Why should you exercise during pregnancy?

It’s a common misconception that once you are pregnant you need to do less to keep your growing baby safe.  As long as there is not a medical reason for exercise to be contraindicated, it’s really beneficial for you to continue exercising during your pregnancy.

Here are a few of the benefits:

Reduce your chances of getting lower back and pelvic pain 

As your baby grows, your body will need to work harder to support the increasing weight of the foetus.  The weight of the baby in your abdomen may make you feel like you want to stand with more of an arch into your back.  You have to work your back, abdominal, and hip muscles harder to maintain your normal spinal posture.  The increase in the arch in your back is not a problem in itself, if your muscles are strong enough to tolerate this change in position.  Therefore, the stronger your back, abdominal, and hip muscles are, the less of an arched position you’re likely to start standing in, and if you do, you will be able to tolerate this much better, and so are less likely to get lower back pain during your pregnancy.

Reduce your chances of getting joint aches and pains

Towards the end of your pregnancy, your body releases more of a hormone called relaxin.  This causes ligament laxity throughout your body, and is required to allow increased flexibility at your pelvis during labour.  However, the increase in this hormone also affects the ligaments in the rest of your body, which can cause joints to become achy.  Your muscles also support your joints, so if you keep your muscles strong, even though your ligaments become more lax, your joints will remain well supported, so joint pain becomes less likely to occur throughout your pregnancy.

Prepare you for labour

I haven’t had a baby but I’ve had a lot of friends who have, and the majority of them had a long labour, and were exhausted by the time they had the baby.  Keeping active and exercising during pregnancy will help keep you fit and prepare you for labour.  Think about it like training for a marathon, you need to have prepared your body for what it is going to be going through!

Maintain good mental health  

Exercise is really good for our mental health as well as our physical health.  Keeping active releases endorphins, which make us feel good and reduce stress.  There are also studies showing that regular exercise improves sleep quality, which again will help improve your mood. 

I hope this blog has helped motivate you to keep exercising during pregnancy. If you’d like to join us for prenatal Pilates, you can find out more by clicking here!

Posted in Blog.