Written by: "Live the Adventure" Club Ambassador Leah Tyler-Szucki

"Cross-country skiing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise to practice during pregnancy. It causes very little impact on the joints and there is minimal risk of falling. It is also a great activity for beginners; however, you should still be careful and avoid steep slopes.”

Finally! A recommended activity while pregnant. Is it just me or have you also had a lot of people question your physical activity while pregnant?

Not only is the list of foods I can eat dramatically decreased, now my physical activity? I have been highly active for my entire life. From school-level sports, organized sports, gym workouts to outdoor activities—I feel like I have not sat still in 28 years! This is a great thing; I haven't sat still because being active makes me feel happy and healthy. Isn't that what I want to give my baby?

"The #1 ingredient for a happy baby isn't breast milk, it's a healthy and happy mom."

photoLeah Tyler-Szucki

The moment you become pregnant you become a mom. If you have sacrificed anything at all, you have already assumed the role. So, let's take a look at why cross-country skiing is so healthy and beneficial during pregnancy:

  • An excellent aerobic workout: No single muscle group is being targeted. You are using all your muscles in a "push-and-pull" motion to glide across the groomed terrain, therefore, having a complete body workout without the strain and discomfort!
  • Maintaining an elevated heart rate: This activity can help improve your cardiovascular health by helping to strengthen and improve blood circulation throughout your entire body. 
  • A stress buster: Whether you think you need it or not, getting out into some crisp winter air, surrounded by the fresh smell of evergreen trees, will dramatically reduce your stress levels. It will allow you to refresh from the day or start the day off right if you're an early riser.

photoLeah Tyler-Szucki

  • Feel in control of your body again: Often all these rules, restrictions and limitations have left me feeling like I have lost my sense of self. Having a hard time putting on my socks, dropping something on the floor knowing I'm going to have to pick it up...... very irritating. Doing an activity that is easy on my body makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I am not sacrificing my entire self, just a small part.
  • Helps reduce lactic acid: Cross-country skiing can help get the body ready for upcoming challenges while reducing the build-up of lactic acid. In the second trimester, you can start to develop leg cramps which can continue to occur right through to childbirth. The most common cause of this is lactic acid build up. Drinking lots of water also helps reduce these levels.
  • Increases your core muscles indirectly:  Without directly doing "ab workouts," you are strengthening your stomach muscles and engaging your core. A strong core can also alleviate the pressure that carrying a baby puts on your back and support proper posture to fend off the lower-back pain. A strong core allows for a stronger and faster recovery.
  • Winters are long and depressing: This applies to everyone, not just pregnant women. Winters can play havoc on your moods and ambitions. Skiing is a good way to get outside and still stay warm. Because of the full body motion, it doesn't take long to feel hot and sweaty so don't let those negative temperatures deter you. The fresh air will boost your spirits and break up those long days being stuck inside.

photoLeah Tyler-Szucki

I could continue to go on and on about why this is good for you, but I think you understand my message. I truly believe in the "airplane theory" of putting your own mask on before being able to help someone else. I know in previous generations this was very frowned upon—your child comes first no matter what and everything else, yourself included, second. While I understand this, I believe in the need for mommy time as well. Time to recuperate, take care of yourself, do the things you love and exercise in order to be happy and healthy!

Please note that this is not to encourage any women with a difficult pregnancy to exercise or go against the doctor's recommendations. Always ask your doctor if this, or any activity, is okay before proceeding.

This article was originally posted by Leah and has been shared with her permission.

PS. Leah is an Ambassador for the “Live the Adventure” Club Gear Box

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