Top 10 reasons to exercise when pregnant
From the moment you are pregnant, you will start to recognise that there is an increased demand on the body as a direct result of your growing baby. To allow your body to cope with these demands, it will very cleverly start to make changes to increase the body’s functional and physiological capacity and capability to sustain the pregnancy. Therefore, during pregnancy, there are even more reasons to keep moving — or to get moving, even if you haven’t got a regular exercise routine.
There are many benefits to exercising whilst pregnant so we have listed our top 10 to help you get started:
- Relieve back and pelvic girdle pain: It’s no secret that your growing baby bump puts extra pressure on your lower half, resulting in lower back pain and an achy pelvis. Exercising, may result in less lower-back and pelvic pain during late pregnancy. A pregnancy pilates class is a great session to help ease pelvic girdle pain.
- Prevents constipation: It’s not a sexy subject but constipation and pregnancy often go hand in hand. Keeping active encourages bowel movements. A walk or good stretch can help to get things going!
- Reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia: (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Blood pressure occasionally does go up during pregnancy, but too much and it can be a warning sign of preeclampsia. Staying active has been found to keep blood pressure from rising.
- Combat fatigue: Low-level tiredness plagues many women during the first trimester, then again late in the third trimester. While it seems contradictory, sometimes getting too much rest can actually make you feel worse. So while you should never push yourself too hard, a little exercise, such as a pregnancy yoga class can make a big difference in your energy level and get those endorphins flowing.
- Boost your mood: Women are susceptible to depression during pregnancy, with an estimated one in two of all women reporting increased depression or anxiety while they’re expecting. Exercise during pregnancy reduces depression, improves your mood while diminishing stress and anxiety. If you are feeling low, take a walk in the park and get some fresh air.
- Easier recovery: The more you increase your pregnancy fitness, the easier and quicker your birth and the faster you’ll recover physically after.
- Reduced pregnancy complications: You are less likely to develop gestational diabetes (which affects 1 in 300 women) and less likely to have unplanned cesarean sections than those who didn’t exercise.
- Prepares your body: Exercise helps strengthen muscles that become weak. This helps aid your postnatal abdominal and pelvic muscle recovery. Exercise helps reduce bloating, backache and swelling and prevents excessive weight gain
- You’re in control: Exercise can give you a small window to escape and spend some much needed ‘me time’. Indulge and make the time to look after yourself. It’s more important now than ever before!
- Baby bonding: Gentle pregnancy classes like yoga really help you to focus on you, your changing body, your breath and your growing baby. Use this time to slow down and bond with your baby.
So there we have it! We all know how important it is to exercise but when you are struggling to combat morning sickness or overcome tiredness, it can be hard to get motivated but there are many benefits to exercising and moving whilst pregnant.