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Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

Exercising while pregnant can do wonders for your body and mind. Regular exercise has the ability to boost your mood, improve your sleep, give you more energy and relieve you of common pregnancy aches and pains. Exercise can help prepare your body for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building your endurance, and will also make it easier for you to get back into shape after your baby is born. The ideal workout will get your heart pumping, stretch your limbs, manage weight gain and strengthen muscles without causing harm to yourself or your baby. Here are a few exercises you can try while pregnant and the benefits of each.

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Photo: .scarlet.

Walking

Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women because it gets the heart pumping without putting the same burden on knee joints that running would. It is also easy to do every day, and the only equipment required is a good pair of walking shoes. The main benefit of walking while pregnant is that it works your muscles in a low-impact way to keep them engaged and toned, and also builds your endurance for childbirth.

Swimming

Many healthcare professionals and fitness experts hail swimming as being the best and most safe exercise for pregnant women. This is a great way to strengthen the large muscle groups –arms and legs – and provides many cardiovascular benefits while remaining extremely low impact. Any type of aerobic activity increases the body’s ability to process and use oxygen, improves circulation, builds muscle strength and enhances endurance. Pregnant women who swim regularly feel less tired, sleep better, and have the added benefit of feeling weightless despite all the extra kilos. You can even get special maternity swimwear to make exercise in the pool even more enjoyable and comfortable.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga classes are more popular for pregnant women then ever, as it is an ideal way to strengthen both the body and the mind. When paired with a cardiovascular activity such as walking, yoga helps you stay in shape during pregnancy by keeping you limber, toning your muscles and improving balance and circulation with almost no impact on your joints. Yoga is also beneficial because it helps you to breathe deeply and relax which will be very handy when you are facing the physical demands of labour, birth and the stress of motherhood.

Weight Training

If you already have a weight-training regiment, then there is no reason for you to stop once you become pregnant. It is good to keep in mind, however, that you may have to reduce the amount of weight you lift to ensure optimal safety for your baby, and avoid using free weights. Resistance exercises benefit your body by strengthening and toning your muscles while building stamina, which you will need during labour.

Dancing

Getting your heart pumping by dancing to your favourite tunes is a feel-good way to get your aerobic exercise. You can also join a prenatal dance class to boost your endurance with the encouragement of other pregnant women. Just be sure to steer clear of any routines that ask you to leap, jump or twirl. Dancing will also help to boost your mood, which will enhance your general health during your pregnancy.

These are just some of the many health benefits associated with exercise during pregnancy. So when you do fall pregnant, don’t stop your routine all together. But remember it’s important to perhaps alter certain activities that may be too strenuous or tough on your body.

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