As an avid exerciser, I imagined myself going for runs and teaching fitness classes all the way through my pregnancy. However, I found you can not teach an effective class while hanging over a toilet. Nor can you run if you are laying dizzy on the floor. So after several failed attempts to work out during my pregnancy, I finally caved. I figured I would just pick up where I left off. It’s only nine months.
Now, I understand that physiologically, the body changes when you stop exercising. Muscles atrophy, endurance and strength decreases, whether you stop exercising due to lack of time, pregnancy, etc. What I didn’t think was that it would or could happen to me, but it did.
With in a few weeks of having the baby I felt good, like myself again. I had lost most of the baby weight due to eating healthier and watching my portions and I had a good amount of energy. Grocery shopping was easier, as was doing house work. I had a c-section so, I was limited to what I could do until cleared by the doctor, but I felt good.So when I finally got ok’d to start walking I felt excited to be able to get moving again.
Baby in the stroller, away I went. It was nice out, not too hot, comfortable, so I was not anticipating any problem taking a walk around the big block. However, as I approached the corner of the smaller block, I found myself physically getting tired. Mentally I was trying to push myself to go another hundred feet to turn the corner of the bigger block, but my legs were getting heavy. I was breathing heavy like I was rounding the last mile of a marathon. Strange, I thought, how is this possible, nine months ago, I would have breezed through this I could have walked that block ten times over. What was happening?I know this was an ignorant thought as I knew well and good why I was heaving at the end of that walk. I was horribly deconditioned.
Back at the house I found myself plopped on the chair grateful that the baby was sleeping soundly in her rock and play after our bout in the fresh air. Even my recovery from the walk was delayed longer than when I would go for a run. Usually 2 minutes and I’m fully recovered and on to the next thing. Not now, almost twenty minutes later I was finally peeling myself off the chair with great effort just as the baby was waking up.
Good grief! This was ridiculous. I should not be exerting so much effort. But I was.
So it was then and there that I made a resolution to start making those walks daily, and that by the end of the month I would be able to walk not only the big block but further briskly and effortlessly. I have kept my resolution and the baby and I enjoy beautiful fall walks daily. Even better was that within two weeks I was able to conquer the big block and now in the third week I have added on to that walk and while not effortless, it is a lot easier than it was before.
What have I taken from this, well first, getting de-conditioned can and did happen to me. Second, with a little resolve, I am slowly but surely gaining my endurance back. Third, when I begin strength training I must remember that I will probably not be able to pick up where I left off. I need to remember that it has been NINE months and yes, I will be de-conditoned but, I will, with time, get back to my normal routine.