Training for the next Iron Man competition probably isn’t in the cards for moms-to-be, but many other forms of exercise are extremely beneficial to you and your baby. This is the start of a series of posts I’m going to be doing on ways to stay active during pregnancy. I’m going to look into things like prenatal yoga, pilates, stretching, walking, jogging, swimming, etc. and what their individual benefits/risks are. I thought it would be good to start by explaining what reasons we have to stay active. Gone are the days where women thought that exercise could lead to miscarriage. Except in high risk cases, pregnant women are now encouraged to participate in low-impact exercises, which can leave them feeling better mentally and physically. (photo credit: here)

After doing some research using books, magazines, and online articles, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best reasons to stay active during pregnancy:

1. Perhaps the most obvious, women who are active during pregnancy gain less unneccessary weight. For those who are very overweight before pregnancy, staying or becoming moderately active can lead to a loss of some of the unhealthy weight that can put you at higher risk for a plethora of health issues.

2. Due to the extra support of your toned muscles, you are less likely to develop stretch marks and have a quicker bounce back time to your pre-baby body.

3. Say “goodbye” to the common pregnancy plagues called fatigue and morning sickness, which can keep inactive women idle for much of their pregnancy. Active moms-to-be often experience higher energy levels and less nausea.

4. Staying or becoming active can prevent common pregnancy-related health issues such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, back aches, heartburn, constipation, bloating, and swelling.

5. And my favorite motivator… Women who maintain a moderate amount of exercise experience less pain during labor.

We’ve come a long way. Due to the increased availability to things like prenatal yoga and pilates classes, 20-30% more pregnant women are working out today than there were 5 years ago. I can’t wait to take advantage of these resources, and to tell you all about them!