Life,  Yoga

Stretching vs. Exercising While Pregnant

Stretching vs. Exercising while pregnant…have any opinions? It’s nice to say that regular exercise is essential for a healthy and happy pregnancy, but is it realistic? Every pregnancy is unique, as is the pregnant person. Even the same person would say that their first pregnancy was different from their second and third and so forth. Based on this first pregnancy experience, exercise doesn’t really change in the first trimester. It’s the second and third where things go awry.

A Challenge to Exercise

I’ve found it difficult to not only exercise during this pregnancy, but to want to exercise. Am I the only one? My first trimester nausea was really hard to work through. Even though it only lasted a month, it was the most draining month of my life because I just felt crippled with inability. In my second trimester, I definitely got my energy back, but I overworked myself because of it and ended up burning out. Now, third trimester nausea is back in waves, but thankfully it’s minimal. Lower back pain, fatigue, pelvic pressure – these are my new realities. 

As a retired gymnast, I’m no amateur when it comes to body pain and discomfort. I grew up being told not to milk any injury, to push through the pain. I started a medical leave from work last week. I’d already been pushing through the pain for too long and it was really starting to affect my mental and physical health. Knowing that only I could truly speak for on how I felt, I advocated for myself with my care providers and we agreed, leaving work was the best decision for the health of both me and this baby. 

More Time Means…

With the additional time I’ve gained in the coming few weeks, the to-do list is a mile long. Will it all get done? Unlikely. Being productive is a huge feel-good, gold-star thing for me. There’s nothing quite like checking off tasks and getting excited for what’s next. The reality is I’m growing a human from scratch and it’s exhausting. I want to do all the things, I also really need to rest. 

What I’m really focusing on as I near labour and delivery is STRETCHING. At this point, my exercise mainly looks like daily walks with Dash and I’m good with that. What feels good is stretching so that’s where I’m putting my energy. Oh, and meditation because damn, I enjoyed it during my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training a couple years ago, but UGH, it’s like a new wave of peace that comes with each meditation session I embrace. Speaking of, I may do a Guided Meditation session on my Instagram soon. There’s so much freedom that can be received even for short periods of time through this practice and I’d love to share that with anyone who might be interested.

A couple of my go-to stretches lately have been…

Frog Stretch

Frog Stretch is a great hip-opener and helps relieve tension in the lower back.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is great for alleviating back pain as well, you don’t even need to be pregnant to enjoy either of these poses!

Stay tuned for a new post all about which poses to avoid and which poses are safe during pregnancy!

Feeling burned out? Check out these 7 Self-Care Tips for when you’re feeling down and out of sorts.

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