Exercise and Pregnancy
The benefits of exercise and keeping fit have been well established but for many they feel they can no longer exercise once they become pregnant. If you’re somebody who is used to training that can be very frustrating but I’ve got some good news for you, there’s no need to stop.
Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits and as long as your careful it’s actually quite important that you keep active. Of course you’ll have to adapt your routine as time goes on, and you won’t be able to train to the same intensity as before, but for most people there’s no reason at all to become sedentary. Here’s a few reasons why you should make an effort to maintain exercise as part of your daily routine:
1. More energy: I have a phrase I always use “Energy generates Energy”. When we’re inactive energy levels and mood drops. When we exercise we feel good and energy levels rise. Fatigue and low energy is common during pregnancy so do your best to counteract it by getting some exercise each day.
2. Improved mood: That buzz we get from exercise is priceless. It keeps us feeling good, it’s stress relief, and a happy mind is a happy body.
3. Improved Sleep: As pregnancy progresses it can be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Regular trainers will know that you tend to sleep so much better when you’re in a good training routine. That’s an added bonus of training during pregnancy, it can certainly help you get a better night’s sleep.
4. Reduces Pregnancy discomfort: Regular exercise creates stronger muscles which helps you cope with the aches and pains of pregnancy. Stretching and Yoga can help ease back pain. Cardio exercise can also improve circulation and blood flow, which can reduce conditions such as leg swelling.
5. Prepares you for Childbirth: The better your physical condition, the stronger you’ll be when it comes time for labor and delivery. Your stamina and endurance will be higher if you’re a regular exerciser. Added that to that you’ll most likely be mentally and physically stronger if you’re somebody who’s used to training.
6. You’ll bounce back faster after childbirth: Maintaining strength and muscle tone during pregnancy means your body will find it much easier to bounce back. You’ll find yourself picking up your training so much easier than if you had been inactive for nine months. You’re also less likely to gain excess weight if you exercise during pregnancy.
7. Keeps Blood Pressure in Check: Blood Pressure sometimes rises during pregnancy but too much and it can be a warning sign of Preeclampsia. Staying active is a huge help in keeping those Blood Pressure levels in check, simply walking regularly can help prevent levels from rising.
8.Reduced risk of pregnancy complications: Studies indicate that those who exercise regularly are less likely to develop gestational diabetes and less likely to have unplanned Cesarean sections than those who don’t exercise. In both cases it’s up to four times less likely, a pretty large difference just for staying active
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are amazing but there’s a few little things you need to bear in mind too so I’ve compiled a little checklist for you:
Check with your healthcare provider before commencing exercise.
Ensure you’re consuming sufficient calories.
Avoid dangerous sports or any form of training that may put you or your baby at risk.
Warm up fully before exercising.
Drink plenty of water.
Don’t lie flat on your back.
Don’t overdo it. It shouldn’t be too intense.
Don’t exercise in high heat or humidity.
Get up from the floor slowly if doing floor exercises.
Cool down after exercise.
Make it a habit.