Oh I remember those pregnant days. I remember those nights trying to sleep on my back. I recall licking away at triple chocolate ice-creams at my work desk and loving the fact that I could eat whatever I wanted while also being a complete motionless slob. Life was a mix of hard work and never-to-be-forgotten cravings and moments! Those hormones sure made life one random adventure!
For many new mothers-to-be, and like myself back in the day, the thought of exercising during pregnancy was daunting. I was filled with many questions and concerns. Then of course, I just wanted to sleep and slob around, which I knew wasn’t the best course of action for myself or baby.
Most health care professionals told me that as long as my pregnancy was free from complications, exercising would be one of the best ways to help me stay happy and healthy while my beautiful bub was growing.
Here are some great reasons to get that baby body moving!
Four major benefits of staying fit during pregnancy
1. Feel happier and less stressed
Ever heard of the pregnancy blues? All those hormones surging around your body can do a real number on your mood and leave you feeling down and stressed. Not to mention the pressure and anxiety that comes with having a child! Fortunately, the endorphins released within your brain when you exercise can be enough to give you the extra boost you need to maintain a positive outlook. Dancing to upbeat music is a great way to have fun whilst exercising and both music and physical activity have been linked to increased serotonin in the brain (the neurotransmitter linked to happiness). If you need a bit of motivation and encouragement to get you over the first little hump, a pregnancy exercise class is a great place to start and you may even make some new friends!
2. Sleep better and be more energised
Nothing will make you feel quite as fatigued as growing a tiny human being inside of you! However regular exercise throughout your pregnancy will strengthen your cardiovascular system, which will allow your body to cope more easily when your energy is low. There’s no need to go for a 10km run or start lifting weights, but beginning with something easy like a light walk or a yoga DVD will give you that little push you need to get through the day. Plus, as long as you’re not exercising right before bedtime, a small workout during the day will help you fall asleep faster at night and improve your sleep quality.
3. Be more comfortable and prepared for childbirth
Pregnancy can come with all kinds of little aches and pains, but exercise has been proven to help your body cope better with these discomforts. Regular stretching can ease back pain and ward off cramps and muscle soreness, regular walking can improve circulation and combat constipation, and swimming strengthens abdominal muscles, helping your body to support your growing belly. Being fit and healthy will also help your body cope with the physical stress of labour and delivery, with pregnant women who exercise tending to have shorter labours and a lower risk of complications like pre-eclampsia.
4. Have a healthier baby and a faster recovery
Women who exercise regularly throughout their pregnancy usually give birth to babies who are a healthy weight and are less stressed by labour and delivery. Furthermore, fit and healthy mums will recover far more quickly from childbirth than those who didn’t exercise whilst pregnant and most will find it much easier to get their pre-baby figure back.
So there you have it! As long as you are following a safe and lightweight routine, there is no reason why you can’t stay active while pregnant. Head over to http://www.maternitysale.com.au/ for more pregnancy advice and be sure to consult your doctor before undertaking any new exercise regime.