Now that I am entering my 19th week of pregnancy, I’ve got some energy back and I have been missing my exercise! I ordered myself a pre-natal pilates DVD after realising that Zumba (at least the way I do it) and sweating it out like crazy on an exercise bike might not be the best idea anymore (at least the way I do it).
I put the DVD in the player (while my husband vacated the premises – can’t blame him) and let the corny musical introduction fill the lounge room/theatre room/front room/whatever the fashionable thing to call it these days is. It sounded like one of those old educational videos you get shown in school – no matter what the topic is. This filled me with trepidation.
I watched the basic stuff you need to know before starting the workout (the 5 principles as they trendily called it). Stuff like how to breathe properly (oops – I do it all wrong), how to keep your posture good and um…3 other things that I have already forgotten.
The American lady instructor was putting on this funny voice that was supposed to be soothing and gentle, but I do admit that I wanted to strangle her a few minutes in. Especially when she wasn’t explaining the breathing thing properly (it must be her fault – I was inhaling and exhaling just fine all day every day until she came along).
There were two pregnant ladies who were demonstrating the workout. They were trim, taut, terrific and a little too suspiciously good at “beginner” pre-natal pilates…this made me feel slightly inadequate. Which is what you want to feel when you’re huffing and puffing and rolling around on your yoga mat (which is still curly from when you got it out of the box it’s been sitting in for three years) like a scarily uncoordinated hippopotamous. And who wouldn’t be scared of a hippo that can’t control itself?
I soon realised that if I thought I had no upper body strength before, just wait until my puny little arms have to hold up me and a growing foetus! I also noticed way too much tension in my shoulders (probably from straining to see the television screen at an unhealthy angle to check if I was doing everything right – I wasn’t). The instructor (I can’t remember her name but she looked like a Carol) kept telling me (and those perky, flexible pregnant ladies) to “roll over and change sides” on the mat every two seconds. I wondered why I couldn’t just do everything on one side and then switch later? I felt like a beached whale!
At 26 minutes (out of 30) I admitted defeat – at least for my first attempt. I just sat there mesmerised by the bellies on the DVD. Very hypnotic. I wondered how far along they were (further than me by the looks of things – which just made me feel worse). I wondered how long they’d been doing pilates for (probably since they were foetuses themselves). I wondered if we had any choc chip cookies left. And then it was over.
It was all a little demoralising…but I jumped in awesomely unprepared as usual 🙂
In all fairness, while I struggled (it being my first time and all) I do believe that pilates and yoga are an awesome idea for exercise during pregnancy. I will persevere and I know that in time I will look like a (slightly almost) graceful hippo as opposed to an uncoordinated one. I’ll be more flexible and hopefully the breathing exercises will help. And I do admit that the exercise endorphins did sneak up on me – I was in the best mood for the rest of the day (which pleasantly surprised the hubby haha).
I think that my favourite pregnancy exercise activity will still be walking, but I will try to keep on top of the stretchy, breathe-y stuff too. Who knows – maybe if I get my confidence levels up, I might even attempt it in a class. In front of people (no promises).