5 In Pregnancy

Pregnancy: Walking 30 Minutes a Day Is Enough For Me and That’s Okay

When I first got pregnant with Adeline, I just knew I’d be “that girl” that ran and worked out and lifted all throughout her pregnancy. And then week 6 hit, and all those hopes and dreams came crashing down! I was sick with Adeline for the majority of the first 20 weeks, then off and on until the very, very end. Even into labor! I had to quickly accept the fact that my level of exercise would be radically toned down, and to not compare myself with other active pregnant women I was seeing. I really beat myself up over this, and I remember thinking it was so hard to not be bitter about having a less-than-Instagram perfect pregnancy. I maintained a loyal walking regimen though, and managed to finish out my pregnancy with a healthy weight gain, no swelling, minimal aches and pains, low blood pressure, and crossed the finish line looking like I was smuggling a basketball. My doctor always advocated that walking was a great low impact way to stay fit during pregnancy, and I’m very thankful I was able to walk as much as I did. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I was able to hit the gym and the weights on a regular basis like all the other fitness bloggers I followed at the time.

So when pregnancy number two rolled around, I thought maybe, maybe this time I’ll be able to hit the gym more. Surely a second pregnancy will be easier and I won’t be as sick or tired. I’ve done this once before and my body has totally got this! I’m super motivated this time and can’t wait to be super hot and fit this pregnancy. LOLOLOLOL.

Turns out, second pregnancies can be even harder than first pregnancies! I grossly underestimated how much energy it would take to just literally be pregnant with a toddler. Like, to just exist in a pregnant state whilst parenting a toddler is truly the most tiring thing ever. (I had always heard this, but one cannot fully understand this exhaustion until you’re in it!) I once again quickly embraced the fact that my dream pregnancy workout regimen would once again most likely be relegated to walking. And I am a-ok with that.

This go around, I’m saying YES to more walks, and NO to comparison. Instagram has changed so much even since just 2015 and I feel like now, on a daily basis, I am flooded with perfectly curated pregnancy feeds, creative gym workouts and long runs at 20 weeks+, pregnant stroller jogging with a toddler, and 6 packs 6 weeks postpartum. It always amazes me, but I’ve had to accept the fact that I am simply not a fit-guru while pregnant. And it’s ok if you’re not either! Pregnancy is a time of grace, and if your body doesn’t feel like it can handle your usual workout, then you need to listen to your body and only do what feels good. I think social media tells us we have to be like everyone else, but I’m here to tell you that if walking is all you can handle during your pregnancy, then walk on sister!

Walking regularly during pregnancy is a perfectly healthy and safe way to maintain an adequate level of fitness. There are countless benefits to walking during pregnancy, and I’m a firm believer in them. Here are a few, just for starters:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps maintain muscle tone
  • Helps with keeping your strength up for labor and delivery
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps reduce chances of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia

Pregnancy changes your body, your mindset, your energy, your everything! As much as I wish I had the energy and gumption to hit the gym a few times a week or go on a jog, my body just isn’t having it during this unique season. I want to encourage all you fellow pregnant mamas to keep up whatever level fitness you feel comfortable with, and to not compare yourself to someone else. Pregnancies are as unique as snowflakes, and should be treated as such!

Now, go get your walk on and move that belly!

What was your exercise level like during pregnancy? Were you a runner before and a runner during? Did you feel up to hitting the gym still?

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Torrie
    April 10, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    With my first pregnancy, I didn’t exercise at all—I had been a pretty avid runner and had planned to run throughout the pregnancy, but I also got so sick during the first part that when I finally felt well enough to exercise again, I just couldn’t run anymore. Unfortunately, I let that be an excuse for me to not do ANY exercise at all (with the exception of the last month or so, when I did take up walking).

    This second pregnancy, I was determined to do things differently. I was hoping I’d be able to keep up my aerobics classes at the gym (which I have been able to, thankfully), but even if I wasn’t able to do that, I was at least committed this time to walking, if nothing else.

    Comparison is hard for me in pregnancy, though–I actually talked about it in my own blog post today. I guess I’m just not used to people making comments on my size/shape/weight usually, so when everyone feels like they can while I’m pregnant, it just makes me super self-conscious. But, like you, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve just decided to stop comparing and to stop letting the comments get to me. (Easier said than done, but I’m trying!)

  • Reply
    Heather
    April 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    The exhaustion of being pregnant and having a toddler is NO JOKE. I remember crying over how tired I was at the end and being so afraid of having two kids and being so tired. BUT, thankfully the exhaustion is different when the baby is born and I swear it’s not as bad. Doesn’t make too much sense lol but you have your old body back and aren’t lugging around an extra so many pounds. Keep up the killer work, mama. Taking care of yourself is the most important job right now!
    Heather recently posted…Currently… April 2018My Profile

  • Reply
    Katie
    April 10, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    My pregnancy workout routine was so scaled back! I walked, did yoga once a week and did PopSugar strength workouts. They were my fave!

  • Reply
    Jessa
    April 11, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Yes yes yesssss! It’s all about MOVEMENT, whether that’s a gym workout, a 30 minute walk, or a quick vacuuming of the house. Staying active is key. Such an honest, inspirational blog post. Thank you for your encouragement and giving all of us pregnant mama’s, (and yourself) grace. We all need it!

  • Reply
    Kelly Runs For Food
    April 11, 2018 at 8:28 am

    To be honest, as much as I love seeing inspiring fitness posts on social media, this whole culture of “go big or go home!” can be super damaging, whether you’re pregnant or not. Like we need something else to make us feel like anything less than perfection is failure! You’re doing so great, girl, and getting in 30 minutes of walking a day is way more than what a lot of non-pregnant people get!
    Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Monday Meals (WIAW)My Profile

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