Can you Exercise During Pregnancy?

4.5.20

When you’re pregnant and already feeling tired and achy, the last thing you might want to do is exercise. After all, it’s difficult for most of us to get motivated even without the excuse of growing a human inside us! But actually being active during your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for both you and your baby. It has been shown to reduce prenatal depression, aid sleep and can lead to easier labour and recovery.

There are of course limited to what you should and shouldn't do though - the type and amount of exercise you do is dependent on your level of fitness before you were pregnant, and you should consult your doctor or midwife before commencing any type of exercise programme during pregnancy. Gentle activities such as walking, swimming and yoga for prenatal wellness are all good options, especially for those who have not exercised regularly before pregnancy. 


What are the benefits?

It is normal and healthy to gain weight during your pregnancy, but health professionals recommend not putting on too much to lower your risk of complications, back pain and gestational diabetes. Regular exercise can help maintain steady weight gain, and help you keep your strength throughout your pregnancy. A study in the British Medical Journal found that pregnant women who followed exercise programmes were less at risk of gestational diabetes and also less likely to need intervention in the form of unplanned cesareans. 

Recovery times after birth can also be quicker for those who have regularly exercised in pregnant. Many women feel like they can safely and happily return back to their pre-pregnancy activities sooner. This could be due to feeling stronger and the body / muscles remembering what to do.

Exercise can can help to regulate hormones and moods by releasing endorphins. This can not only help with you day-to-do mood, but also help to combat pre/post natal depression and anxiety. Also as counter-intuitive as it may seem, getting some exercise can actually make you feel less tired. Regular exercise can make it easier to both fall asleep and stay that way! Ideal if you're unfortunate enough to suffer with pregnancy insomnia.

Whether you're exercising to keep fit, relax, or just simply because you enjoy it, it really is a great thing to do during your pregnancy (and beyond). Just make sure to take it easy sometimes... you'll need the energy for when baby arrives!

This is a collaborative post.

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