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Dear Everyone, Working Out While Pregnant is Okay

working out while pregnant


Few things grind my gears more than the incessant flack fit women receive for working out throughout their pregnancy. All over social media, I see fit pregnant women being lambasted by strangers convinced they're endangering themselves and their babies by continuing their fitness regimen. In reality, unless a woman's doctor advises against it women should definitely become or remain as active as they were pre-pregnancy.

If expecting mothers aren't criticized for their workouts, then they are for seemingly not gaining enough weight. It seems people still believe the old adage that a pregnant woman eats for two. In reality, a pregnant woman only needs an extra 500 calories through the third trimester of her pregnancy. Therefore no, a pregnant woman shouldn't be eating for two, but more like one and one-fourth. Overeating and lack of activity are detrimental to both the baby and the mother, so the criticism is not only not based on fact at all but actually harmful to impressionable expecting mothers.

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth, a harder labor, self-esteem issues, and depression. Post pregnancy is a very emotionally delicate time for a woman. Not only is she dealing with caring for a new dependent and lack of sleep but also the repairing of her body. Pregnancy is serious, and anatomically hard on a woman's body. Organs shift, hormones change, her body is the very life source of the child, and it spares no opportunity to take. As a result, women often remark that their body never returns to normal after pregnancy. That can be a devastating realization. Working out keeps your muscles strong, weight manageable, and mood stabilized throughout the pregnancy. Studies even show that fit women have fewer labor complications and better postnatal rebounds.

If you're expecting, the benefits really are endless for continuing your fitness regimen with doctor approval. Still, there are minor adjustments that should be made to account for your body's physical changes during pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman is more susceptible to shortness of breath and dizziness. Therefore it's a good idea to continue your regimen, but lower the intensity by reducing your reps and or reducing the weight. If your workout affects your ability to talk normally, then that's a good sign to dial it back. Avoid exercises that require you to lay on your back post 20 weeks pregnant. Any ab workouts are better performed standing up. Above all, if you remain mindful of any lower back pain, joint pain, and breathing difficulties during exercise you should be in good shape.

So for the faux-concerned onlookers that can't help but judge pregnant strength trainers, pipe down cupcake. If you're that strength trainer, talk to your doctor, listen to your body, and stay as active as you can because your body needs you now more than ever.