It is commonly understood that exercising while pregnant is important. But why exactly? While exercising does not guarantee that your birth will be shorter or “pain-free”, it does engage the major muscles that are needed in childbirth. This means that you are priming the body for a big event: labor!
Moving your body consciously and intuitively in pregnancy could also cut down the amount of recovery time. This idea is similar to the idea of working out; the more often you work out, the faster it is for your body to recover. Conversely, if you never work out and suddenly want to exercise, your body may be extremely sore and take several days up to a week to recover.
6 Prenatal Exercises
To prevent feeling overly sore or stiff after your birth, here is a shortlist of helpful ways to exercise and move your body daily:
- Side-lying leg lifts
- Walking or hiking
- Cat/cow (yoga)
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
It has become common knowledge that 30-60 minutes of exercise each day can help lose weight, build muscle, improve mood, and increase overwell being. People who already exercise regularly will benefit from continuing to exercise throughout pregnancy, but with some modifications. People who did not exercise prior to pregnancy should introduce some light exercise to their daily routine to feel the benefits. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, benefits include:
- Reduction in back pain
- Easing instances constipation
- Possible decrease in risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
- Promotion of healthy weight gain during pregnancy
- Improvements in overall general fitness and strengthening of heart and blood vessels
- Help losing baby weight in the postpartum period
Finding a Prenatal Fitness Class Near You
While it is completely possible to exercise on your own, at home, or at a local park, it can be beneficial and fun to take a prenatal fitness class. For one, these classes mean you have an instructor who can provide direction and corrections to ensure you are doing the exercises safely and effectively. Some people also find that taking a class creates a sense of accountability and helps build the habit of exercising regularly. Lastly, you get to meet other pregnant women in your community!
At Amazing Births & Beyond, we offer an array of fitness classes for pregnancy including prenatal yoga and prenatal pilates. Check our schedule today and reserve your spot in one of our upcoming classes!