Is it harder to lose weight if I don’t exercise throughout pregnancy?
So, today, I thought I’d touch on a question I’m frequently asked as an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert, which is: “Is it harder to lose weight if I don’t exercise throughout pregnancy?”.
Unfortunately, there’s no right and wrong answer to this question, but, I can tell you, as someone who’s worked with over 850 pre/postnatal women, I’ve seen a lot of women pregnant, and witnessed a lot of them return to me with baby in tow too.One thing I will say, is for those ladies who stay active and exercise with me during pregnancy, and take an interest in returning to fitness after birth, their postnatal recovery is much, much easier.
The first thing I see return when a pregnant mum returns to me postnatally, is a rise in a new mum’s fitness level. If she comes along to my Mummies and Buggies Postnatal Fitness classes for example, she’ll generally start off with the low-impact/level 1 options of every exercise for the first month or so, and will take things steady, listening to her body as she goes. Then, after another month or so of attendance, she immediately feels fitter, stronger and more toned.
This is the scenario all pregnant women should be aiming for and the real reason exercise for pregnant women is vital.
I work with postnatal clients all the time who did no structured exercise during pregnancy. It makes my job very, very difficult. Some mums-to-be think that a walk to work/shops every now and then is going to help maintain their fitness level, keep their pelvic floor in check, tone their abdominals and prepare their body for labour. This simply isn’t the case, I’m afraid.If you’re doing no structured exercise during your pregnancy eg you’re not performing exercise designed to strengthen pregnancy-related muscles and/or keep your heart and lungs strong, then, unfortunately, my answer to the above question: “Is it harder to lose weight if I don’t exercise throughout pregnancy?” would be a resounding YES.
It’s not called “labour” for a reason, ladies, and your body goes through some fairly anatomical and physiological changes to help it cope with pregnancy.
If you do no exercise during pregnancy, chances are you’ll feel less fit throughout, you’ll suffer with more aches and pains, your chances of suffering with stress incontinence can be higher, your abdominals will not stay in shape, and it makes your postnatal recovery ie your body’s ability to lose weight after birth, much, much harder.
So, there you have it! My top reasons for staying active, doing structured pregnancy-related exercise, and how it links in to preparing your body for what’s to come: Motherhood. One of the most demanding, but rewarding jobs in the world!