Importance of Exercising During Pregnancy

Importance of Exercising During Pregnancy

Maintaining a regular exercise routine and staying active throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. It can also be beneficial for your baby as well as help prepare your body for birth. 

Weighted Lunges
Weighted Lunges

If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal it is perfectly safe to continue or start regular physical activity. You should aim to get at least 2-3 hours of moderate-intensity activity every week during your pregnancy.

If you are aware of or have any of these conditions or pregnancy complications it is best to avoid exercise during pregnancy.

Don’t forget to speak to your Midwife or Obstetrician prior to starting anything.

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

Can prevent/improve symptoms of depression

Depression during pregnancy or during the first year after childbirth can have a negative impact on the health of both you as well as the baby. Children whose mothers had perinatal or postpartum depression are more likely to develop behaviour problems and other psychiatric disorders, while women with postpartum depression engage in fewer positive maternal behaviours, such as playing or praising, and more negative maternal behaviours, such as hurtful comments or harsh discipline. Exercising and staying active during pregnancy can help prevent this. This study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2018, came to the conclusion that ‘An exercise programme performed during pregnancy may reduce the prevalence of depression in late pregnancy and postpartum.’ 


Prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy

Researchers found that, on average, women who exercised during their pregnancies gained about five pounds (roughly 2.2kgs) less than their counterparts who didn’t exercise. Weight gain during pregnancy is obviously perfectly normal and can range from anything between a 5kg weight gain up to 18kgs- however, this depends on what your BMI was pre-pregnancy. You can read more about it here. 


Can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and the chances of needing a cesarean section 

It is important to prevent excessive weight gain as it can lead to gestational diabetes as well as high blood pressure in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia).  Excessive weight gain could also result in a larger baby which increases your chances of needing a cesarean section. 


Weighted Hip Thrusts
Weighted Hip Thrusts

Decreases risk of urinary incontinence

Urinary Incontinence (the loss of bladder control) can range in severity from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having urges to urinate that are so sudden and strong that you can’t get to the toilet on time. Research indicates the exercise during pregnancy- including, but not limited to pelvic floor muscle training was effective in decreasing the risk of developing urinary incontinence after childbirth.


Decreases severity of low back pain, improves posture, relieve stress

Regular exercise can help you sleep better by relieving stress and anxiety that may make you restless at night. Exercise can also help improve posture and in turn, reduce common discomforts like back pain and fatigue. Different types of exercise performed alone or in combination, such as yoga, general or specific strengthening exercise and aerobics performed anywhere from once per week to once per day, significantly reduced the severity of low back pain during pregnancy. 


Decreases postpartum recovery time & can prevent postpartum weight retention

Observational studies of women who exercise during pregnancy have shown benefits such as postpartum recovery time. Certain studies aimed to examine the relationship between prenatal exercise and postpartum weight retention (PPWR) concluded that exercise during pregnancy does reduce the odds of PPWR.


Build more stamina needed for labour and delivery

Labour can often require strength and stamina and therefore it is important to prepare your body for it. The best way to do that is by performing low to moderate-intensity cardio workouts and pregnancy safe strength training movements.


The programmes that I have available are specifically designed for each trimester. My Trimester 1 programme is focused on building breathing patterns and mind-muscle connection which help in keeping the core and pelvic floor in sync. I have 2 programmes available for the second trimester, both focused on strengthening your body with a mix of moderate-intensity cardio and strength training routines. The programme for the third trimester is focused on reducing pregnancy-related discomfort and preparing your body for birth!

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