It is common to give up on weight loss programs because they can be very demanding and hard to maintain. Although it may seem counterintuitive, pregnancy is a fantabulous opportunity to improve your health, increase comfort, and minimize time spent in labor. The best part is, your baby benefits from your efforts too.
Charles Duhigg states in his book titled Smarter, Faster, Better, “Figure out how this task is connected to something you care about. Explain to yourself why this chore will help you get closer to a meaningful goal. Explain why this matters and then you’ll find it easier to start.” If you connect the importance of working out and eating well to the health of your unborn child, this can help motivate moms to eat better and move more.
Duhigg explains that seeing the bigger goal can help us to take action now. In our instant gratification culture, this practice can be challenging, but perhaps not as difficult when considering the health of your unborn child. The placenta, which is a temporary organ that transfers oxygen and nutrients from mom to baby, grows larger with the demands of regular exercise, making it more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
There is no better time to start exposing your child to physical activity than when you’re pregnant. Natalie Digate Muth, MD, reported, “Few behaviors more significantly influence child health than physical activity,” in an article titled, To Grow Healthier, Happier Adults, Raise Fit Kids. Waiting until your child has a weight or health issue to begin an active lifestyle is a huge disservice and is less likely to become a regular part of your child’s life. Exercising while pregnant is highly beneficial for mom and baby and is encouraged by ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). There are certain guidelines to follow so working with a professional who is certified in pre/postnatal fitness instruction is important. If given the go ahead by your doctor, you can begin an exercise program, even when starting a brand new routine while pregnant.
If you are a woman who has battled weight related problems, pregnancy is a prime opportunity to positively impact your child’s well-being through healthy practices, thereby possibly sparing them similar health and weight struggles as they mature. Plus, some research shows that women who adopt a healthy lifestyle throughout their pregnancy are more likely to stay with it after delivery. Set your new baby up with good health right away with the added bonus of improving your health and fitness too!