Did you just reach a weight loss goal or achieve your ideal body, only to find out that you’re pregnant?
First off, congratulations! Secondly, there’s no need to give up on your fitness goals. While pregnancy changes the body, and every woman handles pregnancy differently, working out is a great way to support your pregnancy, and offers several benefits.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “What does he know about working out while being pregnant? He’s a 27-year-old man.” Well, you got me.
I’ve been married to my wife for close to 5 years and among the many hobbies shared by my wife and me, working out is definitely one of them. We’re by no means fitness professionals, but we do enjoy going to the gym together several times a week. I lift, she lifts (a little) and runs.
That said, we’re expecting our first baby boy in about 2 months! Seeing as how my wife enjoys hitting the gym, after finding out she was pregnant, she wasn’t quite sure if she should or would be able to continue working out while pregnant.
For those in the same boat, have no fear! While I’m certainly no expert on pregnancy (and never will be), I learned some cool things from my wife and her doctor these past 7 months.
Why Work out During Pregnancy?
Let me give just a little more background on my wife. She loves cardio, whether it’s running outside or on the treadmill in the cardio cinema.
After finding out she was pregnant last July, my wife wasn’t quite sure if she’d be able to continue exercising and training. She didn’t want to lose her progress, but she knew she needed to change the way she exercised.
So, what’s the official consensus on working out during pregnancy? Is it a good idea, is it bad? I’ll go ahead and admit I, myself, had no idea!
The belief that exercising while pregnant is a big “no” is definitely a popular one, but come to find out, it’s outdated and completely untrue!
Not only did my wife’s doctor say she could continue exercising, both her doctor, as well as online medical professionals, agree that working out while pregnant can actually offer several benefits.
How could lifting weights and doing cardio be beneficial? Let’s take a look at some advantages exercise offers:
- Relieves Back Pain
According to medical professionals, training strengthens and stretch your back muscles, and as a result, can ease back pain.
In addition to building up back strength and muscle, training will also strengthen your legs. This will help support proper posture and also help prepare you for childbirth.
- Improves Mood and Energy Levels
Exercise has long been hailed for its ability to improve mental health. While forcing yourself to get up and go exercise may be a bit difficult, it can be really beneficial for reducing depression and anxiety and boosting your mood.
- Prevents Excess Weight Gain
It’s true, gaining weight is an important aspect of pregnancy -you’re growing a baby! You need to be getting enough calories and nutrients to help your baby continue to grow and you, too, need enough calories to function and be healthy.
Many pregnant women may have a goal to only gain as much weight as necessary to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Training and exercising are great ways to help keep your weight gain in check.
But remember, your goal isn’t to lose weight or not gain weight but to avoid excessive weight gain.
While exercise is generally recommended to pregnant women, pregnancy affects all women a bit differently, so it’s important to get approval from your doctor beforehand.
Another idea you may consider to help you avoid excessive weight gain is trying out a well-balanced meal replacement shake.
Meal replacement shakes are a great way to get important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, and carbs with minimal calories. Not to mention, they are easy to prepare and can be very convenient.