It is a common misconception that during the 9 months of pregnancy, exercise is not allowed, or that it even can be dangerous to a pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy (and if you are concerned about a work-out affecting your pregnancy then please seek medical advice) then exercise is most probably one of the most beneficial things you can do throughout your pregnancy – even if you have never exercised before! Pregnancy is a great time to begin and heres why…
1. Fights Fatigue
Fatigue, one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy (I mean you are making another human here, if that’s not tiring, then I don’t know what is!). Starting as early as 4 weeks and for some lasting right up until week 40 the chronic, intense tiredness can be a true downer on a daily basis. Already well known to be a fighter of fatigue, new research shows that the cure may be as simple as doing a small amount of exercise every day (even if it is the last thing you feel like doing). Even better, new research shows the best type of exercise to combat fatigue is low – intensity exercise. So if pregnancy fatigue has hit you hard and you really don’t feel like a torturing workout at the gym, it actually can be as simple as lacing up your trainers and going for a walk round the block!
2. Prepares you both mentally and physically for birth
Having strong muscles can greatly ease labour and delivery, why? The strength helps them to push the baby out more effectively. Being able to manage your breathing, having a healthy heart etc. all plays a massive role in pain endurance during labour and in the case of a long labour (hopefully not the case) exercise massively aids by teaching the body pain endurance. In other words, a stronger, fitter, pregnancy equals to a stronger, fitter woman during labour.
3. Bowel Movements
A really unspoken, yet ever so common (and ever so uncomfortable) symptom of pregnancy is constipation. Exercise increases movement in the intestines, therefore increasing bowel movements.
4. Relieves the aches and pains
A pregnant woman’s body is growing another human, and alongside that other human, with all the other extra baggage, like the placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, totals to a minimum of an extra 10kg of weight that her body has to carry around with her. In turn, this extra strain can cause all types of aches and pains, especially the back. Exercise increases the strength and posture of the back, butt and thighs by toning them up, making carrying that little baby love around just that much easier!
5. Activating that lubricating fluid
Due to hormonal changes the joints throughout the body become much looser which in turn may cause joint ‘wear and tear’. Exercising helps activate the lubricating fluid in the joints, keeping them in tip top shape!
6. Promotes a healthy weight gain
Exercising during pregnancy ensures that less fat weight is gained. With less excess fat gained during the period of pregnancy it means that post birth you can be on your way to getting that pre-pregnancy body back much quicker than if you hadn’t exercised at all!