Your expecting - Why exercising during pregnancy is a good thing
If you're exhausted and suffering from morning sickness, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But you may be surprised to learn that exercising can help to make you feel more energized. If you're used to keeping fit, you may adapt to pregnancy more easily than if you were out of shape.
· Help you to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy.
· Prepare you for the physical demands of labor and birth.
· Make getting back into shape after your baby is born easier.
If you want to start a new exercise in pregnancy, make sure you follow safety guidelines and talk to your midwife or GP first. If you exercised regularly before you were pregnant, it's safe to continue most activities. If you didn't, opt for gentle exercise that's designed for pregnancy, such as an aquanatal class, pregnancy yoga or Pilates.
How will exercise help you?
It gives you an energy boost
Pregnancy can rob you of energy, especially in the first and last trimesters. Taking regular exercise, such as brisk walking, strengthens your heart and lungs, and can make you feel less tired. With muscles that are strong and toned, you’ll need less effort to do most things, whether you’re at home or at work.
The better shape you’re in, the stronger you’ll be to cope with labor and pain. Giving birth requires energy and stamina, so staying active during pregnancy is good preparation for the hard work that lies ahead. Keeping up a regular routine of aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or low-impact aerobics, may even help shorten your labor and help the birth to go smoothly.
Exercise stretches and strengthens your muscles, which can help your body to cope better with pregnancy niggles:
· Stretches may ease back pain.
· Walking improves your circulation, easing the discomfort of varicose veins.
· Swimming strengthens your tummy muscles and supports the weight of your growing bump.
It makes you less likely to get some pregnancy complications
Exercising during pregnancy may help to reduce your risk of getting pre-eclampsia, if you are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), exercise can help you to manage your blood sugar levels, when combined with a healthy diet. You don’t have to do a specific type of exercise to be able to benefit, just make it regular.
It fends off the pregnancy blues
Exercising can improve your mood, give you a sense of wellbeing, and help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Try an exercise that's designed for mums-to-be, such as aquanatal class, pregnancy yoga or Pilates. You'll be able to meet other mums-to-be, while getting exercise. If you can't get to a class, then going for regular walks will still help to improve your mood.
It helps you to sleep better
When you’re pregnant, finding a comfortable position to sleep in at night can be a real challenge. Exercise will help you work off any excess energy, and may improve your sleep patterns, giving you more restful sleep.
Being active on a regular basis can help you to maintain a healthy weight in pregnancy, which may help you to feel better about your changing body.
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Melissa O' Shaugnessy founder and owner of Fit Healthy You Fitness. I want to help people understand fitness and nutrition by keeping it simple stop all the confusion.