So you recently got those wonderful two lines you may have been waiting to see on your pregnancy test- congratulations! You're about to be a mommy! Maybe again; or maybe for the first time but either way your body is about to go through A LOT of changes- the dreaded sickly first trimester, the fatigue, your body changing and stretching in ways you never anticipated; all in preparation for your little bundle of joy- youre becoming his/her little home for the next 9 months- what a sweet and beautiful, and unfortunately, sometimes uncomfortable thing that is. It's easy to feel like putting your feet up for the next 9 months as your body begins to demand things from you that you feel you simply can not give! But it is crucial now more than ever to keep active both for your health as well as your little bubba to be. Some of the many benefits of exercising during pregnancy include:
1. Gives you more energy- ( hormones and endorphins coursing through your veins can give you that extra boost to go grab that lunch with the husband instead of sleeping through the afternoon- again.
2. Reduces back pain - (keeping active with pelvic tilts, core exercises and prenatal yoga can help keep the lumbar strong and less likely to cause you issues as your baby gets heavier and puts stress on your back)
3. Lowers your risk of gestational diabetes - (exercise can delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes while pregnant by up to 27%)
4. Can make labor & delivery easier- (a strong core and good stamina can help you push harder and be able to push for longer- basically)
5. Can help with the mood swings- (we all know what those hormones can do- laughing one minute- crying over a kids cartoon the next (or something of that nature)- exercise can help boost the feel good hormones that are very needed during this time.)
6. Can help with leg swelling- (Exercise improves your blood flow which in turn can help limit swelling and oedema in the legs caused by water retention and pressure on the veins from the growing uterus. )
7. Controls weight gain- (keeping active burns the unwanted calories (although extra calorie consumption is needed while pregnant so don't go too crazy with the cardio machines- just enough to maintain that healthy balance.)
8. Better sleep- (its proven that pregnant women who work out fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep- insomnia is common during pregnancy and can actually lead to prenatal depression if severe enough so this one is an important one.)
9. Your body will bounce back easier post-delivery- (used and trained muscles are much easier to recruit again vs. untrained and unused muscles with less of an occurrence of diastasis recti you can be back to the old you in no time if not even better!)
Beneficial exercises while pregnant are such as prenatal yoga and pilates, swimming, weight training, core training and walking. Always listen to your body and while exercising is extremely beneficial there will be some days that you simply need to rest; listen to that and relax if need be. Be cautious of laying flat on your back in a supine position as that can put pressure on the vena cava which supplies you and your baby with blood flow. If you are high-risk you should be cautious of exercising until your get a green light from your OBGYN - some high risk complications such as bleeding, spotting, low placenta, recurrent miscarriage, weak cervix exercise could actually be harmful during pregnancy.
wishing you all a happy and healthy pregnancy- this is a beautiful time in your life - Enjoy! :)
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