There are many benefits of continuing exercise during pregnancy. One thing to remember, though, is that you should have reasonable goals and expectations.
Why should I exercise when pregnant?
Pregnancy is NOT a time to try to reach peak fitness levels. But it is a time to maintain good fitness levels! Some of the benefits include:
- Quicker postnatal recovery
- Easier, shorter labours (apparently!)
- Reduced weight gain
- It helps prevent gestational diabetes
- It improves glycemic control in women with gestational diabetes
- It improves your body awareness
- Your circulation improves, and you’re less likely to get leg cramps
- Reduced oedema (swelling) and better self-image
- Less insomnia, stress anxiety and depression.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommends that exercise sessions should be limited to 45 minutes in pregnancy. Most pregnancy-focused classes include a relaxation section, so they meet these guidelines.
What if I don’t exercise?
We all know exercise is important, but in pregnancy you might feel less inclined to start a new exercise regime. But it’s important to consider the possible effects of not exercising in pregnancy, including:
- Loss of muscular and cardiovascular fitness (you’ll need muscle strength in labour!)
- Excessive maternal weight gain
- Raised risk of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia
- Development of varicose veins
- Increased incidence of physical complaints such as dyspnoea or lower back pain
- Poor psychological adjustment to the physical changes of pregnancy.
Information provided by Fit 2 Drop