Most women want to stay in shape once they find out they are pregnant so that they can keep their baby healthy until delivery. And the vast majority of new moms try to maintain a level of health and fitness following childbirth in order to lose the baby weight. But you might be interested to know that there are myriad benefits to be gained for would-be mothers by getting fit before there’s even a bun in the oven. Whether you’ve engaged in fitness activity in the past and you’re looking to kick your routine up a notch, or the demands of everyday life have left you with little time to devote to exercise up to this point and you’d like to make a change, now is a great time to dedicate yourself to personal fitness. Here are a few reasons to get fit before pregnancy.
- Lose weight. If you’re planning to have a healthy pregnancy, then you’re going to gain some weight in the process. And if you’re already overweight to begin with, this could pose health risks for you and your baby. So your doctor may recommend losing some weight before you start attempting to get pregnant. Getting to a healthy weight prior to conception is a good way to ensure that you’re prepared for the physical demands of creating new life and that your body is in the best shape possible. Plus, any weight you gain during pregnancy won’t have the same impact as if you were already packing extra pounds to begin with.
- Increase fertility. Believe it or not, your weight and your relative state of fitness could affect your ability to conceive in the first place. Some women who have trouble getting pregnant find that having the baby they’re longing for is as easy as losing a few pounds and/or engaging in a heart-healthy fitness routine. This won’t work for every woman, but your relative state of activity could have a marked effect on fertility. Of course, going to the other extreme and overdoing it with your exercise regimen can have just the opposite result, so talk to your doctor about a routine that will increase your fitness for optimum fertility.
- Create a healthy home for your baby. Once you conceive, your baby will rely on you for all of its needs, so you want to provide a life-sustaining environment in which your fetus can grow and develop normally. This means eating right and exercising appropriately. However, all of this will be easier if you’re in shape before you become pregnant. Since it is your responsibility to ensure the safest space for your baby to gestate, personal fitness prior to pregnancy is a must.
- Easier pregnancy and labor. The aches, pains, and swelling associated with pregnancy, not to mention the physical demands of labor, can all be made less difficult by maintaining a certain level of health and fitness. And while you can certainly accomplish this during pregnancy, you’ll have a much easier time if you’re already in shape when you conceive.
- Adopt healthy habits for life. Your may not depend exclusively on your ability or willingness to be active, but your health and fitness can play a major role in whether or not you get pregnant and successfully carry a baby to term. In addition to being healthy for your pregnancy, you should also want to remain in shape for yourself and your growing family. Adopting healthy habits before you even start having kids can help you to remain fit for the rest of your life, setting a good example as your children grow into adulthood.