4 Major Reasons To Stay Active While Pregnant
As an expectant mama you're beyond thrilled to be carrying around a little bean. But with this carrying comes a lot of unwanted symptoms that no one really told you about. Discomforts, annoyances and struggles. One way to combat some of these symptoms is to.. exercise! You read that right, staying active in pregnancy can help alleviate a lot of those not so awesome feelings (check out how I stayed fit in my first and second trimester).
Exercising while pregnant is bit of a taboo subject at the moment. Some people are pro working out and others horrible against it. And as much as it kills me to say it, the answer sways back and forth. But instead of debating the pros and cons I thought I'd give you a few reasons you may want to stay active in those fun nine months.
Many people believe that pregnancy is a time to eat, eat and rest. And while eating more and resting more are definitely necessary (you are growing a baby!), if you're a low risk pregnancy, movement, activity and exercise are all beneficial. Laying on the couch for 20 hours each day will not benefits your body or the baby. Seriously.
However, being active doesn't mean you need to be penciling in a scheduled go hard or go home workouts four days per week. Not even in the slightest. It means that getting off the couch, remaining mobile and staying fit all come with great perks.
If you love working out- keep at it. I worked out all through my pregnancies and loved every minute of it (check out my struggles as a pregnant fitness junkie here). But it's not for everyone (and there are some things to consider). But you can easily reap the benefits below by just doing things you enjoy (walking, playing, swimming, MOVING) outside of scheduled workouts.
In fact, staying active throughout your pregnancy has been shown to have the following benefits (amongst others):
Reducing Constipation, Bloating & Swelling
Much of these three things comes from lack of movement. Keeping the blood flowing in your body can help prevent and alleviate a lot of swelling and bloating. When it comes to constipation, diet plays a huge role so don't underestimate the power of food. Double on your water too in order to keep things moving.
Help You Sleep Better
It's no secret that once that belly develops sleep becomes a bit trickier. It's hard to get comfortable, the baby kicks.. there are endless reasons. Exercise can help with this simply by improving your need to sleep. Your body needs that time to recover and repair and of course- staying active is draining! You'll crash a lot better if you've worked up the need for sleep a bit
Reduce Back Pain
If you've committed to an exercise program make sure it includes a lot of posterior (back of the body) work. This helps alleviate some of the pressure caused by a growing baby and belly which often manifests as back pain as your body struggles to support the added weight. Allowing your muscles to move, strengthening the appropriate ones and using proper mechanics can help alleviate a lot of pain.
Improves Your Mood
Mood swings in pregnancy are real folks. Very real. All those extra hormones flooding your body can cause a few fun outbursts. Staying active, especially outdoors, can help boost your mood thanks to the natural endorphins that come from working your muscles. Take a brisk walk, enjoy some nature and work up a bit of a sweat.
I personally believe that being fit and remaining active throughout pregnancy can help you recover from the fun endurance marathon that is labor. However, I don't think it dictates how your labor progresses or finishes.
In terms of “gaining less weight” while pregnant, I don't like this statement and refuse to use it as a benefit. While it may be true, it's still your body's goal to gain weight when expecting. And sometimes, no matter how fit you are your body is going to do whatever the hell it wants in the weight department.
I think that telling ladies that they should be focusing on their weight gain while growing a baby is silly and only promotes disorders. Instead, focus on remaining happy, healthy, mobile and safe.
Don`t forget to pin these awesome benefits!
Exercising while pregnant can help alleviate a lot of discomfort and struggles in the nine months you're growing a baby. Don't under estimate it! Work within your capabilities and stay as active as you feel comfortable with.
Stay fit mamas 🙂