As soon as I get pregnant, the first question most people who know me ask is, “how much longer are you going to workout?” If I’m honest, this question makes me crazy; but I usually smile and say, “as long as my midwife says it’s okay” (which is true). The frequency of this question and the trend that I see of moms stopping whatever exercise they are doing when they become pregnant tells me that there are some misconceived ideas about exercise during pregnancy! I know we have come a long way since the 50’s when a woman would find out she was pregnant and then (according to my grandma) would barely be allowed to walk (unless it was for house chores, of course). I’ve learned so much about fitness and pregnancy since my first pregnancy four years ago, as well as becoming a fitness instructor myself. In a nutshell, you NEED exercise when you’re not pregnant and in the MAJORITY of cases, you BENEFIT from exercise when you ARE pregnant!
- Helps fight pregnancy fatigue – sometimes a midday walk or an evening prenatal yoga class can be just the trick to help fight the EXTREME fatigue that comes with pregnancy.
- Helps with the slow bowels – just being honest, most pregnant women realize that things are not moving through their system as quick when prego! An active body encourages active bowels … so get moving!
- Helps with labor – Most women believe that exercise throughout pregnancy helps your body and your baby endure labor. Having had two babies, I’ll say that labor is the hardest workout I’ve ever done (and I teach BOOT CAMP), so why not prepare your body for the biggest workout of your life (labor)?
- Helps with that POST-baby body – exercising during pregnancy will encourage a quicker recovery post-baby and hopefully help you to slip back into a good exercise routine after the baby comes! And who knows? Maybe it will make it possible to zip up those pre-pregnancy jeans again someday!
- Helps fight the grumps – your hormones are wild while pregnant … every little thing makes you laugh too hard, get too angry, or cry too easy. We are so emotional that we NEED the endorphins that exercise produces to stop us from going crazy while pregnant! 🙂