Fit And Active
Labor and delivery may be easier. Think of labor like a marathon. The best way to prepare is to train. By staying active during your pregnancy, you will keep your muscles toned and your cardiovascular system in tiptop shape. Also, don’t forget those Kegels! One study revealed that women who did no exercises during pregnancy had 14 percent higher chance of having a prolonged second stage of labor than those who regularly participated in pelvic exercises.
Maintain a healthy weight. Doctors and nutritionists recommend a weight gain of between 25-35 pounds for a healthy pregnant woman. Staying active can help you stay in your ideal weight range.
Lose weight faster after giving birth. Help your body bounce back after birth by regularly exercising throughout your pregnancy. "Exercise will combat fat partitioning (where fat is deposited on the body) which can be useful when trying to lose some of those postpartum pounds," says John Williams, a certified strength and condition coach and CEO of EVO Health & Nutraceuticals, Inc. Of course, it is important to give your body time to recover and heal, but gentle exercises like yoga, Pilates, stationary bicycling, low impact aerobics, walking and swimming are all excellent choices for both during pregnancy and postpartum.
Lower your risk for gestational diabetes. Regular exercise, along with eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight gain can all help to lower your risk for developing gestational diabetes.
Reduce unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. Keep those cankles, varicose veins, acid reflux, constipation and backaches at bay! The weight of the baby puts extra pressure on your body in many ways. Studies show that women who regularly exercise report less aches and pains during pregnancy than those who are not active.
Increase your energy. It takes a lot of work to make another human being. When you’ve got a bun in the oven, you may feel more tired than usual. Instead of lying around, take a short walk to boost your energy and endorphins. Not only will you feel more energized, you’ll feel happier too!
Reduce stress. Exercise is one of the best stress-reducers around. During exercise, your body sends calming signals to your baby while helping to balance your hormone levels. It will also help you sleep more soundly at night, which is something that every pregnant mama needs.
Have a safer birth. Did you know that regular exercise vastly decreases the need for medical interventions during labor and delivery? Studies show that women who regularly exercise are 75 percent less likely to need a forceps delivery, 55 percent less likely to require an episiotomy and 4 times less likely to have a C-section.