The Adventure of a Lifetime
Big changes are afoot. With a career change on the near horizon, we decided to sell our house and take a month to travel up the California coast to enjoy some of the incredible national and state parks the state has to offer. So at 9 weeks pregnant, we took to the road for a 3,800 mile trip in a 24 foot Sprinter camper van with a 2 year old, our dog and cat.
So far the adventure has been amazing! We’ve visited Joshua Tree National Park, made it to Los Angeles where we picked up the camper, and have lazily wandered up the coast stopping every few hours to experience a new park. At the northern leg of the journey, we find ourselves at Humbolt State Park – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! The gorgeous redwoods tower high above us and the ground is blanketed in ferns and moss. Never before have I been in such awe of the great diversity of natural resources that our country has to offer.
But enough about the trip, I could go on about it all day. It’s time to talk about how staying strong and fit during a pregnancy while traveling is challenging, but not impossible.
4 Tips to a Strong and Fit Pregnancy While Traveling
Let’s start by saying that 24 feet is a very cozy space for 3 people and 2 pets to live for a month. On top of that, we decided to travel during the rainy season in California. While we have no problem throwing on our raincoats, boots, and gear, it hasn’t necessarily been as easy to get out and exercise as it would have been if we’d been traveling in the summer.
So I was faced with a bit of a dilemma – how in the world would I continue on with my 5MinuteBack Pregnancy Challenge without a workout space and easy access to healthy food? The first answer was easy. As for the second, I’ll address the healthy eating question in later posts.
After a bit of traveling during my first pregnancy, and 15 days on the road so far during this one, here are my top 4 tips on how to stay strong and healthy while pregnant and traveling:
1. Pick an exercise program that is easy to do on the move
You don’t want to have to drag around a bunch of equipment or have to reroute just to get to a gym. Instead try something like the 5MinuteBack Pregnancy Program. Not only is the equipment minimal (a band and some water bottles or cans from your pantry), but it can be modified to do in extremely small spaces (I’ll get to this in a minute). You should also have the ability to do a quick workout routine if you are crunched for time and running out the door or, as in my case, corralling a nature-loving toddler into a van.
2. Start your exercise program now, don’t wait until you are done traveling
The earlier you start exercising and strengthening your True Core, the stronger your body will be when you start to notice the first pregnancy pain and discomfort. By strengthening your back as early as possible, you can help mold your pregnancy into one that most women envy - an enjoyable, painless and easy one.
It is clear to me that by starting my pregnancy exercise program within the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I am experiencing far fewer symptoms already. I haven’t suffered from the fatigue, mood swings or leg cramps, and my nausea has improved immensely, all of which, at this point were clearly bothering me during my first pregnancy (The Bump).
While starting earlier is better, I am a wholehearted believer that it is never too late to start a pregnancy-strengthening program. It is better to do a pregnancy workout like 5MinuteBack Pregnancy, even for a couple of weeks at the end of your third-trimester, than to do anything at all. I even recommend that those of you who are considering becoming pregnant begin strengthening your back and True Core before conceiving, to give you the best chances of success in the Program.
However, if you are like most and can’t plan that far ahead, you can still reap the benefits of the Program late in your pregnancy. Even starting at the end of your 3rdtrimester can quickly help provide you with pregnancy pain relief and an easier labor, delivery and a speedier postpartum recovery.
3. You will feel SO much better if you exercise and move while you’re traveling
If you are anything like me, sitting in the car for hours at a time or in a conference room at a desk, traveling can bring on everything from headaches to back pain and neck stiffness. Then you add on the symptoms of pregnancy, and traveling can get downright miserable. The only thing that I have discovered to prevent or ease any pregnancy pain and discomfort while traveling is to move. I’m talking about stretching, walking, exercising . . . whatever you can do – it all helps. Even if you can only find 5 minutes each day to get your body moving, you will feel the benefits.
4. Great travel workout routines don’t require a lot of space
While more space makes it easier, you don’t have to have a significant amount of space to stay strong and fit while traveling. As I’d mentioned above, space has been hard to find in our 24 foot camper van. But with my Challenge in mind, I have tried to be creative about fitting my exercises in. For example, did you know that you can do the 5MinuteBack Pregnancy Program’s Core Defender with Arms and both the Lateral and Reverse Core Defender on a king size bed? You can also take the few minutes you have filling up the car with gas to complete your Core Explorer™ exercises, some Reverse Punches, Shoulder Circles and Bow Ties™? And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Everyday, I have discovered new ways to fit in a few exercises here and there . . . and the results have been increadible.
My 5MinuteBack Pregnancy Challenge Update
So while the trip has made my 5MinuteBack Pregnancy Challenge a bit more difficult than I’d hoped, it hasn’t been impossible. Yes, I haven’t been able to do my pregnancy back strengthening exercises everyday, and I haven’t managed to squeeze in as many additional workouts as I would have liked, and I’m not eating as healthy as I’d like, but I’m still determined to continue my challenge and I am feeling all the better for it.
I have noticed that I am only getting pregnancy headaches once every week or two and every time that my back has hurt from driving or sleeping in some awkward position (like sandwiched between my husband and snuggly son) it has disappeared within an hour of completing my exercises. I really couldn’t be happier with the flexibility that the 5MinuteBack Pregnancy Program has given me so that I can be my happiest and healthiest self on this incredible adventure.