Pregnancy can be the most exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also be one of the most exhausting times as well. Most women are preoccupied with what needs to be done for the baby’s arrival, that they forgot one of the most important things they can do for the baby and for themselves: Exercise. Now, many women may get exhausted just thinking about exercising, but low and behold, there are tons of awesome benefits to working out~ Check it out!
1) Increased Energy- YES, you read this right. Exercise may BOOST your energy level and may lead to more energy when running errands or working through the day. I know, personally, the first trimester was a bit rough for me (morning sickness) so I didn’t work out as much, and I could totally feel the affects of not working out. I was exhausted ALL the time, and the idea of taking a nap crossed my mind nearly every day. Now that I’m well into the second trimester, I’m back to working out. It feels wonderful. Try some light cardio or some prenatal yoga- you WON’T regret it!
2) Improve YOUR Mood- There are tons of professional opinions and medical articles showing that exercising, in general, actually increasing your endorphin levels which boost your mood! Some women experience crabbiness or may experience mild to moderate depression during pregnancy, so why feel down and crabby when you can feel amazing?! FIGHT back!
3) Bounce Back Quickly- Continuous exercise during pregnancy will not only leave you feeling positive about your body, but it’ll help TREMENDOUSLY when returning to your pre-baby body! Your body will bounce back more quickly and respond more positively to exercising postpartum. Who doesn’t want to feel fabulous after their pregnancy?!
4) Sleep Better- Most women have difficulty sleeping during pregnancy or staying asleep during the night due to the larger amounts of progesterone along with other pregnancy discomforts. Exercising regularly can help reduce stresses and tensions associate with the pregnancy allowing you to feel more at rest. Plus, exercising and stretching can help with loosening tight muscles and breaking up any lactic acid build-up. YOGA is perfect for this!
5) Speedy Labor- Believe it or not, exercising can SPEED UP pregnancy because exercise regiments consisting of squats and kegels can help stretch and strengthen the pelvic floor, allowing for a firmer push during delivery. SQUATS are your friend. Exercising can also assist in a speedy labor by minimizing your risk for a C-Section. Exercising regularly will help eliminate medical interventions associated with pregnancy labor complications!!
6) Quicker Postpartum Recovery- When you keep your body and muscles moving, they are less likely to “lose their memory” (if that makes sense). Your body is practically trained and the likelihood of your body recovering to it’s original form (or darn close to it) is much more attainable. A quicker body recovery leads to you getting back into the gym sooner!
7) Prevents EXCESS Weight Gain Associated with Pregnancy- Women tend to eat more calories during pregnancy (myself included) than what is necessary which helps us pack on unnecessary weight. This unnecessary weight makes it much more difficult to get that pre-pregnancy body back after giving birth. It was recommended that I gain no more than 25-30 lbs during pregnancy. Women should consult with their doctor who will tell them what their recommended weight gain should be during pregnancy. Regardless of what that magic number is, the better ones body is BEFORE giving birth, the easier it is to bounce back because of lack of excess body weight gain during the pregnancy.
8) Lower Risk for Gestational Diabetes- Exercising keeps your glucose levels at a normal level by allowing your body to utilize the glucose without causing excess insulin build-up which in turns prevents gestational diabetes.
Moral of this post- 30 minutes of exercise does the body GOOOOOOOOD. Do it. You won’t regret working out and feeling great during and after pregnancy!