The Importance of Exercise in Pregnancy
It’s a common misconception in the Western world that a pregnant woman needs to act as an unwell woman should; rest, feet up, nothing too taxing. While it is true that caution must be taken in the form of activity, it’s much more beneficial for an expecting mum to engage in smooth and low-impact exercise – such as water aerobics, low intensity weight training, walking, pre-natal yoga and pilates.
Classes such as pre-natal yoga involve breathing techniques to balance your body and calm your mind, giving modified postures to massage internal organs to help things function properly. Plus, the deep diaphragmatic breathing increases the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your baby through the placenta.
Childbirth requires strength, and studies have shown that mums-to-be who put it to the pavement in cardio and low intensity weight gym training have renewed vitality and more of a sense of harmony to their sedentary counterparts.
Further on a physical level, pre-natal exercise provides a means to alleviate and dispel some of the discomforts. Indigestion and acid re ux, the ever-present lower back pain, sciatica, insomnia, uid retention and swollen joints. It “opens” your body, getting into the hips, stretching the psoas, quads and obliques, all the areas surrounding your baby and those coming into play in labour.
It’s always best to be signed off by your health practitioner to ensure you are good to go. But the benefits of pre-natal exercise are manifold – pregnant and exercising is the way.