Exercise is one the most important things in my life. It always has been. I started playing tennis when I was 6 years old and played competitively until about 12-13 years old. I then played #1 singles on my high school’s varsity tennis team, and have since then played 4.0-4.5 on and off. Tennis instilled many, many things in me (I could probably write pages of this), with the most obvious being a love and enjoyment of exercising. I get a total high from exercising and if I skip one too many workouts it takes a big toll on my quality of life.
I have thus always found creative ways to get my body in motion. I usually do 2-3 rigorous Vinyasa yoga classes a week and 2-3 rigorous cardio sessions, for a total of 5 days a week of exercise. For cardio I either go to tennis, rebounding (have you ever done rebounding? You can learn more about it by clicking here), or the elliptical at my gym. Yet, now that I am pregnant, my options have had to change a bit. My energy levels at times are also a bit unpredictable, making it even more important to get that exercise in whenever I can…wherever I can! This is how I still get exercise in despite being in less than ideal locations:
- I’ve discovered walking as a mode of exercise! I used to question whether “walking” could count as exercise. How could you actually get enough of a challenge by just walking around? Well you can! I don’t think I need to state it, but you can speed walk and get your heart rate up (if you are pregnant, wear a heart monitor and make sure you stay under your doctor’s recommended heart rate guidance; if you don’t have a heart monitor, make sure you do not experience shortness of breath at any given moment). You can also walk really long distances (or walk a short distance multiple times), prolonging the activity and getting an even greater workout. Walking is proven to help maintain a healthy weight, prevent/manage heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, strengthen your bones, lift your mood, and improve your balance, among much more. The American Heart Association has stated that 10,000 steps per day is the number we should all be shooting for. I wear a Fitbit and make sure I hit that goal each day. I have to tell you guys, after most of my long, brisk walks, I am SORE. And this is coming from someone who is a regular exerciser.
- I do Yoga from an App and/or online streaming video. Often it’s hard to get to a Yoga studio. That’s why it’s really nice when the studio can be found in your living room. A friend of mine told me about the Yoga Studio App, which can be downloaded on any iOS device (iPhone, iPad) and I am in LOVE (I’m not the only one, the App has 5 stars out of 17K reviews!!). I am able to tailor the yoga exercises to fit my pregnancy, and I can speed up and slow things down as I wish. Before and after being pregnant, I’ve done Yoga using this app and have felt the burn and seen incredible results; click here to check it out! If you don’t have an iPhone or App, there are tons of Yoga options on the web and on YouTube. I’ve been quite curious about Udaya Yoga, an online yoga studio, though I haven’t tried it yet. Check out the video above. If you end up checking it out, let me know how you like it in the comments below!
- Old school: DVD’s. I still love a good exercise DVD. I’ve tried many and when I wasn’t pregnant got good results with Tracy Anderson (check out some of her products by clicking here) and am super excited to have her pregnancy DVD’s.
You don’t need a fancy gym membership to exercise. You don’t need all of the time in the world. You don’t even need to really leave your home (except to walk around in your neighborhood). As an athlete I can tell you that the above works, you just have to be focused and maintain your discipline…but isn’t that a requirement for everything extraordinary that happens in life? If you are pregnant, please consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Do not perform any exercises until you have seen a medical professional.
I am always on the lookout for new ways to exercise! What are YOUR ways to get a workout in? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!
Lots of love,