Exercise During Pregnancy: How To Stay Active and Healthy

Your baby bump is BOOMING, but that shouldn’t stop you from hitting the gym and kicking your butt into shape.

There’s not much you can do at this point about your ever-expanding tummy. But that doesn’t mean you should lose control of the whole damn vessel. In fact, exercising during your pregnancy is not only healthy, it’s necessary…

The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Here’s a general rule of thumb: If you worked out before you were pregnant, then working out while you’re pregnant shouldn’t be an issue. Actually, staying in shape while you’re pregnant will help you get back that bad-ass bod you had before your bump started showing.

Working out while you’re pregnant also helps with the labour and the delivery process. Women who work out usually cope better with giving birth, and recover faster. Staying active will also reduce things like back-pain, a common problem during pregnancy.

Back in the day, doctors used to discourage breaking a sweat during pregnancy, thinking that exercising while pregnant would up the chances of  miscarriage. Thankfully, that nonsense has been disproved now. Studies have shown that inactivity during pregnancy can actually make you prone to excessive weight gain, up the chances of needing a C-section, and put you at risk of high-blood pressure and gestational diabetes.

Guidelines to Exercising While You’re Pregnant

  • Above all else: Listen to your body, because it knows best. So, if the Doctor says you can handle twenty sit-ups a day, but your body starts to say NO at number ten… then stop at ten!
  • Never exercise to the point of complete exhaustion. This might be a little too much for your body to handle. Remember – you’re breathing for two!
  • Wear comfortable exercise clothes. Loose fitting clothes are going to feel better on that belly, and some extra-padded shoes for those swollen feet will feel oh-so good!
  • Take breaks frequently and always remember to rehydrate. Although your body can deal with a lot, try not to get too extreme with your workout routine.
  • Include warm-ups and cool-downs, with plenty of stretching to release any tension that’s built up in your muscles during the workout.
  • Eat a healthy diet! There is no need to overeat while you’re pregnant, but do make sure you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables for your baby to get the necessary nutrition.

Exercise: Yes! But Which One?

Good old cardio! Whether you love it, hate it, or love it AND hate it… it sure is good for you. Low impact cardio is great while you’re pregnant.

And what’s easier than walking? It’s an easy way to get the blood flowing without over-stressing your body. The best part is, it can be done ANYWHERE! Whoop!

You know what else is great while you’re pregnant, and dare I say, rare? Feeling light as a feather! Swimming is a great way to do this. Giving some much needed relief to your poor joints and taking the weight off your swollen feet. If you’d like to mix up your water routine, take an aquanatal class.

What’s good for your soul and for your soles? Dancing! If you can handle it, it’s a great way to get moving, and it’ll improve your mood too. Just remember to listen to your body. Don’t go twerking out of control.

Running! Now I don’t know about you, but running makes my feet swell even when I’m not preggos. If your a veteran runner, you’ll know what your body can handle, so don’t hang up those running shoes just because you’re expecting. If you’re a newbie to running, take it easy, see how it feels, and only go as far as you think your body can handle.

If you’re looking for a workout that’s a bit less intense, how about taking up prenatal yoga? It’s free, it’s fun, and you’ll strengthen your body in all the right places.

Just remember: What you do is less important than the fact that you do something. Be sure to keep moving until the day you deliver your bouncing baby boy (or girl)!

Energy Boosters for Tired Moms

You’re running out the door shouting “Mason, have you packed your lunch?”. And, “Susie, do you have your sports clothes?”, while carrying your laptop in one hand and your third child in the other. You drop your car keys, re-adjust the child on your hip, pick up your car keys again, pull up Mason’s left sock… and…. you’re on your way!

After dropping the kids at school, and arriving late for work, you collapse into your desk chair. And then you realise: after thinking for four people, and organising the lives of each of your other family members, you actually don’t have the energy to type a single email. You forgot about, well, YOU!

But don’t freak out just yet, because we’ve got a few little tricks to help get you through the day, not only like a superhero, but like a MOM.

Stay Hydrated

So, we know this might sound silly. After all, you’ve managed to raise three kids who’ve survived this far. The thing is, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves.

An ice cold glass of water once an hour can refocus your brain and bring your body back to the land of the living. Plus, those constant headaches you’ve been feeling? GONE! You’re welcome.

Get Moving

Okay, so at this stage you’re probably thinking : “What the hell are you talking about?! I’m a mom, I don’t stop moving.” Touché. But, going for a walk around the block with baby in the stroller can get the blood flowing. And trust me, when you get moving it gives your body a magical boost of energy. Who doesn’t need a breath of fresh air these days?

If walking isn’t for you, try some yoga or an indoor cardio workout. There are plenty of light exercise options to cater for everyone.

Play That Funky Music

Put on some tunes that make you feel like shakin’ your booty! Or music that reminds you of the good ol’ days. Music never fails to lift my mood and make me forget about my worries and my strife… I mean, the ‘bear’ necessities.. Oops! I’ve been watching too many kids movies (haven’t we all?)

Get Some Air

Air. It’s free and it’s delivered straight to your door. Something a busy mom can appreciate. We take it for granted everyday, but fresh air is just outside and always seems to lift my mood.

Try taking a stroll in the garden, or even just a few deep breaths, and enjoy nature’s goodness while you do. If you’re not in the mood for going outside, the least you can do is open a window.. Your lungs will thank you!

Herbal Teas

I swear by them!

Oolong tea – no, it’s not just a pretty smell. Oolong tea contains Caffeine and L-Theanine, which send wonderful energising signals to the brain.

Green tea – Green tea contains antioxidants that prevent chronic diseases like Cancer. But it also helps to boost your energy, which is the kind of natural pick-me-up a mom needs.

Peppermint tea – Helps to relieve the stress and anxiety that goes along with being a mom. The Moroccans know what they’re doing.

Restart your day (On the right side of the bed)

We’ve all had those days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, grumpy with the kids, snappy with our dear husband, and generally at the end of our tether.

But, don’t be disappointed with yourself. Sometimes you just need to hit ‘restart’ on your day, and the best way to do that is to take a midday shower and change your clothes.

This simple trick can make you feel like a whole new person. And maybe correct a wardrobe malfunction that was driving you crazy? Those jeans that just don’t hold themselves up anymore, that shoe that’s slowly starting to smile at people, can all be corrected with a midday ‘restart’.

Take a Break

At the end of it all, using all the little mom tricks of the trade, if your body needs sleep, it’s a good idea to listen to it. If you have to take a nap before picking the kids up from school, or set yourself a strict bedtime, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Being a mom means focusing 95% of your energy on the little monsters you love, but make sure that at least 5% is well spent on YOU. After all, your kids will be the ones suffering when you’re five weeks deep in a mental-health recovery program!.

At Sophie & Jane Lingerie, we know that a mom’s work is never done. And that’s why it’s the hardest job in the world. So you deserve some good ol’ R&R every once in a while. If you’ve tried and tried again, and still can’t find the time: Drop the kids off at grandma and go to the day spa.

Share your thoughts and experiences below. What tricks do you use to balance the chaos that comes with being a mom?