Do you know that exercising through your pregnancy can help both you and your baby, not only during the 9 months of pregnancy, but also during your recovery and well into mommyhood?
I had started doing some research about pre/post-pregnancy fitness and nutrition when I first started OB nursing. I enjoyed my OB patients and they had lots of questions, not only on motherhood and taking care of baby, but they wanted to know what they should do and how long it would take to get their bodies back.
You can get your body back but research has found it can be easier if you stay active and fit during pregnancy.
Now that I am expecting, I have been doing exhaustive research about exercising while pregnant because I want to know WHY I am putting in all this extra work daily when most of the time I just feel like putting my feet up and eating for 2 or 3! There has got to be some benefits!
Is it really going to help with the unflattering signs and symptoms that come with pregnancy such as all that swelling and bigger bun cakes or chubby thighs? Will it give me the cute basketball bump with no evidence of the pregnancy from my back side?
Every woman is different with how her body adapts to the pregnancy and where she seems to gain the pregnancy weight. Exercising during pregnancy does come with some benefits though!
Here are the top 10 Reasons to have a Healthy & Fit Pregnancy:
10. Increase flexibility
Due to the hormones during pregnancy, your muscles like to tighten up and can cause some back pain. Increasing flexibility will help with some uncomfortable symptoms during pregnancy and will especially help for using all those different positions during labor and delivery of that cute little baby!
9. Better muscle tone
This will definitely come in handy with all the weight redistribution that happens during pregnancy as well as all those muscles you will discover when taking care of a newborn during mommyhood.
8. Decrease in signs and symptoms such as swelling, nausea, constipation, back pain, and varicose veins.
What more can I say about this? Those not so great symptoms that come along with the changing proportions of your body and those crazy pregnancy hormones can be managed! Exercise helps decrease these uncomfortable parts of pregnancy.
7. Better sleep (which mom couldn’t use this?)
6. More energy!
5. Better functioning placenta.
The placenta is your baby’s lifeline during pregnancy. It is what provides all the nutrients and oxygen to your baby. A better functioning placenta will help grow a healthier baby!
4. Faster recovery.
So, you are already thinking about how you are going to get your body back after your little one arrives. Well, if you exercise throughout pregnancy, your recovery can be quicker and less painful than if you didn’t exercise.
3. Lower weight gain and fat accumulation.
Now, I am not talking about unhealthy habits during pregnancy. I am talking about not gaining more than the recommended amount of weight. If you are a healthy BMI before pregnancy, and are only carrying one baby, recommended weight gain is between 25 and 35 pounds.
By exercising throughout your pregnancy, you can help maintain a healthy weight gain and a healthy amount of fat accumulation.
2. Leaner baby and child
I thought this was really interesting. By you exercising throughout your pregnancy, you can help give your baby a healthy start to this world that might even carry on even until Kindergarten!
1. Easier Labor and Delivery
Shall I say more? You will be more prepared for the endurance and using those muscles that are needed for this tough time. Research has shown that women who exercise throughout the entire pregnancy have 1/3 shorter labor times, less complications, and there is a dramatic increase in those women who are able to deliver naturally without having to be induced. Talk about motivation enough!
There are some great labor and delivery benefit statistics here at my previous blog post: “Can I Exercise during Pregnancy?”
After finding the known benefits of exercise, I am definitely even more motivated to keep healthy and fit in order to help not only me but my little guy who is still cooking.
For Christmas, I got some great pregnancy workout DVDs, books, and routines that I will soon try out and write up a review for you. So far during this pregnancy, I have been using Lindsay Brin’s Pregnancy Workout Series which I reviewed in my previous blog post: “Review: Lindsay Brin’s Workout”.
Question of the Day: Which of the above 10 reasons to have a healthy and fit pregnancy is the most motivating to you for staying healthy and fit during pregnancy? Leave a comment below!