Did you always picture your pregnancy to be the time where you could finally have an excuse to stop exercising and eat for two? Unfortunately, you need to erase that picture. Pregnancy may be one of the most important times of your life to exercise. The benefits go to both you and your baby! First off, exercise alleviates or lessens almost every discomfort of pregnancy. Isn’t that reason enough to keep exercising?
What we won’t do for ourselves, we will do for our children. Research has shown that the babies of exercising mothers are born healthier, have less body fat at birth (this is a good thing), are calmer and may have cardiac benefits of a lower fetal heart rate. Basically, when mom exercises, the baby gets similar benefits from the training.
Here are some tips to get started:
1) Look for a prenatal exercise class when possible just so you know your instructors are specially trained. Of course, we would love to see you at one of our Fit4Baby classes!
2) If you weren’t working out, start slowly and build up gradually.
3) Drink enough water. While this is true for the non-pregnant population as well, it’s important for the baby’s health that you stay hydrated.
4) Listen to your body. While exercise is safe, it is important that you don’t overdo it and don’t get overheated.
5) Be consistent. Being inconsistent with your workouts can be harmful to your baby. Your workouts may change but you do want to maintain a level of fitness throughout your pregnancy.
Remember, ACOG recommends that pregnant women exercise at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day on most days of the week so long as you are having a healthy pregnancy. This is your first step to being a “healthy role model” for your child!