I know that exercising is a HARD thing to do while pregnant. Believe me. We have been SO busy this month, it’s been a challenge to find time to squeeze it in. But my friends over at Mountainside Fitness have some GREAT suggestions and encouragement for you guys. I try to do SOMETHING daily if possible. Mostly so that I will just FEEL better- even if it’s for an hour.
Are you searching for a way to have a smoother pregnancy, an easier delivery AND bounce back to your pre-pregnancy body faster?
I KNOW I AM.
Look no further than exercise. Your body — and your unborn baby – can benefit from physical activity, even if you weren’t active before getting pregnant. If done safely, prenatal exercise offers head-to-toe benefits for expectant mothers and their unborn children, according to the Mayo Clinic, including:
Less back pain and other discomforts
Boosts mood and energy
Prevents excess weight gain
Increases stamina and muscle strength
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, prenatal exercises may also benefit your child well after birth. Researchers at the University of Montreal found pregnant women who exercised for 20 minutes three times a week had babies with more brain activity than women who did not exercise.
BUT DON’T GET ME WRONG HERE.
A huge baby bump, swollen legs and ankles, nausea and an overactive bladder might make you feel like going to the gym is the last thing you want to do. Remind yourself of exercise’s potential benefits – less physical discomforts during pregnancy, an easier labor and delivery, and a healthier child. Accept that there will be times when you just won’t feel like it or may have mild physical discomfort – and commit to doing it anyway. So get creative and focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Even if you were a gym rat before you got pregnant, pregnancy weight gain – not to mention that you’ve got a human being growing inside you – means adapting your routine.
Try workarounds such as exercising in the afternoons if you have morning sickness; eating bland crackers before your workout if you have nausea; swimming as a way to combat fatigue, soreness and stiffness; taking frequent bathroom breaks and avoiding workouts that don’t allow this.
While most pregnant women can safely complete 30 minutes of moderate activity daily, it’s critical to clear any regimen with your OB/GYN; strenuous activities are not advised and physical activity is not recommended for moms with serious pregnancy complications or with a high-risk pregnancy.
Consider these low-impact, safe and effective workouts for pregnant moms:
– Walking: A great low-impact exercise for pregnant women. Walking puts minimal stress on the baby and can be done indoors and outdoors.
– Swimming: Hitting the pool offers a low-impact workout that lowers the risk of injury for mom and baby. Plus, it relieves ankle and leg swelling and joint pressure.
– Low-impact aerobics: Cardiovascular workouts are good as long as you don’t put too much pressure on your joints.
– Strength training: Light strength training can help you stay toned before and after delivery.
– Pilates/Yoga: These core building exercises are believed to provide extra abdominal strength that supports the uterus, more flexibility and aids childbirth by making your pelvic muscles stronger.
AND 5 things to remember when working out. These are important, people!
DO take precautions. Try to avoid injuries whenever possible by stretching, warming up and cooling down. Just remember that you’re working out for two.
DO stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and try to avoid overheating and exhaustion.
DON’T work your body too hard. Generally, you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. If not, you’re working too hard.
DON’T ignore warning symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience dizziness, headaches, increased shortness of breath, chest pains, vaginal pains/bleeding, vaginal fluid leakage, severe abdominal cramping, have contractions after resting or notice decreased fetal physical movement before or after exercise.
DON’T participate in contact sports and avoid activities with a high risk of falling, such as horseback riding, gymnastics and other activities. Modify high-impact workouts such as tennis and jogging to accommodate your growing belly the closer you get to your due date.
SWEET. Get your move on. Baby will thank you later!
And if you want some quick, easy tips for meals during pregnancy, check out Mountainside Fitness’ last post HERE.