Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Exercise during pregnancy

I love to exercise. I know that makes me somewhat of a freak. : ) However, I truly enjoy working out, getting sweaty, feeling the adrenaline and endorphins course through my body. I exercise for a variety of reasons - overall health, weight management, competitive spirit as well as solitary time. Also I love muscle tone (on me and others) - for example, Serena Williams ... amazing!

Super SerenaUsually I ride my stationary bike for 30-45 minutes every morning when I don't go to the Y for my aerobics classes. In April and May that wasn't happening - sleep triumphed. However, I still attended my Zumba class 2 mornings a week and went to water aerobics 2 afternoons a week. I like routine and even being pregnant I made some of it happen.

I already mentioned the beginning of the pregnancy and the spring tennis league. Playing tennis was my savior. In June the summer tennis league started. I decided to be ambitious since I'd been undefeated in the previous seasons and I went to tennis camp and thought it'd be good for my tennis "growth." So I signed up for the 3.5 league. However, I didn't consider a few factors in my decision-making process. I was going to be 14-20 weeks pregnant, 10 pounds heavier, it's HOTTER in June & July and the players are much better. Lastly I hate to lose and lose I did. My record was 2-4 with one default so technically I could say I was 3-4. I still had fun and played some great matches. Also I learned a lot about my game and some skills I desperately need to improve in order to be more competitive at the 3.5 level. My goal is 4-3 for spring '09!

Sadly I haven't played tennis in weeks and as my baby bump grew, I thought all that bouncing around would be uncomfortable plus I don't have a regular tennis partner (that's why I love the league). Recently I was talking with my sister who is coming to Nashville for a week's visit in early October and she asked if we were going to play tennis. We always play tennis when we get together whether in Phoenix or Nashville or one of our sister trip destinations. I answered "oh, yes" even though I haven't played in awhile and told her what our mom is always saying. "Ethel Kennedy (married to RFK I think) played tennis up until she delivered all of her babies" (I think she had 9-10 kids). I'm no Ethel Kennedy, but I hope I can move around and hit a few balls, maybe some games.

I stopped going to Zumba class in early August - too jarring - and I miss the fun dance moves. I still ride my stationary bike (only 20 minutes in the morning) and use my hand weights (a few reps). I still have water aerobics class, too. It's nice to be weightless in the water and also it is gentle on my joints. Thankfully I haven't had any swelling of the ankles so walking to and from the Y continues to be possible and good exercise, too.