Pregnancy and Exercise: 6 Reasons to Keep Moving During Your Pregnancy
You and your baby can benefit from exercise during pregnancy.
When you’re pregnant, as your body changes and your baby grows, staying active is an important part of your daily routine. However, what you do in terms of fitness before pregnancy can benefit your overall experience and your ability to continue exercising comfortably. Your pre-pregnancy training should include pelvic stability, core and low back strength, and flexibility. Choose activities that you enjoy and that can be ongoing or modified during pregnancy. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated when it comes to fitness from day to day.
It is important to know and understand the changes that your body will go through during pregnancy. These changes can impact your daily activities as well as your exercise plan. In the first trimester, your energy levels may decrease and you may start to feel more flexible. Throughout your pregnancy, your heart and lungs have to work a little harder leaving you breathless at times. Your body will adapt to the new demands. As your belly grows and your centre of gravity shifts, you may experience back and hip pain. Choose your activities carefully to avoid any extra stress on your spine.
As your body starts to transform, pay close attention to prevent discomfort and injuries. Visit your chiropractor to make sure your pelvis and spine are well-aligned. Your chiropractor can recommend certain forms of exercise as your pregnancy progresses, allowing you to remain active.
We know that physical activity is important throughout our lives. There are endless benefits when it comes to regular movement. During pregnancy, exercise helps to alleviate many of the common discomforts. Here are six reasons to keep moving while pregnant:
- More Energy
The initial changes of pregnancy can leave you feeling fatigued. It may be difficult to find the energy to exercise. However, including at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily can actually help decrease fatigue. Be sure not to overdo it. Exercise during pregnancy doesn’t have to be exhausting to be effective. Any amount of movement will help. Walking is a great option!
- Better Sleep
As your pregnancy progresses, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be tough. Choosing the right pillow can help. Exercise can tire you out and promote better sleep. Physical activity in the morning, afternoon and early evening is best. Late-evening workouts, tend to encourage restlessness and insomnia.
- Improved Mood & Self-Image
Exercise throughout your pregnancy can improve your mood. It boosts levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood, putting you in better spirits. Ask a friend to join your workouts. You will be more likely to stick to them. You will also benefit from the social and supportive aspects of a workout buddy. Remaining fit and active helps you feel better about yourself. Your odds of gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy and returning to your pre-baby weight after birth are improved.
- Reduce Discomfort
Regular exercise keeps your muscles strong and your joints moving well. That helps your body manage the aches and pains of your changing body during gestation. Gentle stretching and yoga can ease discomfort. It also gives you the chance to focus on breathing and mindfulness. Walking improves your circulation which can reduce pregnancy-related water retention. Swimming will allow you to take stress off your joints and feel weightless. Combining regular exercise with chiropractic care will keep feeling and moving well throughout all three trimesters.
- Preparation for Childbirth
Giving birth requires a combination of strength and stamina with focus and relaxation. Studies looking at the relationship between exercise and labour have had positive results. Active women have had an increased incidence of natural delivery. Having a fit and strong body may ease labor, shorten delivery time and reduce complications.
- Your Baby’s Health
Your baby will also benefit from physical activity during pregnancy. Babies born to women who exercise during pregnancy may have enhanced brain development compared with babies born to moms who didn’t exercise. The growing babies of prenatal exercisers have more efficient hearts than those of non-exercisers, and this higher cardio fitness level seems to last into childhood.
You and your baby can benefit from regular exercise during pregnancy. The general rule is that if you are already active and your pregnancy does not present any contraindications to exercise, you can and should keep moving! However, if you are pregnant and new to exercise or if your pregnancy presents any complications, get your birth care provider’s OK before engaging in a fitness program. Listen to your body as it changes. Choose a combination of activities that give you energy and help you relax. And, take breaks when needed!
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