Although I will be talking about exercising in motherhood, I would like to stress that exercising should start long before motherhood starts. I cannot possible talk about exercising in one article. Instead, I will list a few targeted points that hopefully answer most of your questions.
Exercising, in all its various forms, is beneficial for all your body. Every organ (mind, heart, liver, muscles, kidneys…) benefit from exercising. The following is a short list of the benefits of exercising:
- Improves our mood
- Boosts our immune system
- Makes our body more efficient
- Reduces risks of diseases such as heart, diabetes and high blood pressure
- Improve memory
- Enhance self-confidence
- Sleep better
- Provide us with energy
- Increase flexibility and strength
- In pregnancy:
- Reduce backaches
- Reduce constipation
- Decrease bloating
- Decrease swelling
- Decreases the risk of pregnancy induced diabetes
- Helps cope with labor
- Less likely to gain weight
- Your baby will benefit!
- You will be fitter for after the delivery
The question now becomes: why don’t more people, including maybe you, not exercise more? Well, there are many reasons. As I have discussed before time and time again, being a mother, no matter the stage, always starts and ends with you. So, if you think of the barriers to exercising, some of them include: time, space, fatigue, responsibilities, money, not knowing how, no energy, and the list goes on. The good news is that all of these factors are potentially solvable. I am not one to assume I know anything about your lives. I do, however, know by working with many women and moms that when we sit down and talk about the issues, they start planning differently when the priorities are different. When you shift your priorities to you, and exercise becomes a must, you start to shape and plan your life accordingly. Exercising and living healthy become the norm and rule, and everything else follows. That step is up to you. You need to make the choice of shifting towards that process by changing a few things. The decision, once made, is a one way ticket to a healthier life, a more productive life, and a much better motherhood.
Some of the exercises that are beneficial in pregnancy include walking, swimming, cycling and low-impact aerobics taught by a CERTIFIED trainer. Always check with your doctor for your ability to exercise and what works best for you before starting to exercise. If you are not pregnant, and you just delivered, again the same exercises apply but you can start pushing for more depending on your health. Usually, if you had a vaginal delivery, you can start within a few days. Exercise has no documented negative effects on breast milk. Remember:
- Start slow and increase your pace accordingly
- If you are in pain, stop
- Wear supportive clothes
- Be mindful of the slow process to regain your form and shape
- Best things to start are walking, pelvic lifts and Kegel exercises.
For those of us not pregnant and not postpartum, the exercise regimens are whatever is healthy and safe and tolerable for you. Always check with your physician to see what you can or cannot do if you have a medical condition.
Moms, you need to stay healthy. Outside of eating right and sleeping well, nothing does more wonders for the mind, body and soul like exercise. Get to beautiful refreshing work!