Before I begin, let me say this. I am not a doctor. So, this post is not going to consist of me telling you the medical benefits to my child for doing cardio during pregnancy. There are many benefits to babies in the womb when the mothers work out while pregnant. However, I feel as though many of you can simply ask your doctors about that.
The goal of this post is to simply tell you my experience, thoughts, and reasons for why I think that it is important to do cardio during pregnancy. Putting all medical reasons aside – these are my personal experiences.
Prior to becoming an Early Childhood Education major in college, I was an Exercise Science major. I completed my Associates in Exercise Science. Although I am by NO means super-knowledgeable or an expert on fitness related topics… being trained in this area has given me a sort of “mindset” about health and fitness.
When I found out I was pregnant… a lot of thoughts ran through my head. First, I was SO excited that Kevin and I were going to have a child. Second, I was TERRIFIED as to how this pregnancy would affect my body. My first goal was to eat right and stay active so that I would gain only what was necessary for a healthy baby.
Well — those plans were quickly squashed.
My first trimester was horrible. I was sick nearly ALL the time. Our little princess would not let me eat most healthy foods. I lived off of Salt & Vinegar chips and french fries for a couple months because it was the only things that I wouldn’t see twice.
Because of my survival eating in the first trimester, I gained a lot of weight initially. At my 18 week OB/GYN appointment, I had already gained over 20 pounds (I was at 147 lbs at that appointment). Although the doctors did not advise me to slow down, they made it very clear that 20 pounds was very very close to my 30 pound pregnancy weight gain goal.
After that appointment, I decided to make some lifestyle changes. This second trimester has been heaven compared to the first. I have figured out which healthy foods make for a successful meal (avocados and red grapes are her favorite!). I also started walking 5 days a week.
At my 23 week appointment, I stepped on the scale and found my doctors pleasantly surprised that I had not only maintained the weight from the previous appointment… but I had lost two pounds! The scale read 145 pounds. Of course, the doctors measured my baby to make sure that she was still growing — and she is completely healthy. My belly is getting huge and my daughter’s heart rate is very strong.
I really believe that doing cardio 5x per week has made all of the difference. Before, I would eat unhealthy foods and lay in bed all day. Now, although I am trying to incorporate healthier foods into our diet, I still eat a lot of fried foods. However — because I am burning extra calories my body is responding better to handling those unhealthy foods.
As I have said before, my first trimester was absolutely HORRIFYING. I was so sick. I was unable to exercise because it was a really good day if I even got out of the bed or out of the bathroom! When the sickness finally stopped and I decided that I needed to begin doing some cardio, every cell in my body screamed at me to just go lay back down.
However, I was determined to control my excess weight gain. So — I put my “big girl panties on” (that’s a term my husband and I use when I have to do something that I really don’t want to). I began with an easy walk to the front of my neighborhood and back.
After only a couple days of doing this, I began noticing that I had so much more energy! I didn’t have the overwhelming urge to go lay down in the bed. My entire being (mind, body, and spirit) began to feel better. It is AMAZING what exercise can do!
As I spoke of before, it has become my goal to control the excess weight I am gaining during pregnancy. I know, I know — I’m SUPPOSED to gain weight during pregnancy… it means a healthy baby. Yes, this is true. However, my doctors told me that I was to gain only about 30 pounds total. As I am 23 weeks currently and have gained just about 20 pounds, my thoughts are “this baby has ALOT of growing to do — and 30 pounds gained isn’t that far away!”
As I want to be in my target weight gain range to help have a safer delivery, healthier baby, and less complications… I also want to be in my target weight gain range to have less to lose after birth.
Although I have never been my “ideal size”, getting back to my 125 pounds is looking really appealing for my post-pregnancy body. Therefore – cardio is super important because it helps me control my excess weight gain so that I can lose the weight post-baby.
As I said before, there are SO MANY OTHER benefits to doing cardio while pregnant and since I am not an expert in that area — I am not going to even begin trying to tell you all of them. Many of the baby & pregnancy websites out there offer a great deal of information on the medical benefits of doing cardio while being pregnant.
Are you pregnant and love to do cardio? Please let me know – I would love to hear from you! You can either comment on this post, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or tweet at me (@AngelaLGlaze or @WeeShare) with the hashtag #FromBumpToBaby!
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