My friend, Isabel, gave me some great advice about childrearing. She said, “The sooner you accept that everything is a phase, the better off you will be.” Keep in mind, she’s also the friend who got me a one-year subscription to People Magazine (brilliant!), so I completely trust her! My hope was that I would be able to post comprehensive prenatal exercise routines throughout my pregnancy. The reality is that every week is so unpredictable that I haven’t been able to wrap my head around a steady routine for longer than a month at a time.
I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant. My latest www.thebump.com update started with a shockingly bold phrase, “Your full-term baby…”
Full-term baby?!!! Wait! I can’t be almost done. I’m just adjusting to being pregnant. Of course the sentence continued with “…is now the size of a watermelon.” So I guess I’m also happy that I will not be pregnant long enough for my baby to be the size of a beer keg or a Smart Car.
I’ve decided to call this final phase, the last four weeks, The Big Slowdown. It’s like reverse training for an Ironman. You start strong. Eventually you get slower and your workouts get shorter. Finally, toward the end, you have to completely redefine what working out actually means!
With four weeks to go, I have decided that all of the below activities count as workouts.
- 10 minutes to 1 hour of swimming : All easy, lest Baby Girl decide to trigger Braxton Hicks contraction in the pool. Note: This is a fun way to keep the lifeguards alert! If you missed my last blog, complete with underwater video, click here.
- Prenatal core work for any length of time: My fave guidelines are Celeste Goodson’s MomBodFitness workouts. During T1 and T2, these workouts are not overly stimulating, but during T3, they really hit the spot.
- 20-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer watching the life and times of the Kardashians (I never understood the draw of reality tv – until now!).
- An hour-long hike if I’m feeling ambitious. Note: Same hike takes me approx 25 minutes when I am non-pregnant and running it.
- 1-hour jaunt to Target to buy stuff for hospital bag, and yes, I now have a very large hospital bag ready to go.
- Standing in one place for more than 15 minutes.
- A full day of business meetings now requires two full days of rest and recovery!
- Baking a tray of Browned Butter Blondies. Then eating said tray of Browned Butter Blondies!
- A neighborhood walk of any length.
- Low-impact gym workout: This is where it gets fun.
The new trend is that every time people see me exercising, they say, “Good for you!” It doesn’t matter if I’m just standing around in the pool. At least I’m out there, giving the impression that despite my “condition,” I’m trying!
In the spirit of The Big Slowdown, please take a minute to list some additional activities that can be considered workouts during the third trimester. I’d love to add a few more activities to my list!
As I wind down, my goal is to feel as good as possible. If that means an easy swim, great. If it means two days of resting on the couch, great. I called my friend, Becky, who just had her second baby, only 15 months after the first. She told me that if I ever need to make a decision between getting in a workout or getting extra rest, I should choose to get some rest. She said, “There will always be time in your life to get back in shape, but there are only a few months when you can focus on your body and your new baby.”
I’m happy to say that I agree.