Being pregnant can change your life in so many weird and wonderful ways. Your lifestyle changes completely; you no longer do certain things you once did, or you start doing things that you never did before. Being a mom has been the greatest thing in my life but definitely one of the most challenging. One of the best examples of this is to look at pregnancy and exercise. Loads of women might have a solid exercise routine (I totally did), but then they stop when they’re pregnant. It’s easy to see why, pregnancy causes you to feel different, you’re more sluggish, you put on extra weight, and the thought of doing anything physical is just plain horrific. I gave up Yoga because I was afraid I was going to hurt my first baby. I know now that was crazy but being a first time mom there is so much you don’t know!
If you quit exercising while you’re pregnant it’s really hard to get back into after the baby is born. When you are so used to not exercising for nine months, that it just becomes a new part of your lifestyle not to. Plus when you have a newborn finding the energy is really hard. I wish I had known better and continued to exercise while I was pregnant. Did you know exercising through pregnancy can have some amazing benefits? Not only that, but post-pregnancy exercise is also proven to help with so many different things.
To inspire you to keep exercising before and after baby, here are the remarkable benefits of exercising during & after pregnancy:
Gives You An Energy Boost
As most pregnant women know, being pregnant can make you feel sluggish. More often than not, this is simply because you’re too tired to do anything. Carrying around a small child inside you will make walking around harder plus all the energy needed to create a new person has to come from somewhere. As such, you want to just sit on the sofa and eat (Hey we don’t judge here). However, by exercising, you give yourself a big boost of energy. This article, Why Exercise Boosts Mood and Energy, will help you understand the science behind this if you’re interested. In short; exercising releases chemicals into your body that help give you a jolt of energy. People assume that exercising is the worst thing they can do when they feel tired. However, it has the opposite. Instead of making you feel tired, it can make you feel more awake and fill you full of positive energy.
Provides You With Better Sleep
It’s no secret that exercise and sleep are closely linked. If you exercise regularly, you will sleep a lot better than someone that doesn’t. Think of how much your kids sleep when they’ve been playing outside all day vs indoor rainy day play. This is because you’ve worked your muscles and been active throughout the day. While exercising does give you an initial energy boost, you see the true effects later in the day when you’re getting ready for bed. Your head hits the pillow and you’ll find it easier to fall asleep quickly. When you don’t exercise, you don’t feel as inclined to sleep at night because you haven’t really exhausted your muscles or used up any energy. It’s a vicious cycle.
Keeps You Fit & Healthy
Obviously, staying healthy is on everyone’s mind when they’re pregnant. As a mom you want to be healthy for your growing baby and have them have the healthiest start possible. By exercising you make yourself fitter, helping to build muscle and keep your weight gain in control. Not only will this lead to a healthier birth, but it can also make labor a lot less painful for you. Someone who exercises regularly will have fewer aches and pains because they exercise all the time. Even if you do something like yoga – this is still exercise, and it can help keep your muscles in good condition. With fewer aches and pains, you will go through labor with fewer complications, helping childbirth be less painful. Think of it as training for labor!
Heal Stretch Marks With Regular Exercise
Ah stretch marks. Many women experience these and while we should all embrace them as part of our motherhood journey, it takes some getting used to. Consequently, lots of new mothers are all looking for ways to get rid of their stretch marks or lighten them as much as possible. As it shows in this article here; The 8 Best Ways To Heal Stretch Marks After Pregnancy | Mustela USA, exercise is a good way to heal your stretch marks. Especially if you do things that work your thigh and hip muscles. The science behind this is that exercise helps tone your muscles, which can tighten the skin, reducing the appearance of stretch marks. So, if you’re looking for some motivation to help you get back into an exercise routine after giving birth, then perhaps this is it!
Helps Lose Pregnancy Weight
Let’s face it, we put on weight during the months of pregnancy. This is largely because our appetite gets weird and we have all sorts of cravings for unhealthy foods that cause weight gain. Not only that, but we’re eating for two, so we feel like we need to eat more for our baby as well. Of course, you lose a lot of your weight when you give birth. However, some pesky pounds still remain, and it’s rare to see someone give birth and be the same weight they were before their pregnancy (we all can dream!). With exercise, you can lose some of your pregnancy pounds and get back to a comfortable weight level faster. Exercise also boosts your mood and can help you feel more like yourself.
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