Pregnancy is like a crockpot. As much as I wanted my pregnancy to be like a microwave, I couldn’t change the fact that it was going to take a full 9 months to grow my healthy little boy. Prior to my pregnancy I had always been very active. Whether it was swimming, running, lifting weights or yoga, I was always doing something to keep my body moving and feeling strong. As a personal trainer, I felt like I had this image to uphold and I knew that pregnancy would change my body. Thus, I have complied for you my top 5 reasons to exercise during pregnancy in the hopes that it will help to motivate you throughout your pregnancy.
Even though I knew pregnancy would change my body, I was not going to let that slow me down in my fitness routine. I exercised and remained active every day whether I felt like it or not. I wanted a natural birth (no epidural, c-section, etc.) and based on all the research I had done, I knew that I was going to need to be as strong and flexible as possible if I wanted a successful birth. Our little boy was 5 days late, but I continued to exercise every day up until the day I went into labor!
It truly is amazing what the female body is capable of. Whenever I don’t feel like eating right or exercising, I always refer back to the verse in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” We only have one body and what we are capable of as women is mind blowing to me!
After giving birth to our son, I was relieved of course, but I almost couldn’t believe what my body had just done. I also thought that had I not continued to exercise, lift weights, walk and do everything I needed to do throughout my pregnancy, it may not have turned out the way I had hoped.
So, why do I tell you all of this? Because I hope that my story can inspire other women to continue to make themselves a priority, to encourage you to move your body, to exercise throughout your pregnancy (with doctor approval), and to eat right.
So, with all that said, here are 5 reasons why you should exercise during your pregnancy:
Exercising helps to build MENTAL & PHYSICAL strength!
I can not stress enough how much of an impact exercising and stretching helped with my labor and delivery. Not only does exercise help to physically strengthen you, but it also helps you mentally become a stronger person.
Whether that looks like pushing out 2 more reps on squats when you are tired or walking up a hill without having to stop, those habits are helping you become a more mentally tough person. And let me tell you, when you are in those final hours of giving birth, you need all the mental strength you can get!
Staying active and staying flexible during pregnancy can also help with a possibly easier delivery.
And let’s be real, what mama doesn’t want that?! Yes, it’s hard on the days that you are exhausted and you have morning sickness or your other kids are being difficult. But, if you can constantly remind yourself that moving your body could help aid in an easier delivery, then you are setting yourself up for success!
All mamas want to recover as quickly as possible. Am I right?:) So why not keep this as a focus throughout your pregnancy?! And remember that exercising can help with a speedier recovery and get you back to living your best life ever! I’d say that’s a win win!
Potential for unnecessary weight gain!
I feel as though this is a big topic of discussion for pregnant women. Some feel as though because they are pregnant that it’s “ok” to gain lots of weight. Yes, your body will naturally gain what it needs for the baby. However, that doesn’t mean you should have the mentality to go all out and not care how much you gain. Again, to each their own. BUT, if you are trying to avoid gaining any unnecessary weight throughout your pregnancy, I encourage you to continue to exercise.
Just do what you can! Yes, your workouts will look different as you get deeper into your pregnancy and modifications will need to be made. That’s ok! Keep moving!
Check out my post, 3 Ways to Stay In Shape as a Stay-at-Home Mama if you need ideas. Modify these exercises as need be and be sure to check with your doctor before attempting any new workout program.
Exercise releases endorphins!
Ok, so whenever I hear that phrase, it always takes me back to the movie Legally Blonde where Elle says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Now, it may not be as drastic as “shoot your husband” but it could be something like “yell at my kids” or “take out my emotions on my husband.” Whatever you want to say to fill in the blank, just remember that exercise can help release endorphins and might help you to not do something drastic:)
Of course there are so many other reasons why exercising during pregnancy is so vital, but these are just some of my favorites!
Here are my favorite 3 Pieces of Affordable Equipment for Your At Home Workouts Under $200 if you are looking to get started with your fitness routine today!
Good luck, mama! 🙂