The narrative of exercise in pregnancy is changing. Gone are the days that we recommend gentle walks and rest. We are now considering the risks of not exercising in pregnancy.
As pregnancy is a time of big changes in the women’s body so it is important to take care to ensure health for the woman and baby. Exercise is one of the best things a woman can do to support her physical and mental health needs during this time.
Benefits of exercise in pregnancy:
- Improved cardiovascular health. Exercise can help improve heart health and circulation, reducing risks of complications like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
- Reduced risk of gestation diabetes: Exercise can help regulate blood sugar level and support healthy baby weight.
- Improved mood. Exercise releases endorphins to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Shorten labour time. Birth can be a physical challenge and women who exercise through pregnancy experience shorten labour times.
- Less risk of complications: women who exercise in pregnancy are less likely to experience complications like pre-term labour and hypertension.
Type of exercise:
Not all forms of exercise are safe during pregnancy, but there are many options that can be both safe and effective. Some types of exercise to consider during pregnancy:
- Walking: Walking is a great low-impact form of exercise that can be done throughout pregnancy.
- Swimming: Swimming is a great low-impact form of exercise that can help to relieve pressure on the joints and improve circulation.
- Yoga: Prenatal yoga can help to improve flexibility, strength, and relaxation
- Pilates: Pilates can help to strengthen the core muscles and improve posture, which can be especially helpful during pregnancy.
- Strength training: Strength training can help to maintain muscle mass and improve overall fitness during pregnancy.
While exercise is safe in pregnancy its recommended to talk with your Ante-Natal Physiotherapist prior to starting.