There’s something about turning 40 that feels like a big breath of fresh air. Maybe it’s just me, but unlike in my 30s, I rarely find myself stuck in the comparison trap or paying a lot of attention to what “everyone else” is doing. I love fitness and I enjoy exercise, but my goal is now to feel strong and healthy and to be able to both set an example for and keep up with my kids.
I don’t have anything to prove with smashing records, getting up before 6 am, or striving
to have the largest muscles or leanest physique posted on Instagram. I’ve found so much freedom from the traps of the fitness influencer world!.
Being pregnant at 40 is no joke. My knees already ache sometimes, my body is naturally tighter and it took me until nearly 15 weeks to regain my energy (still waiting on the “burst”). BUT, I do feel strong and that all of the consistent work I’ve put BEFORE my surprise pregnancy has certainly helped me maintain my strength and stamina.
I’ve noticed that compared to when I was pregnant with my biological boys, now 10.5 and 7.5, I am SO much more relaxed. In case you didn’t know, I’ve never been much of a rule follower, but now I literally don’t even remember the rules, much less follow them. If something doesn’t make sense to me and the “research” is shoddy (newsflash- most of it is) then I discard it.
Things I don’t pay attention to:
What I’m supposed to or not eat or drink
Lifting “too much” weight
My heart rate
Weight gain recommendations
Suggested Medical Interventions
What I do pay attention to:
How I feel
My energy levels
Eating the healthiest thing my body feels like consuming
Moving every day even if it’s just walking
Getting lots of rest
Not pushing myself too hard NOR being comfy with laziness
Doing my own research and making the best decisions for my body and my baby
During pregnancy every day (and hour) is different. Sometimes I need to sit down and rest for a while- totally great. Sometimes I need to make myself move a bit- also great.
I’ve always taken the position that pregnancy is not a “medical condition”, rather a means of bringing life into the world that women have been doing since the beginning of time. While we need to be smart and make good choices, our bodies are resilient and smart if we just commit to tuning in to what they are telling us.
So what’s my pregnancy fitness plan?
Welp. I don’t follow a plan. Basically, I’ve been doing the same things I’ve always done with more days off, modifications made as needed, and reducing time and/or weight based upon how I feel.
I’m still lifting weights 4 times per week for 10 to 20 minutes, running several days per week (sometimes very slowly) and walking daily. There were only 3 or 4 days during my first trimester that I missed my daily walk. My weights are sometimes lighter and sometimes not. When something doesn’t feel good, I do something different. I stopped doing a lot of plyometrics regularly several years back as it wasn’t really great for my joints so not much has changed there.
As we always teach our Momsanity moms, especially those in our Sisterhood, it’s what you do consistently that matters. While a surprise pregnancy is a FUN surprise. We literally never know what tomorrow holds. But, we can do the things every day that help us be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.
Things I forgot about that are important to remember during pregnancy:
- Pregnancy hormones make our bowels move slower. I’ve been taking more magnesium malate this pregnancy as well as a nightly roll on and a natural fiber supplement. All have helped me tremendously.
- I NEVER feel worse after a walk outside. Moving and breathing fresh air is good for everyone everyday!
- Round ligament pain. Those pesky sharp pains can come out of nowhere even when just standing up out of a chair. Totally normal, but worth noting. I’ll also plan to wear an exercise belt as my tummy grows.
- It feels really good to feel both strong and pregnant. They are not mutually exclusive. High 5 your pregnant mom friends who are trying to stay active and fit.
- Core work feels weird quickly. I’ve been doing some very modified exercises to engage my lower core while making sure my stomach doesn’t “pooch” while doing so. That bulge means that the core muscles are working too hard and can exacerbate diastasis recti later on. Keeping it super basic is helpful.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I would love your recommendations for baby gear as my head is spinning with all the new things and I have absolutely nothing as I gave away all my baby stuff years ago. If you’ve got specific questions send them my way!
Many blessings to you moms,