Guest post by Sia Cooper from Diary of a Fit Mommy
I often get asked, what keeps me working out despite being 34 weeks pregnant. Pregnancy can be a time where you feel like throwing in the rag and giving up on your fitness routine because there's so many ways it can ruin your workouts (sciatic pain, weak bladder, belly pains, and more).
Though it can be a slight damper on your old routine, there's no reason to just give up entirely. You have to modify a few things here and there, but to even do that, you must be MOTIVATED to stay fit for two. I can tell you that finding the motivation to continue your workouts throughout your entire pregnancy can feel impossible.
With my last pregnancy, I worked out until the day I gave labor. I actually ran 3 miles that day so I tend to joke that I literally "ran myself into labor." This time around, I am actually lifting more weights and doing more cardio. I plan to keep it up until my labor day, just like last time.
Do I ever have days where I feel like not running or lifting weights? TOTALLY. I am human, after all. Growing a baby can wear you out tremendously. However, I keep a few things in mind that motivate me to keep pushing until the very end.
Here's 5 ways to motivate yourself to exercise your way through pregnancy:
1. Think of how healthy your baby/pregnancy will be. There's really no way to point out the obvious besides just saying it: when you workout, you become healthier. Exercise is great for your heart, brain, muscles, skeleton, and much more. What affects you also affects your little one growing in your tummy so if mommy is reaping the benefits, so will little one!
2. You will bounce back faster. I can attest to this. I have no idea how my body would have bounced back if I hadn't worked out daily in my last pregnancy. Though I gained 30lbs, most of it came off before I even left the hospital with my son. One week later, the weight gain was non-existent. Now let me slide this disclaimer in real quick: lots of things can factor into how you bounce back such as age, weight prior compared to weight at delivery, height, genes, etc. But if you workout, I can assure you that it will be much easier for you to get back to your pre-pregnancy body than if you hadn't worked out your entire pregnancy.
3. Working out will reduce your pregnancy pains and discomforts. You know that achy back, sciatica, and round ligament pain you are having? Exercise can definitely help ease this! Not only will it help your discomforts, it will also give you much more energy throughout the day-even when you are feeling exhausted from growing this new baby! When my back starts to hurt, I go run. When I have sciatica or back pain, I stretch. It works every time.
4. You won't gain as much weight. While there's no way to guess how much weight you will gain, if you exercise regularly and frequently burn the calories you eat, your weight gain will stay within the normal range of the recommended 25-35lbs. If you were to stay on the couch and not burn a single calorie, say hello to weight gain! Gaining weight is going to be inevitable-it is something your body is supposed to do during this time, but by exercising you will slow that weight gain and prevent any excess weight from being added on.
5. You will reduce your chance for pregnancy complications. There's many issues that can arise during pregnancy and staying active dramatically reduces those issues. For example, you lower your gestational diabetes risk by as much as 27 percent! This is such a common issue is pregnant ladies today. Another issue this helps to relieve is constipation. Yup, keeping active will do just that for you: keep your bowels active!
It's hard to stay motivated, I know! But I hope these reasons will help you on your journey to a healthy delivery.