There are a great many benefits to working out while pregnant. It can help you sleep better, gain a healthy amount of weight, reduce delivery complications, and it can even reduce constipation (gross, but helpful and true).
One thing that working out while pregnant does NOT do though (for me anyway) is make me feel competent and graceful. I’m sure those women who were marathon runners prior to pregnancy still feel awesome and fit and lithe, but this hasn’t been the case for me.
I’ve always struggled with my weight and body image (but that’s an entirely different post in itself) and working out has always made me feel even more self-conscious. Doing activities where all of my wobbly bits are on display in spandex is an anxiety attack waiting to happen. I’ve gotten better about this over the past couple of years, but I still end up feeling awkward half the time.
Prior to pregnancy I had been doing Zumba a couple times a week and running on off days and during the beginning of pregnancy I was super motivated and worked out every day until the 6th week. That’s when the sore boobs started getting to me and the nausea set in. Nausea + sore boobs = not wanting to do anything even remotely bouncy (i.e. running or jumping around in Zumba). Therefore, during weeks 6 – 13, the only exercise I did was walking.
Tonight I tried my luck at Zumba again though and it went surprisingly well. Despite the fact that I was a little awkward, I had fun and it felt good doing something a little more aerobic than speed walking. I even forgot about my jiggly tummy halfway through. I think I’m kind of learning to make peace with this changing body of mine through fitness. It’s all for the baby, right? Who cares if I look like I drank one-too-many beers and not-so-much like I’m pregnant? OK, well…I kinda still care, but I’m working on it.
Is there anything that felt awkward for you and your changing body during pregnancy? How was working out? Did you have any workouts that you particularly enjoyed while you were pregnant?