Although you won’t need to engage in demanding sports and exhaust yourself, doing pregnancy exercises is not only healthy for you, but also beneficial for the development of your baby. By exercising, you’ll stimulate your metabolism and ensure that you are going to deliver a smarter and healthier baby when the date arrives.
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Exercising while being pregnant can offer both you and your baby many health benefits if you are careful in what you choose to do, and if there are no potential birth complications which can limit your options.
You might feel a lot better when exercising, especially once you see your increasing proportions and your alarming weight gain. It will not only help you feel you still have control over your body, but also increase your energy levels and prevent you from being overwhelmed by fatigue and sleepiness specific to pregnancy.
By engaging in exercises for pregnant women, you will also be able to prevent or alleviate back pains by strengthening and toning your muscles, especially in the back, butt and thigh areas. Exercising could also help improve your posture which is not only responsible for backaches, but for other problems as well. If you have trouble with constipation, you could improve and accelerate your bowel movements with the right exercises.
You will also be able to sleep better at night by reducing stress, which could cause you to be restless at night and have difficulties sleeping. By stimulating and improving blood circulation, you’ll also look better and help you maintain a healthy colored skin.
Exercises will also help your body prepare for the upcoming delivery, as you’ll strengthen not only your muscles, but also your heart, helping you go through labor easier. You will also learn to practice breathing and to improve your lung capacity, which could also prove to be useful during childbirth, especially if you’re in for a lengthy labor.
By regularly exercising, especially if you start doing it before pregnancy, you will also be able to lose weight faster after childbirth, since you’ll have a lot less fat to get rid of.
Which types of exercises are recommended?
This depends on your choice, although most women prefer activities such as swimming, dancing, water aerobics or yoga. Swimming is not only healthy, but it can also prove to be a lot of fun, due to the increased buoyancy.
Many doctors recommend the simplest form of movement: walking. You can optimize it to your needs, as you can add distance, increase difficulty by climbing hills, increase pace etc. You can start going on short walks a mile long for 3 or 4 times per week. After a bit of time, you will be able to add distance, go faster or go through more difficult terrain.
Although there are many types of exercises you can perform, you should be aware that there are others which can do more harm than good. In general, this shouldn’t pose much of a problem, since if you learn to listen to your body, you will notice when something that you’re doing is not right, and you can immediately stop.
Your body will help you by offering various warning signs when needed. However, you should be careful about which exercises you choose, as, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, you are more likely to lose your balance faster than normal.
If you’re performing a type of exercise but can’t talk while doing it, then you’re probably forcing yourself too much. There are other signals which are telling you to stop whatever you’re doing, such as heart palpitations, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and pain in the back or pelvic area.
Another thing to consider is to avoid overheating, as this will not be very good for your growing baby. Temperatures above 102.6°F can lead to serious complications such as birth defects, so if it’s sunny and hot outside, take a break and stay in the cool temperatures of your home, where you can try to do some mild exercises.
If you are careful and consult a healthcare provider about which exercises are safe for you, you will only gain benefits and ensure that both you and your baby are healthy and in good shape.