Introduction: Amy Kiefer is the blogger behind BalancedAmes. She started the blog as a way to share her passion for health, fitness, + balance. She is focused on empowering individuals to make healthier choices + live a balanced lifestyle. Her background as a fitness professional coupled with her current role as a full-time oncology nurse fuels her drive to promote the importance of preventative health. She is currently 37 weeks pregnant with her first baby.
Hello PinkBlush blog readers!
I’m Amy from BalancedAmes. I’m SO excited to share this post with you. Thanks to PinkBlush for having me + sending me some awesome clothes from their maternity active line to try! What I really loved about the tank tops is that they are LONG enough + the leggings are SO very comfortable!
In the Grey Heather Fitted Racerback Maternity Tank Top. Photo by Clare Mullins Photography
Exercise during pregnancy is a subject that I’m very passionate about. The benefits are numerous! Studies show it can make the pregnancy journey, labor, + delivery easier.
A common misconception is that women who are inactive before they were pregnant cannot start an exercise program. It is important to talk to your OB about this, but most would suggest that you do start! If you are thinking of becoming pregnant + you currently don’t exercise…I would say START NOW! Pregnancy will likely go smoother for you.
Let’s go through the benefits!
Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
- Maintaining or increasing cardiovascular fitness: You can increase your body’s endurance + stamina, + increase your energy levels. These are huge benefits for pregnancy, labor, + delivery.
- Increase muscular endurance: I like to think of labor and delivery as an athletic event. You are going to need a lot of stamina and use the correct muscles with the correct force. The right pregnancy routine can help with this!
- Increasing muscular strength: Strength training during pregnancy yields lots of benefits! Including decreasing your risk of ligament and joint injury (loosening effects of relaxin and progesterone are at work against you), preparing you for the tasks of being a mom (think: picking baby up, car seats, diaper bags, shopping bags, etc!), + it helps to take strain off your lower back + pelvic floor (important for you to minimize postural issues + remain as comfortable as possible). I can tell you from helping with my niece, those little babes get heavy fast + you have a lot to take with you when you’re leaving the house!
- Improved posture: Not only with improved posture help you to look better, but also lessens the chance that you’ll have the common neck and back pregnancy pains. It also helps to make breathing easier (you’ll realize the importance of this in the 3rd trimester).
- Improved support of pelvic organs: Yes, we’re going there. Exercise helps to improve and strengthen the pelvic floor which can help you to minimize or prevent urinary incontinence and bladder or uterine prolapse (eeks!). Very important point here ladies!
- Decrease pregnancy discomforts: Exercise helps to keep the minor discomforts of pregnancy at bay. It has been proven to help decrease the occurrence of varicose veins, back pain, leg cramps, swelling, and constipation.
- Improved body composition: Women that exercise during pregnancy gain less weight + body fat compared to pregnant women that do not.
- Improved confidence: Of course weight gain + a big belly come with growing a human. Exercise has been proven to increase a women’s confidence. Since I’m eating well (of course with a few treats here and there) and regularly exercising, I know that my little babe needs the weight I’m gaining.
Confident in the PinkBlush Colorblock Maxi. In love with the neutral look! Photo by Clare Mullins Photography
I don’t know about you, but all of those benefits make me want to hit the gym.
Not sure where to begin or what to do? Let’s go through some options:
Group training: Participating in a group class will not only provide you with exercise, but also a community of women that are also going through the experience of pregnancy. Mommas-to-be often find it to be an incredibly supportive environment. The classes should also be taught by someone that knows the proper modifications for every stage of pregnancy, so check that out before enrolling!
Personal training: I absolutely loved training pregnant women! It was so beautiful to see their journey + help build a strong foundation as they started to become more pregnant + headed toward labor + delivery. I would highly recommend finding someone that is certified in training pregnant women or at least has experience + knowledge of modifications. Personal training is great because you have one on one supervision + instruction.
Perinatal yoga: Another great form of group exercise for you! Yoga builds strength, flexibility, + overall well-being. Yoga can also be very beneficial in reducing low back pain + sciatica, which can be problems that plague pregnant women. Yoga focuses on teaching proper body alignment, which is SO important for everyday life + especially during pregnancy! I always leave class with a renewed perspective + yogi glow. I’ve also done online prenatal classes through Yoga International if you want to check that out!
Photo by Clare Mullins Photography
Strength training: I’m a huge advocate of strength training + you read about the important benefits above! Even now, I’m doing a lot of the same lifts that I did pre-pregnancy. Squats, lunges, dead lifts, pull downs, rows, incline pushups, chest press, etc.
Squatting in my PinkBlush tank top.
Cardiovascular training: Good old cardio! Great to do as you’re going to need endurance for the challenging task of childbirth. Perhaps you already have a favorite variety. As you move into the third trimester (maybe even before), you may find that lower impact forms are more comfortable. For example, you might stop running + start incline walking or biking.
On a walk in my Pinkblush Grey Heathered Maternity Leggings + PinkBlush tank top.
I hope that you picked up a tip or two from this post! Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, comfortable, + stylish pregnancy.
You can find me over at BalancedAmes.com for more posts or on Instagram: @ameskiefer.
Thanks for having me PinkBlush!