THE BENEFITS OF STAYING FIT THROUGH PREGNANCY
Discover how you and your baby will thank you for keeping on the go!
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After getting past the excitement stage, many women begin to have concerns about their bodies once they find out that they’re pregnant. Things like diastasis, changes in their pelvic floor, physical changes to the body, along with discomfort and pain. Staying fit during pregnancy can help reduce or eliminate many of these issues during pregnancy and birth.
Thankfully, it’s finally common knowledge that exercising while pregnant has extensive benefits for both mama and baby. While it’s not recommended to start a brand new exercise regime, the basic rule is, if you were active before your pregnancy you’re more likely to be safe to continue exercising while pregnant and carrying on doing the same exercises, provided you’re comfortable. Even if you weren’t all that active beforehand, walking is generally a low-risk activity that can be increased up to 30-minute intervals per day.
Is Exercising While Pregnant Safe?
Absolutely! Exercise does not put you at risk for miscarriage in a normal pregnancy but it’s still important to consult with a doctor and personal trainer about your current fitness levels and what you anticipate your activity levels will be during pregnancy. Contact sports or activities with a high risk of falling like skiing, horseback riding, biking etc. should also be avoided. You might not be able to exercise as hard or as fast as you did before your pregnancy but you’re still reaping one of these many benefits.
Benefits for Mom
Boost in Energy, Mood, and Confidence: Exercise, whether you’re pregnant or not, helps energize and revive the mind and body as well as providing a positive body image and perception.
Reduces Discomfort: Exercise can bring relief to all the aches and pains that come with being pregnant. Especially ones that focus on the pelvic floor and back. Water sports can also help by adding a feeling of weightlessness.
Prepares the Body for Childbirth: Labour is often shorter in women who exercise. Additionally, moms that have good cardiovascular health and a strong core report using fewer drugs for pain during labour.
Lower risk of pregnancy-related complications: Studies are finding that fit moms have a lower chance of complications such as gestational diabetes, unplanned c-sections, high blood pressure, constipation, leg swelling etc.
Faster Recovery Time: Studies show that women who are fit during their pregnancy recover faster and better post-birth and can get back to their regular and new parenting routines faster than those who were not active.
Sleep better: Studies have shown that women who exercise report sleeping better, longer, and more soundly than pregnant women who didn’t exercise.
Increases Flexibility: Relaxin is a hormone that is released during pregnancy that loosens up your pelvic muscles and other joints in preparation for birth. Take advantage of this extra flexibility with functional daily stretches.
Benefits for Baby
Reduces the Risk of Diabetes and Increases Brain Health: Studies performed on rats found that babies born from moms that exercised had better insulin sensitivity lowering their risk of diabetes and obesity, as well having lower rates of neurodegeneration leading to lower rates of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Lower Fetal Heart Rates: A study performed on human babies saw a decrease in fetal heart rates in mom’s that exercised regularly, a benefit that was traced and carried on to the babies after birth.