would not expect to be successful if I didn't prepare and train my body for that type of endurance event. I would have a training regimen and would definitely have to follow it! So I'm choosing to train my body so that I can give us all a good run for our money on that special day in October when "we" become a "family of three."
Why it's important to exercise while pregnant:*
Women who exercise during pregnancy:
Have reduced weight gain and fat deposition during pregnancy
Have fewer pregnancy discomforts
Report a more rapid physical and emotional recovery from delivery
Tend to have easier, shorter and less complicated labors
Have less need for pain relief during labor
Have more stamina during labor
Increase their aerobic capacity
Decrease their susceptibility to illness
Increase their energy level
Babies of exercising moms:
Have significantly lower heart rates than babies of non-exercising moms
Are better able to cope with the stress of birth
Have a greater ability to adapt to life outside the uterus
Are more healthy at birth
Are leaner at birth and tend to stay lean as they grow
Sleep through the night sooner
Are better able to self-calm
Score higher on tests of general intelligence and oral language skills
Have decreased risks of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life
*Excerpt from the Facts page of Crossfitmom.com
3-4 times a week, I will do the beginner workout of the day (WOD) posted on the Crossfit Mom website. This website modifies the WOD that is posted on the main Crossfit website for pregnant women. It's an awesome resource. By doing these scaled Crossfit workouts, I know I will safely and quickly build up my strength. Below was today's WOD. It seems simple, but I needed to take a little breather after round 2. Thrusters get your heart pumping!
In addition, 5-6 times a week, I will do a 30 minute prenatal yoga routine. I've been doing the following routine since the first trimester and I really love it. Not only is it free on YouTube, but I feel SO MUCH better after completing the session. You really don't realize how tight your muscles are until you fully stretch them out! Plus yoga is known to help with balance, circulation, and breathing techniques. All good stuff for the expectant mom!
I also plan to add in some walks at the nearby park's nature trail and some swimming now that it's getting warmer. I don't of course want to over do it, but I know I can definitely do more than what I'm doing now!
Today, I did successfully complete both the WOD and the yoga and I felt great. I had more focus during my working hours and just felt happy that I did something good for both me and baby. I do have to admit that my legs are already sore from all of the squats in the WOD and the yoga - but squats are such an important strength training exercise, so I'm going to keep doing them!
Any suggestions, comments, or thoughts from the experienced moms out there?