Creative Ways to Keep Moving When You’re Pregnant

I’ve been there. Twice. And for some crazy reason, I’m shooting for thrice. But no matter how many times I survive it in this lifetime, I doubt the reality will change: pregnancy is hard.

I was sick. I was exhausted. I was depressed. I injured my back. I couldn’t find any reason to leave the house and figured my best bet was to hide out for nine months, sort of like crouching in a corner and waiting for it to be over.

But I soon realized that this method was only making things worse. My commitment to the sedentary lifestyle was only contributing to my depression, back pain, and ultimately, access weight gain. I had to get moving. Of course, this is easier said than done, because I was so sick.

Nevertheless, I knew I had to get some exercise, or die trying. So I got creative. Here are some things that I tried. Don’t laugh at me. Actually, go ahead and laugh. It’s healthy to laugh, and I’m willing to take one for the team.

  • Line dancing. I never got around to donning a cowboy (or is it cowgirl) hat, but I found line dancing to be a painless way to get my blood circulating. Here’s why. It can be aerobic, if you want it to be. Unless you find Jillian Michaels teaching a line dancing class, you will probably get to choose, on a song by song basis, whether or not to give it a go. I was lucky in that I had a dance club nearby, where I could dance for fun, sans booze and smoke, and my local gym also offered line dancing as a legit fitness option. Line dancing is a lot like walking, with a little bit of hip shaking, and you get to do it all to the melodic likes of Brad Paisley. And Brad Paisley makes me very happy, pregnant or not.
  • Water aerobics. You couldn’t have dragged me within a mile of a traditional aerobics class, but the pool provided me with some much-desired privacy. I didn’t have to worry about what my butt looked like while I jumped up and down, because, unless the other moms-to-be were down there with snorkels, there was no one to witness said butt-bouncing. Water aerobics definitely got my heart pumping, and again, I was able to request Brad Paisley.
  • The Wii Fit. Yep, I said it. Get yourself a remote control and get moving. What? I won’t let my children play video games, but I figured in utero didn’t count. While I did not find the Wii to be the best exercise program I’ve ever endured, it certainly met my needs while I was pregnant. Again, I was in complete control. I could get my cardio in while sipping on ginger tea. I could exercise in the privacy of my own home and the comfort of my own pajamas. (And when I was eight months along in July, in the comfort of considerably less clothing, but I’ll spare you the visual.) The Wii provided enough variety so that I didn’t grow bored in nine months.

There. I hope that helps you, or I hope I at least gave you a free chuckle. Remember that those nine months are well worth it, and remember that it’s important to be healthy during pregnancy, for the baby’s sake as well as your own sanity. And most importantly, remember not to strike anyone who tells you, “Oh, but pregnancy was the best nine months of my life.” It’s really hard to get exercise in jail.

For more information on having an active and healthy pregnancy, please visit uBaby, an online community for moms and moms-to-be.

Robin Merrill is a freelance writer from Maine. She is the proud mother of two terrific toddlers and two handsome hounds.

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