Why I Kickbox During My Pregnancy
“OK, ladies, give it all you got!” the instructor shouts across the sweaty, non-air conditioned exercise studio. “Remember, I don't care how high your kicks are, just that you're doing them!”
At almost seven-months pregnant, you had better believe that my kicks are certainly not as high as they once were, but in my mind, the important thing is that I'm there.
Every week, without fail, I drag my pregnant buns to my weekly kickboxing class with my mom and sister, and every week, without fail, I think, what on earth am I doing?!
I wish I were one of those women who enjoyed being pregnant and felt more in touch with my body during the nine months of growing another human being.
I wish I were one of those women who had a burst of energy and felt glowing and beautiful.
But instead, I just feel huge. And rather miserable. And like every step I take requires monumental energy.
And yet, as often as possible, I force myself to exercise, including refusing to give up my weekly kickboxing class.
I'm sure I look ridiculous, and I often catch the instructor casting wary glances my way, concerned, perhaps, about the risk of my giving birth in the middle of a squat, but I know myself, and I know what pregnancy does to me, so stubbornly, I will go.
I know that if I let myself fall into the pregnant thinking of, “It's OK to skip, I am growing a baby,” I will never return. I know that I have a tendency to gain 40-50 pounds with each of my pregnancies and that the aftermath—you know, when I'm not pregnant anymore—is never pretty.
So this time, I'm trying to be proactive and exercise all nine months.
And I've found that many of my normal exercise routines, including a kickboxing class, is totally doable during pregnancy. I've had to make a few modifications along the way, such as:
- Doing fewer jumping jacks (I'm still able to do them so far, but I don't do as many!)
- Taking more water breaks
- Doing individual exercises more slowly
- Doing the ab routine from a standing position
- Adding in more oblique work, considering my ab muscles are currently split into two
- Avoiding any really high-impact exercises
By listening to my body and taking a break when I need to, I am proud that I've been able to continue the workouts that I love, and I'm hoping that my post-baby body will love me in return!
Have you had to modify your favorite workouts for pregnancy?