26 + weeks, wow!
Running is fun, especially on the trails without the constant pressure pounding each step on the flats. Not only that, but getting outside and away from the daily stressors on the trails has been incredible. My running/tri training partner and dear friend, Meredith, and I laughed that my pregnancy came at a perfect timing since she’s been mending a hamstring injury. We could pull back our paces together. One day each week we try to meet for “Trails & Chat”, already excited about the 2014 race season, and the other run I have been going to the trails by myself. The feeling of solitude in each step is incredible; especially knowing I am not alone but running with a special little buddy hanging along for the ride.
Running for me helps with stress. But how are YOU dealing with stress right now? Stress affects your pregnancy, and if you are a Pregnant Jock, more often than not you might have busy- gal tendencies eager to get everything done. While some people may call it Type A traits, we can call them Busy Jock traits. We want to do well squeezing in every last drop of the day. We want to help others achieve their goals while we work at achieving ours. However I want to remind you, right now you are creating a little baby. It is ok to say “no”, eliminate some stressors and take time to focus on you. Yes, it is hard, but making the 30 minute spinning class a priority is better for your physical and mental well being than always staying 90 minutes late at work after your committed time of 5:00 pm departure, getting a later workout or falling into the prenatal pattern of skipping exercise for working late. That raises stress levels for many.
When I focused in Pre and Postnatal fitness with women, I worked with thousands of women. Having talked to countless hospital/prenatal groups, stress for them was often spent working 40-60 hours/week, skipping a seated lunch, rushing to work and appointments without scheduling any buffer time to just slow down and not incorporating down time with friends. They were working so hard to take time off when pregnant, they forgot to enjoy their pregnancy. Thus, their doctors suggested exercise programs be incorporated to help keep them balanced, strong, mentally focused and a bit more relaxed as they embarked throughout pregnancy.
Like most women, Pomerance had no idea how much stress could put her over the edge.
“I was under your everyday type of stress. I thought that I would do it all, plus work out every day at the gym.
Now I tell anyone who’s pregnant to slow down a bit.”
According to a good article on MedicineNet.com the levels of how women are affected by stress deeply affect their pregnancy, but also their recovery and potential for Post Partum Depression.
Now for us, being active is part of WHO we are. It is part of our identity, our lifestyle and fortunately a means of habit. Being active is part of our pregnancy, but that in itself can cause stress for some.
Our bodies can’t go as fast as they did before, they become imbalanced and grow in means beyond our control. Is it bad? Nope, it is pregnancy! It is a different element of fitness.
However, it is often stressful for some Pregnant Jocks.
Instead of feeling stressed about not being able to train/race/look/feel like you did pre-pregnancy, focus on how active you are and how you feel while moving throughout your pregnancy. Focus on how your new body is creating a child who will become your new training partner and what your BODY is capable of doing!
- Talk to your little “buddy” while you exercise sharing what it will be like to share your love of fitness with him/her.
- When swimming stretch out your limbs and focus on lengthening verses hitting your pre-pregnancy 50 meter times.
- When running, take in the sights and sounds instead of being worried about your pace and keeping up with your old pace.
- With strength training- know that modifying the amount of reps doesn’t mean you won’t get there again pre-pregnancy. It means you’re allowing your body to get stronger to have a healthy and safe pregnancy.
Many women after pregnancy are stronger than they were before. There is a mental edge that comes with becoming a Mom and allows you to focus on WHAT YOU CAN DO and what YOUR BODY IS CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING!
Thus, the following workout for you is one done on the trails. Trails provide a stress free environment for me. They make running feel good, provide an element of athleticism that the gym can’t. Trails bring me personally back to center. Honestly, the last week has been uber stressful with my Dad in the hospital having unexpected emergency surgery, uber-busy work month ahead and realization that “Holy smokes, in less than 3 months we’re a family of 5!”. I have been working to keep my focus, prioritize and step back taking big breaths to keep stress at bay while “Embracing life’s challenges“. So for the days when you are shorter on time, but know you’re body would love some stress free cardio and strength time try this workout:
Quick video for a cardio/strength exercise to help with pelvic pain. Go at your pace.
Have fun and I look forward to hearing how YOU are doing! What has been your favorite fitness stress release throughout your pregnancy? Share away and if on Twitter or Facebook, use #pregnantjock.
Dig Deep. Play HARD! Have fun always….
Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey- aka Pregnant Jock
And some answers to a few who emailed me and already saw the Videos and pictures on Instagram, Yes, they were done in the same week. The pictures in black were on Tuesday, September 24th and video on Saturday, September 28th. Belly looks different each top and from the beginning to the end of the day.