Sometimes you just feel like being a bum. I think everyone is entitled to feel that way once in a while, especially when you work hard and deserve it. And, whether you're a woman, who is pregnant or not, following an exercise regimen for months at a time, can lead to burnout, or even injury for some. That means it's time to take a break, or make a change, or both.
As a third time expectant mother who has enjoyed exercising during each pregnancy, I can tell you that there are stages in pregnancy when you have to reevaluate your exercise ability and adjust it to what you can safely do. I think I've reached one of those stages again.
I gave up cycling outdoors early on in the pregnancy, but have kept up spin classes, masters swim classes, running and cardio weight classes. But just last week, at 31 1/2 weeks along (7 months), I think I reached that next stage of adjustment.
Everyone's body reacts differently, but I felt more lower abdominal pulling than usual on my run, and I had a much more difficult time keeping up with the cardio weights class at my gym. So this week, my only exercise goal is to watch for more body signals that I should be slowing down. In fact, I have felt no urgency in even getting in a workout.
I did try prenatal yoga for the first time and found it to be very enjoyable. Couple that with a few sleepless nights, the light relaxation stretching, and muscle toning felt more doable than one to two hours of higher cardio exertion. It seems to relax and strengthen the hips, it alleviates sciatic nerve pain, and the pelvic exercises help tone your tush, thighs and prepare you for labor.
I had also tried regular yoga classes during my early pregnancy months, but as my tummy expanded, it became harder to hold some of the regular yoga positions correctly and I didn't know how to modify them. Several yoga instructors advised me to try prenatal yoga, and then go back to regular yoga. That way, I'd know how to modify some of the poses. I think I may just stick with prenatal yoga and do some regular yoga on my own at home.
Of the different exercises that I've kept up during this pregnancy, the ones I found to be most maternity feel-good-friendly are prenatal yoga, swimming, and spin classes - in that order. There's no pain, little discomfort, and you feel muscle and back pain relief instantly!
Just make sure if you get into spinning, you get some good bike shorts early on that don't squish your tummy! That alone will keep you from having to take multiple bathroom breaks during the class.
But if you don't feel like doing anything this week, and would rather let the rack monster take over, just sleep in and enjoy it. Especially, if you're pregnant and have 7 weeks of quiet mornings before your little bundle of joy arrives and consumes your every living moment.