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'It’s Good For Both You And Baby' Iya Villania Motivates Other Pregnant Women To Exercise
PHOTO BY instagram/iyavillania
  • The benefits of exercise on our health have long been widely known. For expecting moms, staying physically active is as important as maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. However, many are still misinformed, albeit well-meaning, to advise pregnant women against exercising, given the fear that it can cause miscarriage.

    Celebrity mom Iya Villania has been consistent in shutting down misconceptions around exercise and pregnancy. Since getting pregnant with her firstborn Primo, then with Leon, as well as Duday, and now on her fourth, Iya has been sharing her workout routines featuring her baby bump.

    In a recent Instagram post, the soon-to-be-mom-of-four admits it's not easy for her to stay fit during pregnancy. "Many times I just want to let the couch take me in (yes, tao lang). So it's during pregnancy that I need the most motivation to keep on moving for the sake of my health and my baby's."


    She adds, "I know not every mama is lucky enough to be able to exercise during their pregnancy, so I want to encourage those who still can. Trust me. It's good for both you and baby."

    Is exercise safe for pregnant women?

    While pregnant with Duday before, Iya has made it clear that she continues to work out while pregnant to avoid complications. "What I'm trying to do is avoid excessive weight gain that could possibly lead to complications such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes," she explained. This has been proven by various studies and even baby charity organization Tommy's agrees.

    "Women who stay active during pregnancy have a lower risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure," Tommy's echoes.

    Iya also credits exercise, specifically Crossfit, as one of the reasons why her first two pregnancies were relatively easy. (Read here)

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    While some are still worried that working out while pregnant can lead to miscarriage, obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Bruce K. Young, M.D. says, "there is no real evidence that exercise is linked to miscarriage."

    In fact, a study found out that exercise during pregnancy can benefit the baby's heart. In 2008, research revealed that pregnant women who exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes a day had fetuses with lower heart rates, indicating good cardiovascular health. (Read more here)

    However, it's crucial to note American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) advice that only pregnant women who are having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy can engage in 20 to 30 minutes of light to moderate intensity exercises daily or at least most days of the week.

    What exercises can pregnant women do?

    As a general rule, for pregnant women, if you can carry a conversation while moving, then you're doing okay. If you can't talk, then that means you are overexerting yourself. You need to stop or slow down.

    We have also previously covered various exercises recommended for pregnant women. We always suggest that first, get clearance from your doctor whether or not you can continue or start exercising.(Get comprehensive information about exercise and pregnancy here)

    Once your doctor says that you're good to go, below are some exercises you can do. These are recommended by obstetrician-gynecologist Marie Cruz-Javier, M.D. and based on ACOG's guidelines:

    • walking
    • low-impact aerobics
    • indoor stationary cycling
    • swimming
    • yoga
    • pilates
    • racquet sports (avoid contact sports and scuba diving)
    • strength training (those who have been actively engaged in other high-intensity interval training exercises before getting pregnant can continue doing these activities — BUT always with the doctor's permission.)

    In Iya's latest video, she begins with warm-ups -- a quick run on the treadmill and some stretching. She then follows this workout routine:

    1. 30 seconds Goblet squats

    2. 30 seconds Kettle Swings or Alternate power bag swings

    3. 30 seconds power bag squat and high pull

    4. 30 seconds modified burpees5. 30 seconds lateral shoot thru

    She repeats this set five times with one-minute rest intervals.

    Iya motivates other preggy moms to keep moving

    Filming her workout routines while pregnant motivates Iya to keep staying fit. In doing so, she also hopes to motivate other preggo moms.

    She shares, "I realised that I rarely post workout videos when I'm not pregnant and I'm thinking it's because working out not pregnant is such a norm. Whereas working out pregnant isn't so much a norm and takes extra effort for me."

    "[S]o I'm here hoping to not just keep myself motivated, but to maybe be a source of motivation for others to find happiness, strength and health in movement, pregnant or not," Iya adds.


    A report has also showed that it's safe for pregnant women to do some exercises. Read here.

    What other parents are reading

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