Congratulations, your expecting! Now what? Are you supposed to hangout barefoot all day & eat bonbons? Probably not the best idea for a healthy pregnancy…
There are many benefits to exercising while pregnant, but probably one of the most important is to prepare your body for the athletic event that is giving birth. The more you prepare your body before having your baby, the more endurance & strength you’ll have during the big event. Having gone through it twice, I can say from personal experience that incorporating movement into my daily routine helped me get through some very intense days of laboring.
The first pregnancy with my spunky daughter Sophia, was a whopping 52hrs of hard labor. Good god she owes me big time! Trent, my second little tornado, arrived much faster at just 9hrs of the most intense labor I have ever experienced. Both pregnancies were natural. I had an epidural with my first & went completely rogue with my second, he was almost born in the car on the way to the hospital!!
Some of the ways I prepared my body were doing yoga, going for long walks & the occasional twerking around the house while jamming to the Queen B. Yes, it counts! Exercise & movement not only benefit the mother but it’s also beneficial to your baby. There are plenty of studies that show that exercise during pregnancy helps boost energy, aids in sleep quality & can help reduce stress & discomfort. Not to mention all of the added benefits of having an outlet for the emotional rollercoaster ride your on. As a pregnant female you are now capable of laughing, crying & being a raging lunatic in less than 1.3 seconds! Exercise helps you have an outlet to the insanity & gives you a sense of normalcy.
However you decide to incorporate fitness, pay attention to your body & the cues it gives you during these 9 months. Do what feels right for you & steer clear of any prone or supine exercises such as bench presses or crunches. Anything that involves you laying flat on your stomach or contact sports should also be avoided for the obvious reasons. If your new to exercise start slow, things like walking, biking, & water aerobics are a great way to start. If your already active then continue working out to maintain your level of fitness, within reason. Now is not the time to seek out any PR’s on your lifts or add more mileage to your runs. Let’s not forget about nutrition. Your body will need about 300 extra calories per day during the second & third trimester. Make sure your feeding your body healthy nutritious food & drinking plenty of water.
Last but not least, be sure to get some good quality sports bras. Yes, it’s important! You are officially growing friends & those new friends need all the support they can get. Enjoy your exercise during pregnancy, remember, take cues from your changing body & get the ok from your health practitioner. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be the end of your fitness routine, it just needs to be modified accordingly. Happy hump growing!!