I’ve heard many women say to me, “I love my baby, but I hated being pregnant — the fatigue, bloating, swelling, sleep deprivation – it just wasn’t fun.” But what many of these women didn’t know, is that there is a way to help with all these completely normal pregnancy side effects. Exercise!
It’s certainly not a cure, but staying fit and active throughout your pregnancy can help alleviate many of the annoying, less blissful symptoms of expecting. Here are some of the top benefits of prenatal exercises
1. Helps boost your energy. There are so many changes happening to your body the minute you conceive that it is not surprising how tired and lethargic we get, especially in the first and late third trimesters. Catching that extra nap when you can, can be a lifesaver. However, resting too much (unless told to by your physician) can sometimes actually make you more tired. Adding a proper exercise routine to your daily activities can give you that extra boost you need to feel like the day doesn’t have 40 hours in it!
2. Helps you sleep better. Ok, so exercising throughout your pregnancy certainly won’t help with those frequent bathroom trips, it will however, help you fall asleep more easily at the beginning of the night and each time you return from your bathroom breaks. You’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on another busy day.
3. Alleviate any constipation issues. Not a topic we normally discuss out loud, but seriously, don’t you feel better when you’re regular? Keeping your body moving, whether it’s a nice walk or an exercise class, help the digestive system and encourages active bowels.
4. Reduces stress. Our lives can be pretty crazy in themselves, add in your increasing hormones along with the stress of carrying another human being – and our stress levels can sky-rocket. Let’s face it, men would explode. Adding daily activity into your pregnancy can help reduce this stress – not only is exercise a natural high – it really does release the tensions of the day.
5. Help with your after baby recover. Staying fit and active throughout your pregnancy is a great head start in your post-partum recovery. Your fitness level will be stronger and you’ll find your energy and body will be returning to normal in no time.
Even if you were pretty sedentary prior to your pregnancy, it is never too late to get active. Of course, I’m certainly not suggesting that you take up jogging or try cross fit, but brisk walks can sometimes make all the difference.
For those of you who were active prior to pregnancy, there is no reason why you can’t remain as active. I wouldn’t increase your activity level, nor would I dramatically decrease it. Try to remain active so your pregnancy is not too much of a shock to your body. If you’re unsure on what to do or how to get started, think about a prenatal fitness class, taught by a qualified prenatal instructor. They can guide you through strengthening and toning your changing body and monitor you at the same time.
Of course, this is a good time to plug my Mississauga prenatal fitness classes! One of the only mom-to-be classes offered in Mississauga. Check us out, www.fitnessbythelake.com/mom-to-be-fitness/. I’m excited as I’ll be a participant this time around!