Pregnancy Exercise – The Benefits for You and Your Baby
Growing a baby inside of you is a workout in and of itself that can be exhausting. And while the last thing on your mind may be adding exercise to your pregnant days, it is one of the best things you can do for your mind, body and baby.
I know, I know: so many daily activities already take more energy when you’re pregnant. But just as you’re making time for prenatal nutrition and doctor visits, making time for moderate exercise will make a big difference too by improving energy and sleep and decreasing pregnancy pains.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women can safely participate in 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. So where do you begin? Begin by talking with your doctor. Get the OK as soon as you discover you are pregnant.
Once your doctor clears you for activity, then it’s time to get started. If you were active prior to your pregnancy, continue your exercise program. If you rarely exercised before, start slow and build up gradually. Consider the following appropriate moderate activities: walking, swimming, water aerobics, low-impact toning, Pilates and yoga. These activities can keep you healthy and prepare your body for labor. Don’t want to go it alone? Consider enrolling in a prenatal fitness class. Classes offer prenatal exercise in a safe environment with a knowledgeable instructor and you’ll meet and have a chance to get to know other moms-to-be.
Whatever your exercise preference, remember to drink lots of water and give yourself a good amount of time to warm-up at the beginning of your exercise routine. Also, always listen to your body.
Exercising now will help develop a fun, healthy habit that will provide endless opportunities to bond with your baby. Just the thought of a lifetime of good health and fitness for you and your baby is invigorating and motivating. You can do it. Get started today!
Editorial provided by Clare Schexnyder. Clare Schexnyder is the owner and founder of Oh Baby! Fitness, an Atlanta company offering exercise classes for new and expectant moms all around metro Atlanta. Clare is a mom and a certified pre/postnatal fitness instructor.