Pregnant people are experiencing so many changes in their bodies that many may wonder if exercising during pregnancy are safe. Active people may be concerned about altering their routine, and others may feel anxious to maintain a specific weight during pregnancy to protect the mother’s and child’s health. Regardless of their current fitness level, exercise for pregnant people can improve their health and comfort and positively impact both the parent and child post-pregnancy. Here are some of the benefits of pregnancy workouts:
1. Develop stamina
Working out can improve stamina for anyone, and these benefits extend to pregnant people. During pregnancy, your core is extended to make room for the fetus, so working on core-building muscles during your first trimester can help you ease discomfort, build strength, and reduce strain.
Your body is also preparing for the physical marathon that is giving labor. Building your stamina to prepare for this experience can help improve your comfort and delivery. You can focus on a pregnancy workout plan that focuses on the muscles you use during labor, like your deep core, legs, and back.
2. Improve heart health
During pregnancy, your health is just as important as the child’s health. Exercising benefits like improving heart health can be a great reason to maintain a workout regime. Working out increases blood flow and reduces swelling, making other aspects of your pregnancy, like swelling feet and a predisposition for preeclampsia, easier to manage. Prenatal workouts can improve your health, positively impacting the health of your child and preparing your body and heart for the stress of labor.
3. Reduce risk
Pregnancy and labor can carry health risks for the mother and child that regular pregnancy exercises can mitigate. Regular prenatal exercise can reduce the likelihood of common pregnancy diseases like:
- Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is when pregnancy hormones block the body’s insulin production and increase blood sugar.
- Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. You may also experience swelling in the legs and extreme water retention.
- Cesarean birth: Cesarean birth, also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure to deliver a fetus through an incision in the mother’s abdomen rather than a vaginal delivery.
4. Manage anxiety
Exercise can release endorphins that improve your mood during your pregnancy. Half of all pregnant people report feeling increased depression or anxiety during their pregnancy. Implementing an exercise regimen during pregnancy can help combat the hormone influx that may impact your mood.
5. Prevent back and pelvic pain
The additional weight and size that comes with carrying a pregnancy to term can cause pain in your back and pelvis. Your expanding uterus can cause pressure on the parts of your body that aren’t used to your new shape. Exercising regularly to strengthen the muscles that pregnancy strains decrease discomfort in your later pregnancy.
When working out, focus on exercises that strengthen your back, abdominals and legs, like pregnancy ball exercises. Working with a professional trainer or therapist can help ensure you aren’t accidentally causing further injury to those areas.
6. Boost energy
Working out regularly can boost your energy, which helps many people who are struggling with fatigue and discomfort. As their hormones, many women in their first-trimester report feeling constant low-level tiredness. Introducing prenatal exercise into your routine can help provide endorphins and increase stamina.
As long as you are being careful not to overwork yourself, exercises like walks, prenatal yoga, and strength exercises can help you maintain your energy levels and familiarize yourself with your changing body. The more energy you have during the day, the more time you can devote to other pursuits like hobbies and spending time with friends and family.
7. Ease digestive issues
Many pregnant women also report digestive issues during their pregnancy because of their changing hormones. Digestion is also easily affected by anxiety, which can be high during pregnancy. In addition to these struggles, organ displacement that occurs as the pregnancy progress can cause constipation. Regular exercise can help you manage these side effects because regular physical activity stimulates the gut and increases blood flow to the muscles in your digestive system. Even just taking a short walk regularly can help alleviate constipation and improve your digestion.
8. Speed up recovery
You can improve the speed of your recovery post-delivery by maintaining your fitness during pregnancy. A prenatal program can help you prepare your body for the event, and you can work with a doctor or trainer to develop a postnatal exercise. Depending on how you give e birth, whether you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section, you may benefit from specific exercises that help you strengthen your pelvic floor and help with organ displacement.
9. Improve infant health
Your health impacts the health of your child as well. Your child can receive the same benefits you receive from your exercise regimen, like increased endorphins and blood flow, so it’s almost like you are working out for two.
At Living Well Balanced, we can work with you to develop a workout plan that gives you the strength and fitness to improve your pregnancy experience. Speak with your doctor about whether you would benefit from regular prenatal exercise. Then, we can help you develop a prenatal exercise plan to target the muscles you use and strain during your pregnancy and delivery. You can make an appointment with one of our physical therapists or trainers to find out how they can help. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at 212-579-2858 or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our blog for more information about rehabilitative therapies.