If you're pregnant and your doctor gives you a go signal, we highly recommend exercise. Several studies have proven exercising while pregnant helps keep the preggy pounds to a minimum, boosts a soon-to-be momma's energy, improves sleep, and lets the mom-to-be cope with stress and preggy woes such as backaches and shortness of breath, not to mention it prepares a woman's body for labor and childbirth.
Exercising while pregnant also offers benefits to your baby. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, children of moms who exercised during pregnancy scored higher on tests of language skills and intelligence at age five compared to the kids of sedentary moms. A more recent study found that exercising while pregnant could be the key to raising active kids.
You've seen celebrity moms who continued to exercise while pregnant such as Judy Ann Santos, Bianca Gonzalez, and Iya Villania, who's currenty in her second trimester. If you still want more proof, here are some role models that can inspire you to get moving, even just baby steps. (Note that these women have been doing their workouts even before pregnancy, and they've been given the all-clear by their doctors.)
1. Acroyoga instructor Lizzy Tomber
Our jaws dropped when we saw Lizzy and her husband, fellow acryoga instructor Josh Young. Their Instagram demonstrated that even in the third trimester, pregnant moms can still exercise. Lizzy Tomber has been doing acryoga (yoga combined with acrobatics) for seven years before she got pregnant. She's confident about not falling--plus, she trusts Josh and knows that he has her full support. Now that she has given birth, their little bundle of joy is joining the new-parents' acryoga exercises.
2. Hip-hop dancer Christina Litle
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The wedding photographer and dance teacher didn't think she built for lounging for the last two months of her third pregnancy. So she did the next best thing: joined her hip-hop class during her third trimester. "A lot of people think you have to be sedentary, but the truth is, when you're building a human life, you're exponentially stronger than you ever imagined. This is my third pregnancy. I know what my body can handle," she told People.
Just five weeks before her July 12 due date, Jodi is set to run a grueling 10-kilometer race for charity on June 5. She first took up running for charity four years ago when her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time at 35 weeks, she's competing at Race for Life event in honor of her friend who died of cancer. The mom of three, who runs races five times a year, said, "I’m pregnant but I’m not an invalid. I think as long as I’ve trained well and looked after myself, it’s something I can do," she told The Daily Mail.
4. Pole dancer Jill Maclean
Pregnancy isn't going to stop pole-dance instructor also known as "Cleo The Hurricane" from doing what she loves. Jill McLean, who has since given birth, said she really loved putting on her pole heels and admitted she would never put them on if she wasn't comfortable and confident in them. "Strapping on these heels and strutting to the pole, completely confident and aware, with my heels as an extension of my legs, I feel completely comfortable!” she wrote on her blog. She's not alone--many preggos have braved the pole even with a bun in the oven.
5. Crossfit athlete Emily Breeze Ross
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As of this writing, Emily is already three days past her due date and is still weight-lifting. The Crossfit athlete and personal trainer, who was featured in People.com, didn't go cold in doing her fitness routine after she found out she was pregnant. "Working out during pregnancy helps me mentally and physically, and I am so thankful for my doctors, nurses, coaches and friends who support me and continue to lift me up," she said on of her Instagram post.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women get 30 minutes of exercise daily, provided they get the go-ahead from their doctor. Expecting moms who suffer from preeclampsia, second or third trimester bleeding, heart disease, placenta previa, or those who are at risk for premature labor, must consult their doctors before engaging in any fitness routine.