Right before I got pregnant, I was on a fitness roll. I had let my ten year old gym membership lapse as Hans and I invested in a spin bike and a full set of hand weights to further build out our home gym. I was having a ball crafting my workout schedule, heavy on home workouts with visits to local studios as they fit into my schedule.
Then we found out I was with child and the first trimester nausea and exhaustion quickly set in. I was so tired all day long that I would wake up, eat something to settle my stomach before taking a morning nap before heading into work. I’d do my best to not fall asleep at my desk so I could get home and crash on our couch. The only physical activity I was interested in was moving from a vertical to horizontal resting position.
But I had someone on my team that would keep me moving and my heart rate up:
Pardon my rudeness, but I’m realizing that I never formally introduced Frank! Frank joined our family in early February and we found out we were pregnant shortly after. We weren’t kidding when we came up with the hashtag #HansenExpansion when he came along!
Frank is a DOG. A dog’s dog. A man’s dog. He barks. A LOT. He play bites. A LOT. He chews stuff up. A LOT. But he’s a Golden Retriever through and through. He’s a love bug. He’s incredibly smart (and caught on fast at his Complete Obedience Dog Training sessions.) He’s always smiling (unless he’s getting yelled at for one of the previously mentioned acts.)
He also is still only seven months old and is full of energy. The best way to work some of that energy off? Frequent dog walks. Most days, twice a day, usually around our neighborhood. I’m not speed walking at the same pace these days, but our walks are still pretty brisk so I’m still getting the cardiovascular benefits. (Plus, a long time ago, an old internship supervisor told me she walked 30 minutes every day when she was pregnant with her son and had the easiest labor experience she could have ever imagined. I have no medical research to back that statement up, but I’m going with it!)
In the mornings before work, it’s just Frank and me on our walks, but in the evenings and on the weekends, our other favorite redheads join in.
Grady turns ten years old (!!!) next month and while he still loves a good hike, he passes on our routine walks around the block. But getting him and Frank out and about has been a pleasurable way to still stay active with both of them. As my pregnancy progresses, our choice of trails seems to level off — finding my way up and down steep hills became a challenge after awhile, so flatter options like the new loop constructed this year in the West Creek Reservation are the way for me to go.
My other long time love of a regular yoga practice has been more of a challenge for me to incorporate. That may be funny considered how often yoga is recommended for pregnant women. I, on the other hand, was having attachment issues to adjusting my asana practice — let alone not really being able to do it at all during my first trimester. (Thank goodness for yoga nidra!) Coincidentally, the beginning of my second trimester matched up with my travels out to Colorado for my ParaYoga teacher trainings. There, I was able to get some guidance from my teacher, his assistants and my fellow trainees on how to progress, including how to modify poses and pranayama practices. Since then, I’ve been dabbling in an array of prenatal yoga teachers’ offerings on YogaGlo (Elena Brower’s are my favorite) but still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I’m taking the in-studio approach next, with plans to check out Inner Bliss and Prana Yoga & Dance’s classes soon.
What I haven’t been doing? Intense work out sessions. Indoor cycling classes at Harness Cycle, rowing and TRX at Ride + Workout, that occasional way-too-hot power yoga class at Cleveland Yoga, swinging around a kettlebell, and so on. I know that many pregnant women continue on doing these activities (well, not in the uber hot yoga room temperatures) without issue. Honestly though, I just haven’t felt comfortable pushing myself this hard while carrying Baby H. And after years of the “push yourself” mentality when it comes to physical activities, I’ve been enjoying this more relaxed approach. The spin bike, rower and weights can wait. (But I already have promised myself a Christmas present of a group fitness class on Christmas Eve.)
What do I wish I was doing? Speaking of Harness, they are hosting their Instructor Certification + Training next weekend. It’s been a secret bucket list item of mine to get certified to teaching indoor cycling for a handful of years now. I even went as far to schedule a phone call with one of their program leaders — who was incredible helpful in answering all my questions, BTW. But in the end, I decided against it… for now. In this pregnancy experience, me being 26 weeks pregnant isn’t the right time to take the plunge. I do know however it’s a dream I can achieve after our little girl arrives. (It’s now on the Internet, so it must be true!!)
LONG STORY SHORT: With only 99 days until my due date, I am finally feeling like I’m settling into this pregnancy thing. My third trimester is only a few weeks away, so I’m taking advantage of still being able to do the little things: getting my fuzzes the exercise they need, enjoying some alone time on my mat, being able to tie my own tennis shoes! But one thing I know: our little girl will surely inherit her mama’s love for movement. Good thing she already has a pair of tennis shoes waiting for her in her nursery!!
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