There’s often a lack of clarity when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. Information can be out-dated and at times, conflicting. What we now know if that often, exercising during pregnancy can be advisable. While you should always seek a professional and personal recommendation from a medical professional before exercising, the majority of mums-to-be will benefit hugely from exercising during the build up to child birth.
Here are a few reasons why…
Be fit and Strong for giving birth
Giving birth can be a long and tiring ordeal; a variety of suitable yet challenging cardiovascular and resistance work can be a very good way to prepare yourself for the task ahead. If you can control your body and are very aware of how to contract and/or relax relevant muscle groups then you’re much less likely to waste energy during pregnancy. There’s some evidence to suggest that exercising during pregnancy allows a mum-to-be to significantly reduce labour time.
Faster road to recovery
For anyone that has exercised regularly and then taken a holiday, they will understand the discomfort that exercise causes after just a short break. Imagine the discomfort and loss of physical capability if you take a full 9 months off! Your road to re-building your former body and athletic capabilities will be a much smoother and shorter journey if you continue to exercise throughout the entirety of your pregnancy.
Functional Strength for when baby arrives
Your life will change significantly in terms of day-to-day tasks once you give birth. Lifting, carrying, holding and moving this new bundle of joy doesn’t come easy. Gaining suitable, functional strength during your pregnancy can help to prepare you for the new tasks at hand.
Avoid Postural issues caused by your changing body shape
As your baby grows a huge strain begins to be placed on your spine and hips. This paired with increasing levels of relaxin (a hormone released during pregnancy that makes your joint less stable) and many women will experience spine discomfort and, often, more serious spine and hip issues. Improving your core strength and practicing maintaining correct spine alignment can significantly reduce the chances of complicated spine problems and lengthy rehab.
Get comfortable with your quickly adjusting body shape
Pregnancy is likely to be the fastest you have ever gained such a significant amount of weight. Your centre of gravity will slowly move forwards and therefore, it can be feel very difficult and uncomfortable to move your new-sized body confidently and safely. Instead, unless encouraged otherwise, a heavily pregnant lady is likely to create their own, convenient and alternative ways of moving and carrying out previously simple tasks like sitting and getting out of a chair. Exercise can be a great way to be more familiar with how your body is changing and adapt your movements to suit your size and capabilities.
Have some “me time”
Everyone is likely to be talking nothing but babies once you become more noticeably pregnant. Why not get some “me time”? Escape the constant tending, fussing and questions; let of some steam and feel happier and more confident throughout pregnancy. Add some endorphins to all of those other new hormones floating around in your body.
As I said at the start this is general advise for the majority of pregnant ladies. Before exercising during pregnancy you should always seek approval from your GP. There are a number of contraindications to training and pregnant ladies with things such as high blood pressure, weight issues, previous birth complications (to name a few) should not exercise to a high intensity during pregnancy.
Michael Darren, Personal Trainer and Pre/Post Natal Practitioner – www.MichaelDarren.Blogspot.com