Benefits of Exercising Whilst Pregnant
For many expecting mothers, the idea of exercising during pregnancy may seem scary however staying active is actually advised for a number of reasons. Not only does exercise help maintain a healthy body shape, but doing certain activities can also help prepare your body for labour.
There is a misconception that exercising during pregnancy is unsafe though generally, a good rule of thumb is that if you were an active person prior and have a low-risk pregnancy, you are safe to remain active during most of this period.
It is important to be aware, however, that you will not be exercising for weight loss; so, if this was your primary goal before you may have to adjust your routine. When it comes to exercise during pregnancy, it may be a good idea to consult your doctor for advice on what to avoid. If you have any health conditions or complications, you should also run this past your doctor before exercising.
Reduces aches and pains
Pregnancy can be a wonderful time for an expecting mother, but that’s not to say it isn’t without its downfalls. Many women experience aches and pains during pregnancy such as backache, bloating, swelling and constipation. Getting involved in exercise and staying active can help to relieve these, making day-to-day things such as sleep more manageable.
Stretch exercises such as yoga and swimming can be particularly effective to alleviate pains, and with various pre-natal yoga classes available, this can benefit expecting mums socially too.
Increased energy and improved mood
Physical activity releases endorphins, known as ‘feel good hormones’, which increases energy levels in the body and improves mood. This is even more important during pregnancy; you can often feel lethargic and demotivated, so being involved in activity will help to keep your energy levels high, which can in turn help you sleep better at night.
Preparation for labour
Doing regular physical activity during pregnancy will help to keep your body fit, healthy and strong; all of which contribute to a better labour experience. The healthier your body is during pregnancy, the better you will cope during labour and delivery. Taking part in specifically designed pre-natal classes can help with exercises which can assist both during and after labour, such as pelvic floor and core muscle exercises, it might be worth checking what is on offer during your pregnancy, Guys & St Thomas offer excellent maternity care. Over time, this will help with issues like incontinence and sagging of the bladder, both of which are natural and expected after giving birth.
Getting in shape post-pregnancy will be easier
Staying healthy and active during your pregnancy is good for your body in many ways, though it’s worth noting you will not be exercising to lose weight during pregnancy. However, maintaining a healthy routine will help getting back in shape post-pregnancy much easier as your muscles will be stronger and will bounce back much quicker than if you hadn’t remained active.
There are several exercises you can get involved with post-pregnancy when trying to get back into shape including exercising with your baby as they get older. An effective way to stay active whilst on maternity is power walking whilst pushing the pushchair and can be either be done solo or with friends. For those wanting to take power walking seriously, there are a range of pushchairs from Kiddies Kingdom perfect for taking your new baby on brisk walk.
Although exercising whilst pregnant is recommended, it is worth noting you should avoid any activities that involve risk of falling, contact sports, intense jumping, intense bursts of exercise and exercising in hot or humid weather. As with anything related to pregnancy, if you have any questions or concerns; it is best to speak to your doctor.
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