By Jennifer Dawson, photo by Ignacio Campo

Many women understand the importance of getting into shape after having a baby, but few consider working on their health before and during pregnancy. Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and the healthier you are to start, the better you can handle those changes. While the majority of women experiencing pregnancy avoid exercise, it may be in your best interest to focus on fitness before, during, and after your pregnancy. Not only will you help yourself, but you will set a great example for your new young one.

Prepare for Pregnancy by Focusing On Your Body

Taking the time to get your body ready for pregnancy is an important step. Here in the UK, a lot of women are overweight or obese. The more extra weight you carry, the more risk you have during pregnancy. Overweight mothers during pregnancy have an impact on everything from infant health to autism risk. Focusing on getting your body to a healthy weight before you start working to conceive can give you and your baby a better shot at a healthy life.

Building Muscle During Pregnancy

Don’t Shy Away From Exercise While You’re Expecting

Far too many women avoid exercise during their pregnancy. Some women believe that physical exertion could endanger their child. Others simply experience joint pain, discomfort, or morning sickness that makes them want to skip the exercise. Truthfully, exercising during pregnancy can reduce some of those aches and pains.

While you may not want to be doing intensive exercises all the way through your third trimester, you can perform the vast majority of your standard work out exercises during pregnancy without any risk to you or your child. Running, yoga, Pilates, and moderate aerobic exercise are all perfectly healthy during your pregnancy. Staying active can make your labour and delivery process easier and help you move into your post-baby body more quickly.

Building Muscle While Pregnant Can Benefit You and Baby

Building muscle mass during pregnancy is something many women don’t consider. However, it has a host of benefits. Building muscle now can make it easier for you to adjust to the growing weight of your child. Increasing your muscle mass also helps prevent your body from accumulating excess body fat.

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns even while at rest. Finally, building muscle during your pregnancy can help you when you are ready to start shedding those extra baby pounds.

Your body does heroic things during pregnancy. That doesn’t mean you should just let it linger and waste away. Instead, let your impending motherhood motivate you to take even better care of yourself. Not only will you be doing yourself a favour, but you will be setting your child up for the best possible start to life.