We all know that proper exercise is essential throughout pregnancy. Not only does it increase energy, improve our moods, and combat excess weight gain, this article discusses how it actually boosts baby’s brain activity!
I am following the All Belly Pregnancy workout from Flavilicious Fitness, and would recommend it to anyone with an uncomplicated pregnancy who wants to maintain optimum health and muscle tone. This workout incorporates targeted weight-lifting and resistance exercises to keep us mommies-to-be looking our preg best.
I also practice prenatal yoga one to two times a week, and absolutely love the effects. Not only do my muscles feel tight and toned, I’m more relaxed and in tune with Baby C. I would highly recommend checking out prenatal yoga classes in your area; if they don’t fit into your schedule, the All Belly Pregnancy workout includes the option of buying Prenatal Yoga workout videos as well. The instructor demonstrates safe poses in pregnancy, which is so helpful!
There are so many benefits of prenatal yoga, and here are just a few:
- Improves focus – Combat the dreaded “mommy-brain” with focused you-time. Yoga’s emphasis on meditation, mantras, and focused thinking has prevented forgetfulness and absentmindedness throughout my pregnancy, and I think it will work for you, too!
- Better posture – As we gain weight in our bellies and boobs, it’s easy to slump forward, round our shoulders, and stop making an effort to hold our spines straight and our heads high. Yoga improves muscle tone and keeps the spine, chest, and shoulders supple and strong, leading to beautiful body carriage throughout pregnancy.
- Aids in delivery – The disciplined deep-breathing techniques, as well as the emphasis on stress management and healthy mind frame, make yoga an ideal way to prepare for delivery. In addition, many prenatal yoga poses strengthen the core and the pelvic floor, allowing for an easier delivery. I was inspired by a story I heard from a colleague, about a woman who practiced prenatal yoga and reported having a nearly painless delivery. Hmmm. Let’s see how that works… 😉
- Allows communing with baby – Close your eyes, say “ommmm,” and listen to the soft sound of your breath. All of these yoga activities help us to become more attuned to our bodies, especially during pregnancy. But even better yet is the way yoga makes us more attuned to our babies! The first time I followed the prenatal yoga video, the instructor urged viewers to imagine what our babies were doing as they listened to the calming sound of our breath. And then, Baby C kicked! So cute. In fact, Baby C is often active during my yoga sessions, striking little poses of his/her own. I guess he/she is a yoga lover like mommy!
- Relaxes our muscles and our minds – Many poses are excellent for stretching, improving flexibility, and relaxing the muscles. That’s why I love yoga on my non weight-lifting/strength training days. And just as importantly, yoga quiets our minds. Sometimes, the weird evolution that is pregnancy can be a bit overwhelming, and yoga is an amazing way to cope with that.
Ladies, what do you think? Are you a fan of prenatal yoga? Have you found any prenatal yoga programs that work well for you? I’d love to hear your feedback!