As you may have guessed from the nature of my posts, I’ve done quite a bit of thinking and reading about the various benefits and issues presented with respect to exercising while pregnant. Here are my main thoughts.
1. First of all, of course, you have to do what’s right for you and do it in conjunction with speaking with your doctor. Many people choose not to do anything at all for whatever reason, and that’s not something I would judge. A few years ago I read an article about a woman who went into labor while running a marathon. This is great for her, but I’d say this is an extreme, and people should not go around thinking that this is for everybody!
2. Anything you can get yourself to do is awesome. In talking to other pregnant ladies I’d say the most common exercise routine is yoga and walking.
3. There are not a lot of studies on whether or not you should play hockey specifically while pregnant because, duh, a lot of women don’t play hockey at all, let alone when they are pregnant. Nevertheless I was able to locate sufficient literature to support a decision to play through the first trimester. Unfortunately I located this during the second trimester of my last pregnancy, so it didn’t benefit me then, but I was very happy to keep playing this time. When I hit about week 13, the combination of my growing belly and the fact that I couldn’t really keep up with the game led me to stop just about right on time. My primary tip here is not to rely on sources like BabyCenter or What to Expect to figure out what you should do in the way of exercise. They’re going to speak to the general population, and they have to be careful because the general population is stupid.
4. As you know I ran the marathon relay a few weeks ago. I’ve been running since then, but I’m finding that it now takes me a ridiculous amount of recovery time (like, I’m exhausted for two days after running three miles) so I think I may be done with running. I’m going to try spinning again one of these days – I haven’t made it over there in a few weeks because I was focused on being sure I could run the relay, and then I’ve been resting from being exhausted since then. But the last time I went there was a 33 week pregnant lady (she’s probably had her baby by now!) and she said it felt really good to just do something, even though she couldn’t run any more. I figure the rest of my pregnancy I’ll do a combination of biking and these new Tracy Anderson DVDs I got, which I’ve been enjoying because they are challenging but don’t take three days of recovery after doing them.
So those are my thoughts on exercising while pregnant for me. I did all this thinking and planning because I knew I would be bouncing off the walls if I couldn’t work out, and yoga and walking didn’t cut it for me last time. (I hope this speeds up the post-pregnancy recovery and weight loss period, because I really want to get back to playing hockey again.)