New Year, New Mom

Fitness Expert

A new year brings new challenges for people of all ages and life styles. A great way to bring in the New Year is to create resolutions that are not only achievable, but are fun as well.

For moms, moms to be, and those women looking to become pregnant, an excellent New Year's resolution is to maintain a healthy weight and manage a healthy lifestyle. Creating a goal such as this will pave the way for not only those moms, but also for their children, even after their birth.

Studies show that overweight and obese mothers tend to deliver overweight babies. One such study comes from researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand who acknowledge the fact that pregnant women who exercise regularly deliver healthier babies who go on to living healthy lives. This can affect both women starting their pregnancy overweight and those that gain too much weight during pregnancy but are otherwise in a normal weight range. Not only do these women put themselves at risk of diabetes, they also put their child at risk of a diabetic and obese life. When these children reach adulthood, they increase their chance of staying obese and delivering overweight babies themselves.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while pregnant and even before becoming pregnant has many benefits for both the mom and her baby. Performing certain stretching exercises daily and low or non-impact aerobic activity just three times a week can lead to enhanced circulation & flexibility, increased energy, strength, and relaxation, as well as improved calcium absorption. Pilates has also been shown to improve posture and reduce the aches and pains a mother experiences during pregnancy. These are just some of the many benefits that come along with staying fit while pregnant, aside from a better physical appearance and the minimization of stretch marks.

Just as there are benefits during pregnancy, there are also many benefits that come with delivery of the baby. Healthy and fit mothers will experience a shorter full-term pregnancy, less incidence of troubled labor with shorter time spent laboring, lower incidence of cesarean section, babies born of healthy weight, and less signs of fetal distress during delivery.

Aside from the many exercises a mother can do to promote health for her and her baby, there are also many exercises that can work out her pelvic floor as well which will keep the muscles from becoming over-stretched and weak. Kegel exercises for example, allow a woman to build strength and endurance in her pelvic region which will help improve, regain, or maintain bladder and bowel control. Pelvic tilts are also a great way to reduce back pain and tone the muscles and ligaments that support the internal organs. Pelvic tilts can be performed in many positions depending on the mother's preference. These two exercises, when performed regularly, will support the pelvic floor of a mother's body.

There are many ways to stay fit while pregnant, but the best choice are exercises in the water because they not only put less strain on the mom and her baby, but being in the water requires the mom to only support fifty percent of her body weight. Also, exercising in the water reduces the risk of stress related injuries and is soothing on the mother's joints and muscles. Water exercises are completely safe because they are performed in waist or chest high water and if performed with an expert, are formed around the needs and capabilities of each individual mom and mom to be. Because it is important to remain relaxed and not overworked during pregnancy, experts recommend just thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day for prenatal women. While exercising, it is also important to remember to stay hydrated and always perform warm up and cool down exercises during each work out session. The New Year has only just begun, but it is never too soon to begin a workout routine.

Women who are looking to live a healthy life style while pregnant, or even before or after having their baby are encouraged to seek professional assistance in designing the perfect exercises that are specific to their needs and abilities. Now is the perfect time to begin a healthy life for moms everywhere. After all, a healthy mom creates a healthy child, and a healthy child is a happy child.