Pregnancy is rough on our bodies. New pains, stretch marks, swelling – often getting a workout in is the last thing on a pregnant mom’s mind. But there are many benefits to staying fit and healthy throughout pregnancy, including a healthier baby.
Evidence shows that physical activity can prevent gestational diabetes, diabetes that develops during pregnancy, relieve stress, and grow the stamina needed for labor and delivery. Now, this certainly doesn’t mean going out and immediately starting to train for your first marathon when you learn you’re pregnant. If you were physically active before you became pregnant, you should be able to continue exercising – albeit on a lower impact level. If you weren’t active, ask your doctor to help develop a low impact exercise routine for each phase of your pregnancy.
If your goal to stay in shape during your pregnancy, the following tips should help you do so in a healthy way for both you and baby.
1. It’s not just cardio!
One of the best ways to keep off extra pregnancy weight, and make postpartum weight loss easier, is to maintain muscle tone. Low-impact strength based programs using light weights works great for muscle tone but you can also do plenty of exercises using just your own body weight. Strength training also reduces muscle aches and pains that pregnancy can bring. Great low impact workouts that can help build and maintain muscle for pregnant women include barre classes, yoga or pilates.
2. Enjoy your exercise
Whatever you’re doing, make sure it is something you enjoy! Finding exercise and physical activities you have fun doing helps you stay motivated throughout pregnancy. Don’t start cycling classes if you don’t like it just because you read it was good for pregnant women – you likely won’t stick with it, particularly in the later months. Remember to find a workout program you can modify – and if you can find other pregnant women to workout with, even better!
There are few things more important to pregnant women than staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep you energized and can reduce pregnancy-related nausea. Being hydrated can also keep your body feeling satisfied and prevent overeating. Oftentimes, we think we are hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. Pregnant women should drink around 12-13 8oz glasses of water a day – more if you are exercising.
4. Listen to your body
This is the most important tip on this list. We are all different and every pregnancy is different. Listening to what your body tells you is critical. Somedays, you’ll feel exhausted, some days, you’ll have the energy to take on the world! Take the rest when you need to and don’t push yourself too hard. Your body and your growing baby will tell you what you need!
If you’re interested in learning how BabyPlus can help your baby’s brain be fit, learn more here!