We all know that regular exercise boosts the health of people young and old. But what types are most effective? And what are the real benefits?
In November of last year, the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee released their recommendations on how exercise should be incorporated into the daily lives of Americans. Below are a few key takeaways that I think are especially important for mamas like us.
1. Muscle-strengthening is key
In addition to regular aerobic activity, adults are encouraged to do muscle-strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week that involve all the major muscle groups. According to the guidelines, only 19% of women in the United States are meeting this goal! That’s why, while AMC workouts often include some cardio, I’m focused on helping my mamas build strength. We love kettlebells! (5 reasons why women–especially moms should lift weights)
2. Exercise helps combat “Mom Brain”
Every mom feels overwhelmed, out of control, forgetful, or just plain brain-dead sometimes. Things like hormones and sleep deprivation make this unavoidable, but did you know working out can help? All types of exercise actually boost the executive function processes in your brain, which help you manage your day, plan activities, start new tasks, handle behaviors and control emotions and nutrition.
3. Physical activity reduces the risk of depression
Consistent exercise has been proven to reduce depressive symptoms, a benefit that is especially important for new moms. Women who do moderate to vigorous physical activity are less likely to develop postpartum depression, and even low doses of physical activity help promote a healthy pregnancy for pregnant women with depression or anxiety. AMC’s Postnatal Recovery class not only helps new mamas experience this benefit through physical exercise, but also provides the opportunity to socialize and build a supportive network with other new moms.
4. Working out helps you sleep
While exercising won’t stop your baby from waking up at night, there is impressive evidence that it will improve your sleep quality when you actually do get to lie down. Consistent physical activity helps you get to sleep sooner, stay asleep and feel more rested during the day.
Clearly, there are amazing benefits to being active—and AMC mamas can experience them all through our workouts and supportive community! Join us for a ‘test-drive’ and experience our workout for yourself! We offer Small Group Prenatal Fitness classes and Small Group Postnatal Training.