Motion is Lotion

Women in exercises class

Every day we see headlines about American health issues including diabetes and high blood pressure. We are suffering the fate of our sedentary lifestyles and the result is a chronic illness.

There are many excuses for not working out regularly: no time, no energy, no money, and most importantly a lack of desire to live a healthy lifestyle.  Exercise can be free and can require only small chunks of time. But first, you must understand that exercise is critical to both your short-term and long-term health.

Some of the known side effects of exercise include increased circulation, hormonal regulation, increased immunity, building bone density, muscular strength, balance, increased metabolism, and increased cognitive function. If you could buy a pill containing these results, the pill would sell out in an instant.  Exercise is a supplement for your body.  It’s no different than taking a prenatal vitamin and is critical to MotherBaby’s wellbeing.

I tell my clients that “Motion is lotion.”  What I mean is that an actively moving pregnant woman has an actively moving baby.  A woman who exercises and is changing positions encourages pelvic fluidity, therefore, helping the baby to find its way down and out through a fluid and flexible pelvis.  These women usually have shorter labors and experience fewer labor discomforts. I believe there are two main reasons for this.  First, as their babies are properly aligned before birth, there is less work to be done in labor.  And second, women and babies who are active and used to moving are strong, have endurance, and can work together to facilitate birth.

Motion is lotion – aches and pains in pregnancy are common but not normal.  Aches and pains are a sign that your body may be stuck, rigid, unable to move normally, and may need more movement than it is getting.  If you start moving more and the discomfort continues, check with your provider and then seek alternative care such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, or physical therapy.

Small motions have large impacts.  Sit on a birth ball instead of a reclining chair or the ‘black hole’ of a couch.  Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  Walk to the bathroom that is the farthest away from your desk.  Park far away from the building.  Make small changes and the lotion will kick in. Your body will begin to move more fluidly.

Know that a little change goes a LONG way.  Small subtle changes transform a sedentary day into an active day and will pay you back incrementally during childbirth and recovery.  Do what moves you. Move-in any manner you choose: walk, swim, do yoga, cross-fit, or even run. Just move!