5 Benefit of Exercising While Pregnant
Most of us dread working out even when we are not pregnant, but what if I told you that exercising will actually help you through all of the things that a pregnant woman might experience! Of course, every woman is different, every body is different and every pregnancy is different! This is why it is important for you to know yourself and to know what your body is doing! For me, exercising did just that! Your body has the ability to communicate with you and what you do when it does, can be very crucial to your health and the health of your baby! For example, when most people get a headache, they reach for a pill to fix the problem, however, it only suppresses what your body is trying to tell you! You could be dehydrated or not rested or you might need to lay off of that caffeine! There are many scenarios that we can go through, but I believe that if you can respond to your body's needs in a healthy way, then you will reap the rewards and the benefits of some of the things that I listed below! I didn't realize how helpful it was for me to do this until I got to my last trimester! I realized how much exercise has helped me to reach my third trimester with no problem and continue to grow strong even in the last weeks! So I listed 5 benefits of working out while pregnant (even though I could have continued on with that list):
1. More Energy- I know this sounds almost the opposite of what you feel during pregnancy, but exercising really does help you get that energy back! Most of the time I had to push through that exhausted feeling and get my butt up and walk. After the walk, the endorphins would kick in and I felt more energized to finish my day off strong. This definitely helped me not only get the exercise for the day but also get some of the housework done before I was ready to go to bed and rest my feet and lower back!
2. Better Digestion- When you become pregnant, your body completely changes the dynamic of your digestion to accommodate that new life growing on the inside of you! One of those accommodations is your digestion. Your digestion slows down so that your body is able to extract maximum amount of nutrients to give to your growing baby! The first trimester can definitely be uncomfortable because you might not be able to eat foods that you normally would have eaten and on top of that nausea! I cannot tell you that exercising removed all of those symptoms away but I can tell you that once I moved closer towards my second trimester I could tell that walking regularly helped my digestion tremendously! Of course, it all goes back to that communication with your body! You have to know what it needs. My first trimester, I took at least an hour nap per day and I felt like a brand new person! So there is a fine balance and you have to know when to exercise and when to rest!
3. Feeling Better About Yourself- On top of being pregnant and not really feeling like yourself, your self-esteem might not be at it's highest! May I mention all of the unnecessary comments from people that are close to you, telling you what is happening to you as if you do not know what is happening already! (If you are one of those people, please stop, you're not helping us) We know that we are pregnant. We know that our belly is growing. We know that we look different! Please don't remind us over and over again! Trust me, we know!
Although, some women do feel very pretty and great throughout their whole pregnancy a lot of us feel a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, therefore resulting in lower self-esteem. It may be hard to continue to push yourself to workout but it does help once you do. The endorphins kick in and you get more energy. Not to mention that it will help you be more slender throughout your pregnancy! Another thing that it really helps with is circulation. A lot of pregnant women retain water and therefore feel very swollen. Exercise will help with that swelling as well by helping your body maintain good circulation. Do my feet get swollen by the end of the day? Sure, but I can tell you that overall my body has not experienced any major swelling that was all over and I am in my home stretch!
4. Sleeping- Not sure how many women feel weird having to sleep on their sides, I know I do! I always slept on my back and now that I am in the third trimester I definitely cannot do that unless I am in a 45-degree angle! Exercise helps me get rest and I feel like I sleep longer during the night even though I still have to get up several times to go to the bathroom! I noticed that when I didn't exercise, that I was much more uncomfortable and I couldn't sleep longer! On top of that, I still feel strong enough to roll out of bed without a struggle! (the belly factor)
5. Mental and Emotional Stamina- Most people see a pregnant and they say to themselves, 'I better be nice to her, because she might attack me out of nowhere!' We might have a shorter fuse for certain things because we are more aware of our surroundings but for the most part I haven't seen a pregnant woman that would get upset to the point where she might hurt someone (unless of course, you are referring to labor). Even though pregnant women do experience a lot of hormonal changes and at times may feel emotional or upset off of what you may think is not a big deal, but for a pregnant woman, it may be a big deal! (Please refrain from telling a pregnant woman that she is getting emotional over nothing. It happens and it is normal for her to feel that way from time to time). After all, she is making a live human being! Can you even imagine?
Ryan actually told me that I was less emotional since I've become pregnant! I think I might have had a tear jerking moment maybe once this whole 9 months and the other times it was not pertaining to my pregnancy or hormones! I do have to give the credit to my walks that happen either every day or every other day! Plus, throughout the day I keep myself occupied with housework, laundry, cooking, errands, blogging and prepping for the baby! We have stairs in our house and I probably go up and down those stairs at least a dozen of times throughout the day! Exercise helps you to build a strong mental mind-set! It takes discipline! It takes sometimes a push or a chit chat with yourself to make sure that you are doing what you can to get those steps in for the day! I truly believe that it helps you to be resilient in your mind and it will definitely prepare you for your labor, not only physically but mentally.
PS. I know that I haven't gone through the labor and delivery process yet, but I have spoken to so many mothers that told me that they are so glad that they were active during their pregnancy and that they cannot even imagine how they would have felt if they were not active!
I wanted to encourage you ladies with what I've experienced thus far and I am pretty sure I will have a lot more steps to share with you once our baby girl arrives!
***I understand some women may experience major complications during their pregnancy and are at hight risk and therefore, I definitely encourage you to talk with your health care provider in regards to what kind of physical activity would be good for you and for your baby!
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