You’re bloated, your back hurts, you can’t sleep, your ankles are swelling…ah the woes of pregnancy! Good news, ladies: exercise can help minimize the aches and pains of pregnancy and can actually work wonders for both you and baby.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY
Experts say that exercising during pregnancy can decrease risk of gestational diabetes, improve energy levels, strength, and endurance, boost your mood, and reduce bloating and swelling. It can even enhance recovery from childbirth!
The benefits of regular exercise during pregnancy are no mystery, but maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
We’ve got some tips that will help you maintain good exercise habits, so that you can focus on your overall health before baby comes!
When you’re pregnant, your body’s putting lots of extra energy toward making that lil’ nugget in your tummy. It’s important to eat something before you workout so that you have enough fuel to use throughout your workout.
Helpful Tip: eat a balanced post-workout snack, too! Carbs and protein are a good idea because they’ll help you rebuild muscle fibers and replenish your muscles’ energy reserves.
2. JUST MOVE
You’re tired. All. the. time. We get it. It’s hard to find the energy to do most things, much less workout! If you’re struggling to exercise, try setting a goal to just move for 15 minutes a day. Once you’re moving, you may even feel good enough to go longer!
3. JOIN A GROUP
Accountability is key (whether you’re pregnant or not, #tbh)! Find a community that supports you, encourages you, and even challenges you! It’s harder to miss workouts when other people are expecting you to show up.
4. FIND A ROUTINE
Sometimes the biggest challenge is simply staying motivated. One of the best ways to do that is to find an exercise you actually like, whether it’s dancing, walking, swimming, or lifting (as long as your doctor says it’s safe!). The more you like the exercise, the more you’ll keep coming back for more! (Note: this should go without saying, but avoid jerky, bouncy, or high-impact motions.)
5. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
While taking care of your body, be sure to take care of your mind as well. Your body is continually expanding to make room for baby, so it’s important to focus on breath to relax, build stability, and adjust to the physical demands of labor. Meditation practices can provide emotional stress relief that your body needs throughout pregnancy!
Stretching is important for any fitness routine, but it’s especially useful when you’re pregnant. It helps prepare for labor and can make delivery easier because you’ve worked your range of motion. Score!
At the end of the day, listen to your doctor and do what feels right to you. Every woman has her own unique pregnancy and is comfortable with/able to work different movements. As long as you listen to your body, you should have an enjoyable fitness-while-pregnant experience!
Tune in next week for exercises we love!