Keeping Fit During Pregnancy

January 20, 2022

Pregnancy is tough. You might find yourself facing a huge range of unpleasant side effects from morning sickness to mood swings and swollen ankles. Even in the smoothest of pregnancies, future mothers feel tired, achy, and often overwhelmed. Your body is changing quickly, working hard to build a new life, and it’s no surprise that it’s absolutely exhausting.

The last thing that you might want to do when you are tired and achy is a workout. But exercising and keeping as fit as you can during pregnancy is important. Here’s a look at why you should exercise, as well as some exercises that you should try, and some tips to help you to do it safely, at any stage of your pregnancy.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Why You Should Stay Fit During Pregnancy

Staying fit in pregnancy might feel like just one more thing that you have to worry about. However, it can be exceptionally helpful in a variety of ways.

To Reduce Anxiety

It’s normal to have worries while you are pregnant. It’s even healthy, to an extent. But when this worry starts to ruin your enjoyment, it’s not okay. Exercising and keeping fit can help to reduce anxiety, ease stress, and give you a chance to clear your head.

To Promote Good Mental Health

Exercise boosts confidence, gives you time alone, and allows you a chance to find peace. It’s great for your mental health, which can suffer during and after pregnancy.

To Improve Your Stamina and Cardiovascular Health

Giving birth is a huge demand on your body. It’s slow, hard, and absolutely exhausting, no matter how fit you are. Building stamina and cardio health through exercise can mean that you have more in the tank when the going gets hard.

To Reduce Aches and Pains

You might associate exercise with aches and pains, but it can actually reduce the discomfort of pregnancy by helping to build strength and flexibility, reduce swelling and inflammation, and release adrenaline.

Check in with Your Doctor

Even if you exercised regularly before pregnancy, you should check in with your doctor for a health check and advice before starting any exercise program while you are pregnant.

Consider Your Specific Needs

We’re all different. This is true before, during, and after pregnancy, as it is during any other stage of your life. This means that the advice given to one woman on how to stay fit during their pregnancy might not apply to you.

Before starting to exercise you should consider things like your age, your level of fitness before your pregnancy, how the pregnancy is going, and your overall health. If you weren’t very fit before you got pregnant, this isn’t the time to be focusing on huge goals and big health kicks. Instead, you should take it very slowly, concentrating on very gentle movements. If you have underlying health conditions or live with something like asthma, your pregnancy will be putting more strain on your body, and you should check in with your doctor before you start to exercise.

You should also take more care if you are over 35, as your body might have a harder time with pregnancy. This article from Needed contains plenty of information on how to support a healthy pregnancy over 35. This advice includes information on nutrition and supplements as well as staying active and looking beyond your age. Needed offers a wide range of information and nutritional help, to ensure women are empowered to enjoy a healthy pregnancy at any age.

Try Pregnancy Yoga

Yoga in pregnancy is a fantastic way to stretch and build flexibility. This strengthens your muscles but also stretches out any aches and pains and reduces tension in your body. Yoga can also be incredibly relaxing, helping you to unwind and leave stress behind.

The yoga that you can do will change as your body changes, and you should avoid lying on your back in later stages of your pregnancy, focusing instead on standing or sitting poses and gentle stretches.

Enjoy Gentle Walks

Walking is one of the most underrated exercises, whether you are pregnant or not. Walking gets you moving and raises your heart rate, but it’s very gentle. It’s also relaxing, and a great way to spend some time on your own.

Start with short walks, increasing the distance slowly and then reducing it again if you start to experience fatigue. Later in your pregnancy, you might start to find walking harder, so be sure to take regular breaks and stay fairly close to home. You should also make sure you always have your phone, and that someone knows where you are going. As you get closer to your due date, it’s safe to continue taking daily walks, but you might want to start going out with a friend.

Go for a Swim

Swimming is fantastic during pregnancy. Being in the water is like being weightless. It takes away any pressure and can feel nice on your belly. Swimming is also a wonderful full-body workout that improves cardio health and strengthens a wide range of muscles. Swimming can also improve your posture, which can suffer as your center of gravity changes during pregnancy. Even a very gentle swim can have a wide range of benefits for pregnant women.

Listen to Your Body

You should always listen to your body when you exercise, but it’s more important than ever when you are pregnant, and your body has a lot more to do. If you are tired, rest. If you need to stop for a while, sit down and catch your breath, and as soon as workouts start to get uncomfortable, make some changes to your routines, and adjust things where necessary.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is one of the best ways to protect your body and keep it working well. When you are pregnant, you need to drink more water than usual, and you’ll need even more if you are exercising, even very gently. Make sure you’ve always got a bottle of water with you, and rehydrate well after a workout, even if you never work up a sweat.

Keeping fit during pregnancy is a great idea, and it can even be fun. Just make sure you listen to your body, stay safe, and check in with your doctor if you have any worries or concerns.

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