I'm not sportsy; never have been. I hate running. I have no idea what a 'runner's high' feels like. Now, a high you get from your team nailing a dance routine and winning state - now THAT I get (#glorydays). But running? Nope.
So I walk. Especially during pregnancy.
Most of the time, it's me and my main Dood, Barley. Sometimes it's me pushing 65 lbs in a double stroller (oh the convos we have). Occasionally it's just me on my lonesome. I don't take my phone. I don't listen to music.
I just walk.
Even though I know my body is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing, gaining weight is not fun. It's not easy. It's not graceful. And sometimes, I shed tears about it. For 9 months, our bodies are foreign; they don't belong to us. And sometimes, that's just plain hard.
On good days, I get two walks in. Most days, it's just one. Some days it's none. But I try my best. Because I know how beneficial walking during pregnancy actually is.
Walking during pregnancy isn't only about maintaining a healthy weight gain. It also:
- Builds endurance and keeps your heart healthy so that you can endure hours (and hours) of labor.
- Increases flexibility and tones hip flexors and leg muscles. All of which are needed for a quicker, easier labor and delivery - especially when you plan on laboring and delivering in all sorts of positions other than lying on your back (hint: take my class to learn more about the benefits of different laboring/birthing positions!)
- Relieves common discomforts of pregnancy.
- Helps ease baby into a favorable position. You upright more = baby head down.
- Puts you in a better mood. Do I hate my alarm when it goes off at 5:30 am? Yes. Yes I do. But I feel SO good once I'm outside enjoying the crisp morning air and the peace and quiet before my chaotic day sets in. ( I'm getting oddly good at knowing what kind of bird it is by their morning chirping.)
- And more!
Bonus: ANYONE can do it! Literally anyone. Even me - the non-runner.
Need help getting motivated? Let's chat. We can hold each other accountable.
P.S. When labor has started, what do I do to get things progressing? Yep - you guessed it. I walk. And walk. And walk some more. Works like a charm.
Disclaimer: Always talk to your care provider before starting any pregnancy exercise routine.