It used to be that doctors instructed pregnant women to rest throughout all of their pregnancy. But we know now that intelligent exercise can help both mom and baby live healthier, happier lives. The key is to be safe and sensible. The following 4 fitness tips help regulate the crazy hormonal ups and downs pregnant women face, while also increasing the odds of a safe and healthy labor and delivery.

Running Is Okay, But..

Keeping active during pregnancy can significantly cut back pain and swelling. Unfortunately, in a survey conducted by YouGov and Fitness First, a full 75% of women polled believed it was unhealthy to run while they were pregnant. If you are healthy, and running was a common pastime before you got pregnant, you can actually run right up until labor, but take it easy

Exercise Improves Your Outlook

In the same pregnancy study mentioned above, more than half of the respondents believed that exercise either does not help the mental state of pre and post-pregnant women, or it actually affects it negatively. The exact opposite has been proven in multiple studies.

Any form of exercise or physical exertion contributes to healthy oxygen distribution throughout your body and mind. “Feel good” chemicals and endorphins are released, which reward your healthy exercise with a feeling of happiness and clarity.

Get Your Abs Ready For Labor

Strong, healthy, fat-free abs look great when you hit the beach. But a strong tummy and core are also very important throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Make sure you are well supported and balanced, and any ab-blasting exercises you performed in the past are recommended.

Just remember to avoid crunches and other ab-strengthening exercises which involve your back after your first trimester. Up to that point, core building fitness programs and exercises are fine.

Don’t Try to Go from Couch Potato to Olympic Athlete

There are many stories of pregnant women that lead an exercise-free, sedentary life up to their pregnancy, and then injured themselves by trying to make up for all of those inactive years.

It is okay if you have never exercised before and find yourself pregnant. Pregnancy, delivery and recovery, for both you and your child, can benefit by getting exercise at this very important time. Just take things slowly if exercise is new to you, and don’t push yourself too hard. Your efforts could do more harm than good if you attempt something your body is not ready for.

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