“During pregnancy, amazing things happen to the body; the small fact new life is growing in the womb is the most obvious and magical change and it is vital we take the best care of the body we can.
Something that mums to be are often unsure of is whether it is safe to exercise whilst pregnant and what sort of exercise they should be doing. Exercise is most definitely on the cards (unless your maternity team has said otherwise); it has so many benefits both mentally and physically.
During pregnancy one of the main changes is going to be the added weight mums will be carrying as the baby grows and develops; this causes a change in posture and added load for the spine to support. One of the benefits of staying fit whilst pregnant is that the correct exercises are going to help keep muscles strong and active; this will help give the spine support to bare the extra weight. The joints around the body also go through certain changes in preparation for giving birth, this involves the ligaments softening which is caused by the change in hormone levels; maintaining muscle strength will also help support the joints as they become more relaxed. All of the training that keeps the muscles fired up and strong should help minimise aches and pains and may contribute to an easier labour.
It is advised that mums to be don’t suddenly take up a new sport or physical activity during their pregnancy, if the body is not already used to exercise it is a good idea to do gentle activities such as walking to ease the body in to exercising rather than starting with a 5km run! Gentle cardio is going to be beneficial as it will maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness which will help with stamina, heart and lung health. This may come in useful during labour but also after giving birth; having good fitness levels will no doubt help you cope with the new arrival!
Exercise is also great during pregnancy for its mental benefits; the release of endorphins will not only leave you feeling brighter, happier and more energised but should help reduce stress levels. Attending an ante or post-natal fitness class is also going to be a great opportunity to meet other mums, you’ll all be on the same page and it will be a great place to chat about your experiences.
Safe and efficient exercise has multiple benefits at all points in both men and women’s lives and during the most important and physically stressful point of a women’s life is no exception!”