Easy does itPosted: January 9, 2013
So the doc gave me the go ahead to start exercising again. Lucky for me, the East coast is experiencing a slight warm up this week so with temps nearing the upper 40’s, there might just be some hope yet for this outdoor runner.
In the meantime, I’ve started with some light stretching and conditioning.
The stretching–great, excellent, so refreshing. The conditioning–holy moly, I’m out of shape! Okay, so not so much out of shape as recovering postpartum.
Started with some easy reps for my arms and legs. Biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, squats and lunges. The doc recommended moderate exercise so I took it easy–5 lb weights and assistance from my stability ball. Just enough to feel a slight burn, then recover. My arms and legs felt great post workout, albeit slightly sore the next day.
The killer…my abs are totally shot! Pregnancy does a number on your abs. Truly it’s amazing how human bodies change and adapt to accommodate a growing baby, but you never really realize how much you depend on your core until those muscles are compromised.
I’ve been fortunate in that most of my baby weight came off with the baby. In fact, at my last doctor’s visit, I weighed in just 8 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. I feel super vain admitting this, but during my pregnancy I feared my pre-pregnancy body might gone forever. I managed to continue running early in my pregnancy, then walked as things progressed, until finally my body signaled it needed rest. Every body is different and I admire those women who run through pregnancy. But rest is what my body needed so that’s what I gave it. No regrets.
Still, running and exercise have never really been about weight for me. In fact, I’ve weighed nearly the same weight for the last 15 years. Apparently, it’s my body’s happy place. I run because I love it. It’s as simple as that. Sure it helps me burn a few calories along the way, but that’s a perk. I’d run regardless. I exercise because nothing feels better than a really deep breath that fills your whole body with air.
So my abs need a little TLC. I think I’ll spend a little more time sitting on my balance ball to work some of those stabilizer muscles as a opposed to working my abs directly. I want my body to heal, too. I believe in pushing myself, but I also believe in letting my body get there in it’s own time. Injury won’t help me get back to running or regular exercise faster.