A body in motion stays in motion.
Prenatal exercise is an essential for a healthy and comfortable pregnancy. While pregnant, many women put their exercise regimen on the back burner and fall off track. Keeping your body in motion while you’re expecting can actually boost your mood, give you energy and fight fatigue.
Many health care professionals recommend a gentle exercise routine to make labor more efficient, comfortable and even shorter. Strengthen your pelvic floor to prevent birth trauma with specific exercises.
Why should I be exercising?
Keep your posture in check with Core Exercises. Strong core muscles help keep your body strong as your belly grows to make room for baby. This abdominal stretching can cause diastasis recti or the damage of the abdominal connective tissues from your body accommodating a growing baby. Light cardio and engaging abdominal muscles can help strengthen this connective tissue.
Your core muscles take a lot of strain in your later stages of pregnancy. Stay on top of an exercise routine that keeps you active for 30 minutes each day and engage these muscles will help prevent muscle and joint pain later in pregnancy.
What exercises are best for my baby and I?
Yoga is a prenatal favorite for a reason. Prenatal yoga helps keep those core muscles strong and your joints flexible. With gentle approaches to exercise, you don’t have to be worried that you’ll over exert. Start slow with a trained yoga instructor and keep your care provider updated before starting a new exercise regimen.
Benefits of Prenatal Exercise
Anything that gets your body moving oxygen around and stretching those muscles is a good habit to have. Some of the most notable benefits of prenatal exercise by the American Pregnancy Association are:
- reduced backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
- May help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Improved posture
- Better muscle tone, strength, and endurance
- Better sleep (yay!!)
- Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. This will make it easier to get back in shape after baby is born.
Not all exercises are created equal.
Many athletic moms-to-be are encouraged to maintain the same level of activity through their pregnancy as long as they are comfortable. Most exercises are safe for normal pregnancy and will not place mom and baby at risk. Before getting started you should discuss different exercises with your doctor and exercise coach.
It’s never too late to start up an exercise routine.
Staying active throughout your pregnancy doesn’t just give you an extra helping of energy, but can actually improve your birth and postnatal experience. Your chances of c-section intervention is often minimized and your postnatal recovery gets a welcome boost to help you bounce back after baby.
Take control of your prenatal health and wellness by taking a prenatal vitamin
Taking a prenatal vitamin with DHA is critical to ensuring you maintain energy during pregnancy. Many times you get enough with the foods you eat during the day, but sometimes you just don’t get enough.
Learn about Healthy Mama and Equinox Group Fitness Instructor, Christine Crosby’s experience with staying active during pregnancy:
“So during my first and second pregnancy I continued to workout and train as I had before I was pregnant. I have 15 years of experience in the fitness industry which gave me some personal insight on how to (hopefully) make my 9 months go by smoothly. I have always been preaching to my clients to drink plenty of water so with that being said I knew that while I was carrying for two I needed to consume much more water than usual. That was truly one of my saviors. I can’t tell you how important water is to your daily diet pregnant or not. It helped me feel less bloated while I was pregnant and I never had an ounce of morning sickness. Working out on top of that was key to keeping me strong and confident in carrying my extra weight – I am a firm believer that my exercise routine not only helped make my pregnancy go by faster and more comfortable but it also allowed my body to recover faster after my delivery. I continued to stick with my regular routine all the way through all three trimesters and continued until a week before delivery. I am a full time fitness professional -teaching 7-10 fitness classes a week – from cycling to kickboxing and group strength training classes. I am also an avid runner and lift weights 2-3 days a week. Squatting, bench pressing and burpees were all a part of my weekly if not daily “job responsibilities.” There were moments where you have to listen to your body and say to yourself , “I need to slow down,” and you are the only one that truly knows your own body. I loved working out while I was pregnant because I knew that it was also a great start for my little one to feel my energy and know from the start how imperative fitness is to your health. My two little ones love to move and love to run too!”