This cycle of Mommy workouts is designed for women in the last six to eight weeks of their pregnancy. This can be a challenging time to keep up with physical activity. Your baby is experiencing rapid growth, and that means you are too. You might also be distracted with all the preparations and anticipation that tends to settle in at this stage.
As you can see in the videos and photos, I was in this stage of pregnancy while developing these workouts. I’ve combined several elements that were particularly helpful for me between 34 and 40 weeks:
- Strength and Conditioning: Primarily with the use of kettlebells and bodyweight exercises
- Practical, Functional Movement: Particularly in the form of long hikes and movement “challenges” that will help you move better on an everyday basis.
- Labor Preparation Exercises: Exercises to help with fetal positioning, strengthen the abdominal muscles, and build lower body endurance to prepare for the marathon of birth.
- Stretching and Mobility Work: Exercises to ease aches and pains that tend to crop up during this time
- Yoga and Meditation: Time set aside for you to collect yourself mentally and physically, by linking breath and movement
The strength and conditioning workouts tend to be short and simple and should usually take no longer than thirty minutes. That means you should exert as much effort as you can during the workouts – without overdoing it, of course. Toward the end of the cycle, you’ll notice an emphasis on walking and hiking, with a weekly long walk or hike. This is one of the best ways to prepare your body for labor. Feel free to jog or run as you feel comfortable during these sessions.
I’ve also included a weekly challenge. The challenges aren’t necessarily things you’ll be doing in the gym, but are ways to move better and more mindfully throughout the day. Not only will quality movement prevent a lot of pregnancy issues like sciatica and low back pain, but it will also translate into your workouts.
Enjoy this cycle of workouts and the last stage of your pregnancy.
Week 8, Day 3
A. Letting Go Meditation
Spend 10 – 15 minutes focusing on letting go of mental and emotional tension. In these weeks before birth it’s easy to become distracted and anxious about a number of concerns. Spend 5 minutes identifying any anxieties or worries that come to mind as you sit in a comfortable position. You will probably find many of these worries pertain to labor, the postpartum period, or baby preparations that need to be made.
For the second portion of the meditation, focus on letting go of the tension these concerns tend to generate. It’s normal and okay to think about baby’s impending birth and all the changes that go with it, but carrying tension in body and mind will only hinder your ability to enjoy these moments. Breathe freely and deeply as you let go of this tension, and replace it with a sense of joyful anticipation.
Mommy Challenge: Week 8
In this final week of workouts, your challenge is to find 30 minutes each day to devote to total relaxation. Take a warm bath, get a massage, meditate, or read a book – the exact activity doesn’t matter, as long as it is relaxing and gives you time to unwind.