Exercise and Pregnancy
There are usually many questions that come to mind when planning how to exercise during pregnancy. Physical exercise is a bodily activity that improves or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.
Overall and in most cases, exercise is safe during pregnancy. You will usually find it is even recommended. Typically, the first rule of thumb is if you were physically active before you were pregnant, it is likely safe to remain active during pregnancy. More than likely, your healthcare provider will tell you to remain active, as long as it is comfortable and there are no other health conditions suggesting otherwise.
If you are unsure then you should consult with your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine.
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy?
Exercising for 30 minutes on most, or all, days can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is still beneficial, as well. The important thing is to be active and get your blood flowing. However in those first 12 weeks some of you may experience nausea and severe tiredness, therefore do not feel guilty about resting and maybe try to fit in a few walks instead until these symptoms pass.
Benefits of regular exercise throughout your pregnancy include:
- Enjoyment increased
- Energy improved
- Fitness reduced back and pelvic pain
- Decreased risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Preparation for the physical demands of labour
- Fewer complications in delivery faster recuperation after labour
- Prevention and management of urinary incontinence
- Improved posture
- Improved circulation
- Weight control
- Stress relief
- Reduced risk of anxiety and depression
- Improved sleep and management of insomnia
- Increased ability to cope with the physical demands of motherhood
- Aqua aerobics
- Muscle strengthening exercises, including pelvic floor exercises
- Pregnancy exercise classes
Here is an easy to follow at home workout routine that that requires no equipment and you can complete throughout your pregnancy journey.
Complete 20 reps of each exercise and drop by 2 reps each round.
- Squat with a bum kick
- Tricep Dips
- Sumo Squats
- Push ups (regressing as you go further in to your pregnancy to your knees and then to an incline)
- Glute bridges
- Side plank hip drops (each side)
Before you begin exercising, remember that it is important to talk to your health care provider. If you are already exercising, you will probably be able to continue with your routine and adapt it as your pregnancy progresses. Exercise and pregnancy usually work well together.
I wish you all the best on your pregnancy journey.