The benefits of regular exercise during pregnancy are both substantial and well documented. The type, intensity and frequency of exercise that is recommended varies from one woman to another based on pre-pregnancy fitness levels, exercising patterns and cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, pregnancy is as good a time as any, to start making a habit out of exercising. There are several benefits to working out during pregnancy:
Maintain Energy Levels
Exercising during pregnancy helps one maintain energy levels and beat the sapping tiredness that is a commonly cited symptom among pregnant women. Additionally, the endorphin (the body’s natural feel-good hormones) secreted during exercise are extremely beneficial to counter mood swings and remain positive in the face of fluctuating hormone levels.
To Strengthen the Joints
Bouts of moderate aerobic activity are also said to strengthen the joints, which is crucial as the change in the center of gravity that occurs during the later stages of pregnancy often leaves women with weak joints, a process which is further facilitated by the altered hormonal profile of a pregnant woman.
Reduces the Pain
More important than any other effect of exercising is that if regularly done throughout the pregnancy, it significantly reduces the pain, difficulty and risk associated with labor. A fit woman is less likely to suffer shortness of breath, acute anemia and other such risks associated with delivery. Moreover, a woman with good heart health will get through the rigors of labor without much strain placed on her heart. It is also noteworthy that regular exercise during pregnancy facilitates a faster transformation of the woman’s body after delivery back to pre-pregnancy shape. Nevertheless, there are precautions to be taken.
Type of Exercises to be Done
It is recommended that he type of exercise preferred should be moderately intense aerobic activity or a more balance-oriented activity such as yoga/Pilates. For a woman who was not a regular exerciser before, the recommended amount is about 2.5-3 hours a week. Although weights are not expressly forbidden in the first half of the pregnancy, widespread skepticism exists on whether strength training should be practiced at all, fearing risk of injury to the fetus.
From a medically sound perspective, stronger muscles only serve to ease labor pains by aiding stronger contractions. Nonetheless, strict adherence form (more so than normal) and refraining from overloading are of paramount importance. It is prudent to stick to regimens that one possesses expertise in, from prior to the pregnancy.
If you’re having a baby ( or have a friend/family member) and live in the East Bay or San Francisco Bay Area, don’t forget to book your newborn portrait photo session NOW as these precious portrait are taken during baby’s first 10 days of life.