Feeling Beautiful Through Pregnancy

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Fit, fabulous... and pregnant! Yep, that's the way it should be. When Meaghen Murphy the Features/Fitness Director at SELF Magazine reached out to us to share her beauty secrets we were thrilled. Meaghen is pregnant and loving it and wanted to share some healthy tips and benefits to help you along the way whether you are sporting a baby bump or planning to soon. Fit is beautiful!

One major finding is that exercise may be the key to a healthy, happy pregnancy, not to mention a faster bounce back to your pre-baby bod. Sporting a baby bump? Or planning to soon? Exercise may be the secret to a healthy, happy pregnancy, not to mention a faster bounce back to your prebaby bod.

The five best reasons to be an active mom-to-be

  1. You'??ll maintain a healthy weight. On average, a woman of normal weight can expect to put on 25 to 35 pounds during nine months of pregnancy. To avoid additional weight creep, hit the pavement: Women who walked for only 30 minutes a day throughout their pregnancy reduced their risk of
  2. gaining excess bulge by 8 percent, according to researchers at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stroll and unwanted pounds will be gone, baby, gone!
  3. Labor may be easier. When push comes to push, fit child bearers could have an advantage. Pregnant women who were able to do moderate- to high-intensity aerobic workouts for 12 to 16 minutes experienced deliveries that were shorter by about 30 minutes than their less fit counterparts, a study in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica notes. '??Delivery is very physical. If you are in good shape, your body may have an easier time pushing,'?says James M. Pivarnik, Ph.D., author of the pregnancy section of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
  4. You'??ll banish postbaby blues. Women who worked out pre-pregnancy and during their last trimester were 34 percent less likely to report symptoms of postpartum depression, researchers at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte reveal. In fact, breaking a sweat only once a week for 30 minutes proved helpful. '??Postworkout changes in body temperature and endorphin levels may produce feelings of well-being and relaxation that hamper depression,'? study author Jennifer Ersek says. Make exercise your happy pill!
  5. Backaches will be history. Sorry to bring up a sore subject, but 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women will complain of nagging aches, particularly back pain, a report in the Current Review of Musculoskeletal Medicine indicates. (The weight of the baby puts added pressure on your spine, triggering the trouble.) You can minimize discomfort simply by strengthening your lower-back and leg muscles, the report finds. Turn to our '??Plus-One Workout'? on page 73 for 12 go-to ouch-erasing moves.
  6. You'??ll stay healthier. Having a bun in the oven makes you susceptible to certain pregnancy--specific health conditions, including preeclampsia (or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes. But regular sweat sessions can help lower the inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, or CRP, associated with preeclampsia; exercise also helps control blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance, nudging down an expectant mother'??s diabetes risk, Pivarnik explains.
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To read more tips from SELF go here.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. Self's staff writer Carey Rossi prepared the tips.

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