Benefits of Exercise in Pregnancy

March 22, 2019

We all know that exercise is good for us. In many ways it’s even more important to do some form of exercise when pregnant. But what are the effects of exercise on pregnancy? And how should we be doing it safely?Exercising in pregnancy is good for both body and mind. It causes the body to release tranquilising chemicals to help us relax, soothing away any built-up tension.
The faster circulation of blood around the body also boosts the oxygen supply to the unborn baby.
It’s proven that women who are more flexible through exercising – or even simple stretching – have an easier time with labour. The increased muscle tone combined with relaxation and breathing techniques taught in many antenatal fitness classes, all help.
Keeping in better shape while pregnant will also mean you are likely to regain your figure after childbirth more quickly – probably one of the best side effects of exercise on pregnancy!
However, women who gave never exercised, or who have a history of miscarriage, should not undertake any new fitness routine – particularly in the first trimester – without getting advice from their GP.
Once you have the all-clear, you can benefit from the effects of exercise on pregnancy. Here are a few tips for keeping fit while pregnant:
1. Enrol in a class. It’s good to exercise with others and have an expert keeping an eye on you. Pilates, yoga and aqua aerobics classes are among the best.
2. Try to walk wherever and whenever you can. 20 minutes a day is good.
3. If you have a sedentary job, check out what exercises you can do sitting down at a desk.
4. Keep movements slow and rhythmic. Dancing is round the front room is good, but try it at half speed with controlled, slower movements.
5. Always warm up gently and cool down with gentle stretching.
6. A little exercise several times a day is better than a rigorous session followed by several days of inactivity.
7. Never get overtired.
8. Stop if anything causes pain.
9. Avoid pointing your toes for too long as this can provoke cramp.
10. Support yourself with cushions when doing any floor exercises.
11. Take a few deep breaths before any exercise to give your muscles an oxygen boost.
12. ALWAYS tell the instructor you are pregnant so they can adapt certain movements if necessary.
13. If in doubt, leave it out. Don’t try to do something just because you could do it before. And don’t try to keep up with non-pregnant pals.
14. Always drink plenty of water when exercising to avoid dehydration.

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