After working in the fitness industry for 4 years, I have realized this:
Our fitness and health journeys should be always changing and evolving.
We get stronger, so we add weight to our squats and bench presses. We get fitter, so we work for longer intervals and push ourselves harder. We get injured, so we pull back and have to rebuild again.
We never fully “arrive” when we live this lifestyle of a fit and healthy life. Instead, we learn to enjoy the process of finding what true health can look like for us.
When I got pregnant last spring, I realized that this was just another change in my process that I could work with, instead of letting it take health and fitness off the table altogether. However, I quickly realized there’s not a lot of info out there for women on how to exercise, move, and live healthily, so I took my own pregnancy as a time of learning & experimentation on what it means to have a “fit pregnancy.”
Here are the things I learned.
It is perfectly okay to pursue fitness & health in pregnancy.
I found exercising consistently helped break my fatigue-nausea cycle and gave me the boost of energy and confidence I needed. I also was still able to strengthen my hips, legs, and back muscles, so I didn’t experience the chronic back or hip pain most women experience. Most importantly, it helped me mentally when I was in a fog or feeling the weight of becoming a new mom. Getting away and moving my body helped clear my mind and give me perspective.
Everyone’s pregnancy is different, and that’s okay.
Your pregnancy could feel different based on your genetics, your fitness pre-pregnancy, your environment, your age, and even if it’s baby number 1 or 4. It may be a challenge to go on a 15-minute walk, or you may be able to do everything like before. It is okay for your pregnancy to look completely different than mine, and still be healthy and fit!
You don’t just stop living life when you become pregnant.
You still have to do things like go grocery shop, lift boxes off the floor, climb stairs, and walk long distances. Skipping out on exercising means not preparing for everyday life. Exercise can be functional and help you strengthen and maintain good lean tissue so you can live life- and lift your groceries- without feeling incompetent.
Move with intention over intensity.
Working with someone to make sure you have proper alignment, breathing, and are using the correct muscles is a game-changer. Let the intensity of your workouts take a backseat until you have good movement.
Women are amazing, capable, and strong.
I already believed this before, but having babies, or even if you don’t have kids or can’t get pregnant, there is a undeniable resiliency each woman carries that brings life to everything she does. We are modern-day superheroes, ladies!
It is my dream and mission to change the mindset around exercise and fitness in pregnancy and beyond. Women have a right to feel good and empowered in their pregnancies- this is a time of great strength for us!
Whether you have been overcome with morning sickness or feel energized, you can find movement and a grace-filled mindset that works for you. Know that what you do matters, and wherever you are, I’m on your side!