You may have noticed the beginnings of tiny stretch marks (or not, don't freak out just yet!). Don't want 'em? Skip the cosmetic surgery later and the over-priced creams and get active (unless of course you are on doctor-prescribed bed rest – then stay put!)! We’re not pledging guaranteed no stretch marks for the women who walk daily, but if you get in an hour of physical activity every day, you can probably minimize them. How…? Stretch marks occur when your weight gain – for various reasons during pregnancy – surpasses your skin's ability to stretch, which causes the tearing and scarring. These stretch marks aren't pretty. They show up as red flame-like markings that will eventually fade to a lighter color than your skin.
The only reliable way to combat the scarring is to maintain your muscle tone. This slows the stretching of your skin to a rate that prevents it from tearing into scar tissue across your tummy, hips, bum, and breasts. Also, staying active during pregnancy (if possible) decreases unnecessary weight gain (good), causes you to have less heart burn (excellent), can make labour easier and less painful (bloody amazing), and will also lower your risk for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia (score!). If you ever needed motivation to stay fit, keep in mind that being sedentary during pregnancy can cause a host of other conditions during and following pregnancy as well as harm the unborn baby. So grab your iPod, download some awesome music and get moving!