Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
No doubt about it, exercise is a big plus for both you and your baby (if complications don’t limit your ability to exercise throughout your pregnancy – talk to your doctor).
I found during my pregnancy, still working my body since it was used to exercise, really made me feel still like myself, only with a bowling ball for a tummy.
I worked out through my entire pregnancy and when I say ‘worked out’ I did what I felt I could each day not pushing the limits to extremes. Pilates was great as I could be in a controlled supported position for all exercises.
It can help you:
- Feel better:At a time when you wonder how this strange body can possibly be yours, exercise can increase your sense of control and boost your energy level. Not only does it make you feel better by releasing endorphins (naturally occurring chemicals in the brain), appropriate exercise can:
- relieve backaches and improve your posture by strengthening and toning muscles in your back, butt, and thighs
- reduce constipation by accelerating movement in your intestines
- prevent wear and tear on your joints (which become loosened during pregnancy due to normal hormonal changes) by activating the lubricating fluid in your joints
- help you sleep better by relieving the stress and anxiety that might make you restless at night
- Look better: Exercise increases the blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy glow.
- Prepare you and your body for birth:Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly ease labour and delivery. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage pain. And in the event of a lengthy labor, increased endurance can be a real help.
- Regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly.: You’ll gain less fat weight during your pregnancy if you continue to exercise (assuming you exercised before becoming pregnant). But don’t expect or try to lose weight by exercising while you’re pregnant. For most women, the goal is to maintain their fitness level throughout pregnancy.
While the jury’s still out on the additional benefits of exercise during pregnancy, some studies have shown that exercise may even lower a woman’s risk of complications, like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
What’s Safe During Pregnancy?
It depends on when you start and whether your pregnancy is complicated.
If you exercised regularly before becoming pregnant, continue your program, with modifications as you need them.
If you weren’t fit before you became pregnant, don’t give up! Begin slowly and build gradually as you become stronger.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes (that’s 2½ hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week for healthy women who are not already highly active or doing vigorous-intensity activity.
If you’re healthy, the risks of moderate-intensity activity during pregnancy are very low, and do not increase risk of low birth weight, pre-term delivery, or early pregnancy loss.
Before you continue your old exercise routine, or begin a new one, you should talk to your doctor about exercising while you’re pregnant. Discuss any concerns you have with a doctor or your instructor.
Listen to your body if your body is saying “this doesn’t feel right”! It is probably not ok for you.
So, get your body moving even walking or sitting while doing arm exercises can help with all the benefits above.
You can always send any questions to us here at Oxygen Pilates on the Sunshine Coast.