Pregnancy really does a number on your body. Stretch marks, loose skin, tears, aches and pains – need I say more?
After the birth of my daughter, I developed severe back pain one month after I resumed running. It was so bad that it hurt to stand after sitting for long periods of time. I couldn’t run because I felt pain with every step. I could barely pick up my daughter in her car seat.
I went to my family doctor who ordered X-rays of my lower back and sent to me a chiropractor. The X-rays showed that I had mild osteoarthritis. I was in my early 30s – what do you mean I have the beginnings of arthritis? The chiropractor said in addition to the osteoarthritis that my pelvis had shifted making one leg longer than the other. He adjusted me and showed me a series of stretches to loosen my tight muscles (I couldn’t touch my knees, let alone my toes). Once I felt better, I had the green light to resume running.
Fast forward three years and I was back in my chiropractor’s office with lower back pain again. One week after completing the 2014 Glass City Half Marathon, it hurt to run and my muscles were extremely tight. I went through the same motions of adjustment and stretching and was given the news that I need to add more low-impact exercises to my routine if I want to keep running.
Faced with this news, I started riding my bike more and doing the elliptical. In all honesty, I had become lax in stretching, which contributed to my back issues, so I also made stretching a daily priority.
Now that I’m past the 20-week milestone in my pregnancy, it makes stretching a little tricky. I can’t lay on my back like I had grown accustomed to so I needed to develop a new stretching routine.
I love the library so I went online and reserved a few prenatal yoga videos. I popped in one DVD and followed the instructor through 30 minutes of stretching. By the end, I had worked up a sweat and I could really feel the results of the workout after only one session.
I am by no means a yogi but I see the benefits of doing yoga. My plan is to do prenatal yoga three to four times a week so I don’t experience round three of the lower back pain once the baby arrives. Yoga is not as easy as it looks but I believe putting in the work will be worth it and my body will thank me.
Serena Smith is a senior marketing communications specialist at ProMedica. She is responsible for facilitating media coverage of ProMedica and writes health articles for ProMedica HealthConnect. Her passion is health and wellness. She’s an avid runner and enjoys competing in half marathons. She loves to read, watch television and spend time with her husband and daughter.