Fitness While Expecting


By Travis Johnson-

Exercise is beneficial for everyone, especially a mother to be during pregnancy. A soon to be mom can work out throughout her whole pregnancy and thereafter.

As long as the mother doesn’t experience any contraindications, it’s not only safe to work out while pregnant but recommended. Many questions regarding exercising while pregnant are always on the mind of a soon to be mom.  For example, is it okay to do ab exercises? Can I still do resistance exercises that I was doing prior to pregnancy? Am I able to still run?  During pregnancy, expectant mothers already have enough on their mind. So to ease your mind, we are going to go over some of the benefits of exercising during your pregnancy while debunking the myths.

Now that you are pregnant, the goals you are trying to achieve through exercise are different.  Prior to being pregnant, your goal was to tone and tighten up, but while expecting, your goal is to maintain weight gain during pregnancy and loosen up for childbirth. Being fit will make pregnancy and labor much easier.

Keeping active while pregnant is very beneficial for mommy to be and for the baby. There are activities you are able to do even if you are bedridden. Every woman is different, with different needs, and different circumstances, but the benefits of exercise and a proper nutrition program are numerous!

When it comes to a nutrition program, a healthy baby doesn’t just happen. The way you eat during your pregnancy affects not just your health, but it also affects your baby’s physical, mental and behavioral well-being.  The fetus shares all available nutrients with the mother, who is in charge of what is consumed, when it is consumed and how much of it is consumed.  Proper nutrition is very important to fetal development. Pregnancy is not the time for slimming down. If you diet to lose weight and trim down during pregnancy, it could be detrimental to your baby’s health. A healthy amount of weight gain during pregnancy, which depends on the weight of the mommy to be at the start of the pregnancy, is around 15 to 30 pounds. As far as nutrition goes, it best to have a balanced nutrition program. The main thing is making sure that you are getting adequate nutrients for you and your baby. To get these nutrients, you need to eat food from a variety of food groups such as fruits, veggies, breads, grains and proteins. Getting in the adequate amount of nutrients will be very beneficial for mommy and her baby.

The benefits of exercise and nutrition are numerous.  You are able to be healthy through your pregnancy and prepared for labor. You are also able to have a healthy baby! Having a healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition will be very beneficial for you and your future addition to your family.

Let’s review some of the myths and benefits of exercising while pregnant:

Myth: If you weren’t exercising prior to being pregnant, now is not the time. Reality is, the time to start moving is at the beginning of pregnancy even if it is moderately walking.

Benefit: Being fit improves posture. An important contribution to a healthy pregnancy is good posture. Having the proper alignment can minimize low back pain and neck pain.

 

Myth: Running and ab work is not good to do. Your baby will not be harmed in your belly while running. Your baby is safe swimming in amniotic fluid while you jog. When it comes to ab work, doing ab work on your back is a no-no after your first trimester. But, you can do other core exercises like planks, standing crunches, pelvic tilts and bird dogs.

Benefit: You can get your body back sooner after childbirth. By maintaining your strength and muscle tone during pregnancy, your body will have an easier time bouncing back after you give birth.

Myth: Resistance training is not beneficial while pregnant. Weight training will help build stamina, which you need during labor, and weight training will also help keep your weight gain in a healthy range.

Benefit: Exercise could help prevent or treat gestational diabetes. Physical activity has been associated with a reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes and lower blood glucose levels in women who develop it.

Myth: Exercising while pregnant can cause a miscarriage. There is no evidence to support this myth. Per researchers at Columbia University, women who exercised throughout pregnancy had a 40 percent lower chance of having a miscarriage.

Benefit: Exercise relieves tension, reduces stress and helps with depression. Exercise is great because it releases chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin, which help with your mood.