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Your Body is Made to Move

When I work with women I can never stress enough that the human body was made to move.  We can call this exercise, activity, aerobics, sports or just plain having fun.  It doesn’t matter because it all does the same thing – help your body operate better. Here is an amazing example.

You muscles need glucose (sugar) to operate.  But glucose is a large molecule and cannot enter the cell without help.  Insulin helps the muscle cells receive the glucose so the muscle cells stay healthy.  But here is where it gets interesting.  When you exercise, the muscle cells are able to receive glucose without the insulin. Exercise also triggers the muscle cells to increase the number of insulin receptors so it is easier for glucose to get in the muscle.  This is why you see dramatic improvements in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes when they begin to exercise.  Exercise makes your body work better.

I tell you this because usually the last thing a pregnant woman wants to do is be active and exercise.  But we need to accept that God designed our bodies in such a way that activity is vital to health. My mantra this year has been, “Exercise is not a Luxury,” and that is true.

What do I do about it?  I walk to class and home from class every day.  I ride bikes with my children and walk to the library with them. I swim with my children when I take them to the pool. I don’t have time for exercise classes, videos or even working out at a gym.  But to walk to class only adds 10 minutes to the total travel time and gives me over 30 minutes of aerobic activity. Biking to church with my children this Sunday gave me 15-20 minutes of activity each way, and let me have a lot of fun with my children. The idea is to find activity you enjoy that fits within your life, because if you do not enjoy it or do not really have time for it you won’t do it.

Why not try it for just one week?  Choose an activity and see how it goes.  Later, I’ll give you some questions to help you learn from your experiment.

Blessings!

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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