I've always found running to be a stress reliever, even on the days when I don't want to get out there. And there are a lot of those, but I always tell myself to put on my big girl panties and take that first step. If it's miserable, I'll turn around and go home. I never do. Running is a way of clearing my mind. I take in the sights (like the 5 deer we saw today). I take in the sounds (there are many babbling brooks that we pass on our daily runs). I think about how blessed my life is (I live in an amazing home, with my best friend. I have a supportive family and the best friends a girl could ask for. We have jobs, we have love.)
These days I'm not fluid when I run. Tom often smiles at the top of the hills (he's always there about a minute before me) and tells me that I look like a steam engine, just chugging away. I used to get mad about things like that. But not these days. I do look like a steam engine. Or a hippo. I'm slow, and methodical. I'm not a smooth runner. I am working. At a slow pace. And I love every step of it.
I saw this picture on line today (Run The Edge posted it on facebook) and it totally made me smile for so many reason.
These days I'm running for so much more than just myself. Yes, it still keeps me sane and there is no better feeling than that of finishing a run. But now I am running for my baby girl AND me. (Yes, you caught that right... it's a girl!) There are two of us chugging up those hills. Two hearts getting stronger. And what better gift can I give us both than the gift of good health - for me through the pregnancy and for her as she starts her life.
There are so many benefits to running for two:
- Various problems related to pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue and constipation can be reduced by running while pregnant.
- The expectant mothers who have a habit of running during pregnancy may not experience the problem of excessive weight gain. They also have a better posture.
- Running also helps in reducing and preventing gestational diabetes and in lowering back pain.
- Expecting mothers who follow fitness regime during pregnancy have less swelling of extremities.
- Delivery complications and labor pain as well as how long delivery takes can be reduced to a great extent by running during pregnancy. It also reduces the chances of c-section.
- Pregnancy running not only makes the expecting mothers feel good, but it also leads to increased flow of energy. It's also been shown to reduce postpartum depression.
- Pregnancy running helps in reducing baby fat of the unborn child without affecting the normal body weight.
- Pregnancy fitness also leads to better blood circulation and placental efficiency.
- Running is one of the best cardio exercises that increases blood circulation and thus supplies oxygen and necessary nutrients to the fetus. Better blood flow = better skin!
- Continued exercise during pregnancy helps mom's get back into pre-pregnancy shape quicker.