In my first post, I mainly complained about how bad I felt, and how little of my old self I recognized, in terms of moving and doing sports.
But, I’m happy to say, after I became an unwilling (almost) vegetarian, things changed for the better!
So I had came back to my old self, in terms if being very active:
Biking and Rollerblading.
And my daily power-walking miles weren’t forgotten either!
Caution! Please do not start doing very active sports when you are pregnant unless you’ve been doing them for years. Pregnancy is not the time for new sports. Consult your doctor. I also know that very few doctors would allow you to do any active sports with a child in your belly. Don’t take this article as a call-to-action. I’m just sharing my own experience and I’ve been doing these sports for years, so I know my limits and I acknowledge the risk. The moment I feel I’m out of my comfort zone, I stop.
Again, don’t take this article as a suggestion or recommendation and don’t try to copy me!
I love it. It’s relatively safe (of course I avoided any kind of tricks or even little jumps). I just rode around in circles trying to feel the board and my body. I did it at a low speed. Sounds boring? Well, it’s not if you’re kind of limited in what you can do, and felt crappy and elderly for two months beforehand.
Also, the truth is, the slower you ride, the harder it is to control the board and your body. It’s easier to use the momentum to turn and do half the job for you.
So I took this slow riding as an opportunity to polish my ability to ride without falling, and to control the board at slow speeds.
I know next summer I’ll go wild. I can’t wait! I quit wakeboarding at the beginning of my sixth month, as my mom begged me and drove so much fear and hysteria into me, that I started to get scared. And if you’re scared, a wakeboard is probably the last place you should be.
I’m a huge fan. I’ve been blading for almost a decade – again, I do it for the fitness benefits. NO tricks – I can ride backwards, do turns and that’s about it. So it’s very basic but I do stay on my feet. I’ve only fallen once and that was because a little stone happened to get inside my roller’s wheels. Not good!
When I was pregnant with my first child I kept doing it until my seventh month. Again, the reason I stopped was constant pressure from my peers.
I’ll tell you how I rollerblade to avoid any accidents:
– I skate slowly
The ultimate rule for pregnant ladies! I know I can go fast and I have to stop myself from doing this.
– I use special techniques to get a high intensity workout at a slow speed
The idea is to raise your legs and perform some special movements while skating. I sweat like hell even at a slow speed, I’m telling you.
My 3 types of rollerblading exercises at a slow speed:
– Raising the legs – a bit higher and holding up for a second. Great for the butt muscles!
– Slalom Skating – skating with both legs on the ground like the slalom skiers do – abs muscles and legs intense toning.
– Wave skating – going down the hill make your legs come closer and further to each other. It’s a fitness way to drop the speed when skating down the heel. Great exercise to workout the inner hip’s muscles!
- I never wear sunglasses or listen to music while riding
Again, it’s so I have full control over the situation. Sunglasses make the little stones/sticks/bumps on the path invisible. And this is one of the main reasons you could fall, even if you skate like a pro. Music detracts your attention from approaching cyclists, cars, horses, kids and God knows what else.
- I slow down when going downhill
I use a skiing technique called the “pizza slice” when going downhill. I avoid high speeds, and it works out my buttocks like nothing else. I recommend it!
- I skate with someone, or at least carry my phone
To get help if something happens. No, I’m not being paranoid, but I don’t recommend skating in abandoned parks and areas alone, or without your mobile phone.
- I skate only in dedicated areas and avoid peak hours
What represents the most danger for me as a skater:
Kids, dogs on leashes, and young moms with strollers
Kids are unpredictable:
They don’t watch the road while cycling, walking or anything else and can cross your path at any time. The moment they do pay attention to the road and see you coming, they start to panic. Kids don’t know what to do, so there are all kinds of frantic movements back and forth. You, as an adult ( and a rider!), will be doubly guilty if you fall on a kid.
Always(!) brake if you see a child in your vicinity and try to keep a wide berth.
Dogs on leashes
They can try to escape from their master by pulling the leash across your path.
It’s only dangerous for you as you might fall but I’ve never seen a dog suffer from a person falling on it accidentally. So, it’s not pleasant but less dangerous than kids!
Moms with strollers
They can stop in front of you unexpectedly to fix something/check the child.
And they do it frequently. I used to do it myself when was on the go with my stroller Again, go around when you see a stroller, because, if you ride over a stroller, you will suffer twice: both from the bump and from the angry mom protecting her child.
I’d know I’d do the same!
I won’t talk too much about protective gear: I always wear a wrist guard gloves and try to wear long Lycra cycling pants and a long-sleeved turtleneck cycling top to avoid scratches if I fall. Typically, I skate once or twice a week, for something like 6-7 miles, which is around 70% of my usual distance. I do it slowly with special techniques, and I feel great!
SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle Surfing.
I used to think that this was for pensioners. I thought that it sucked and was boring. But it’s not! I’m so happy I learned about this – it saved my summer in terms of trying out a new sport, and thrilling my demanding sporty ego – at least I could do something!
SUP saved my summer in terms of trying out a new sport, and thrilling my demanding sporty ego – at least I could do something!
Like a sea goddess
To me, SUP is a totally safe leisure activity, especially when done on a still lake with no wind or waves. I usually ride with my 7 year old son. He loves it for the first 20 minutes or so, then he gets bored and goes back to shore.
The feeling when I’m standing in the middle of the lake and there’s nothing but water and silence around me – it’s heaven. I feel divine, really. Your posture improves, you calm down and just glide smoothly and slowly. Mmm, bliss!
SUP surfing on waves
That all changes the moment you surf on the open sea or on waves. It’s not so meditative any more. You have to concentrate fully on getting over the waves. And it’s not 100% safe any more; it also requires good balance and at least some physical strength. Your legs should be toned and your arms should be strong enough to paddle quickly.
What I did for SUP riding while pregnant was:
-Meditative riding on a calm lake (for stress relief)
Just choose a calm sunny day, rent an SUP and go out for half an hour or more. Breathe in the fresh air, look at the stunning scenery around you, and relax. You can always sit down on the SUP or even lie down. Choose a big steady SUP board for beginners.
– Balancing on medium waves in the sea
Again, I knew the shore and how deep I could go. I surfed within the dedicated swimming area, no further. I took the most sturdy SUP board, for beginners). When I felt the wave was too big for me to stay on my feet, I always sat down on the board to avoid falling.
The technique is the following: you lead the board with the nose over the wave and you never turn it to the side, as it will hit you and you could fall.
The concentration you need to get over the waves is deep; you have no time to look around and enjoy the scenery.
Yes, I fell a couple of times – I tried to jump as far away from the board as I could so it wouldn’t hit me. Then you can easily get back on.
– Getting over waves when kneeling on the SUP
Of course, I was wearing a life jacket in the sea but honestly, I didn’t wear it on the lake, as it was so shallow and calm. If you’re not a good swimmer, I advise you to always wear a life jacket.
Always wear a life jacket when doing SUP in the sea and always get someone to watch you from the shore. It’s a basic safety technique for active water sports. Have respect for the water.
OK, so it’s not kitesurfing – but I feel that it’s some consolation for my extreme sports-loving soul.
Strangely, for me, cycling was the most dangerous of all the activities I did while pregnant The problem is that you’re not alone and many outside factors can affect your safety. For example, the only minor injury I got this summer was when I slipped on a step while getting my bike down the staircase in my building
How I cycle while pregnant:
A large leisure riding city bike with an upright position
and good suspension. I also chose one with a soft comfortable seat. The high handlebar doesn’t allow me to bend forward so I keep my posture straight and my belly is not scrunched up. The baby is happy.
Good suspension and large wheels gives you a smooth ride.
Cycling for leisure
No speed biking, nothing extreme! I hop on my bike when I need to get from A to B and I’m too tired to walk. I cycle entirely for transportation or leisure trips. I also go shopping on my bike, because I don’t want to carry heavy bags.
I keep a very calm slow pace, so I am able to jump off the bike if something disturbs me. Of course, I can speed up – on the beach for instance, where there’s a lot of space to maneuver. In Latvia, we have very wide shorelines with thick compacted sand – you can easily ride on it.
Wearing protective gear
I’m bad at this which is not a good thing. When I’m riding on dedicated cycle paths, I always wear a helmet. I also cycle very slowly and our cycle paths are almost empty. Otherwise I wouldn’t go on them, because in my experience there’s a high risk that some other cyclist could hit you. I wear my cycling gloves, however, and always have decent lights.
This I can recommend to anyone
Truly a safe activity, and, if you walk at a decent speed, a sport as well. Walking has kept me fit for years.
How I walk when pregnant:
Nothing really changes! I walk my daily 3 miles with weekends off.
I know when my child gets heavier, I will switch to walking every second day.
– Decent speed
My speed check is simple: if I start feeling warm after 20 minutes of walking – I’m walking at the right speed. I definitely outperform anyone walking along with me. My average speed, according to Endomondo, is 4.10-4.30 mph.
– 3 Miles daily
I walk for around 50 minutes a day – covering around three miles. It’s enough to burn calories, but at the same time, not exhaust myself. Daily habits bring results – slowly but surely.
Walking with a stroller gives you more miles as it’s easier and faster to walk this way. I used to cover around 4-5 miles when walking with my stroller. Soon it’s going to be time to check again!
– Ordinary clothes
I don’t wear sports outfits while walking, just comfortable walking shoes. I like the idea that walking can be done anywhere, anytime – so all you need afterwards is to splash your face with water. I typically don’t sweat during a workout, I just feel pleasantly warmed up. Still, if the weather is hot (or very cold), I carry a fresh t-shirt with me to change into if I have stuff to do after I finish.
In the sea, I walk barefoot, as I find it very pleasant.
However, I always recommend good walking shoes. I prefer active, outdoorsy, lightweight models, but good sneakers are also perfectly acceptable.
– Pleasant Surroundings
I choose my routes carefully. I love open spaces, and walking in the forest. Most of all I love walking along the coast. I always have a dip afterwards, even in the autumn. Actually, walking along the sea can give you either more or less miles, depending on the wind. If the weather is still, you always gain more miles, and you don’t need to stop for traffic lights.
I avoid heavy traffic areas, but I don’t mind walking through the city if my meeting is somewhere I can access on foot. It’s always better to walk than drive.
Stretch Every Time After!
This is like a life motto for me. I do 5 minutes’ quick stretching after each walking session. Remember – fit people don’t have huge muscles; they have good posture and flexibility. Stretching takes away tension and literally revives my muscles. I do my stand-up stretching routine that can be done anywhere – no gym mat, no lying down!
To be continued
Soon I’ll be in my third trimester and I’ll share my calmer experiences of yoga, stretching and breathing, so talk to you soon!