Consistent exercise during pregnancy can minimize aches and constipation, help you sleep better, and lower your risk of diabetes and depression. You may even end up having a shorter, less complicated labor. Developing good workout habits during pregnancy will help you get your body back to normal faster after delivery too!
If you have access to prenatal exercise classes at your gym, sign up. Not only are the workouts modified for pregnancy, but you also get to bond with your fellow mums-to-be over charming symptoms such as heartburn, swollen feet and hemorrhoids. You might even get labor tips! You can also do light exercise at the gym with a personal trainer who is experienced in training with pregnant women and always pay attention to how your body feels, limit your intensity and stay within the normal range of motion.
Other exercise options are doing Pilates and Yoga. Pilates helps maintain your abdominal muscle tone, which will support your growing belly, minimize back pain and give you more oomph for pushing during labor. Yoga not only strengthens your core and improves flexibility, but with its gentle movements and emphasis on breathing and meditation, it also fosters a sense of calm.
Advantages for women who do light exercise during pregnancy:
- Improved and faster post natal recovery
- Fewer problems experienced during childbirth
- Lower incidence of backaches and less severe headaches
- Better body image and self esteem
- Feelings of wellbeing and happiness
- Increased energy levels
- Increased flexibility
- Increased aerobic capacity
- Better circulation of blood
- Greater muscle strength and coordination, which helps with adjusting to increased bodyweight and changes in balance
- Pregnancy-related constipation avoidance
During pregnancy blood sugar levels typically drop quite significantly. Blood sugar levels will also fluctuate. Pregnant women should eat about two servings of a high complex carbohydrate food (rice or potato for example) between 60 to 90 minutes prior to training.
During training, and indeed, pregnancy, correct nutrition is very important. Folic acid will help to maintain overall health. Folic acid is a member of the B-complex family of vitamins and can be found, naturally occurring in green leafy vegetables, legumes and beans. Folic acid can also be consumed in supplement form for easier digestion and convenience. Enjoy your pregnancy and train safely.