Exercise During Pregnancy

Recently, an exercise video I did was featured on an Instagram page that has a significant amount of followers. That gave me some insight into what it is like to be on the other side of internet bashing. I was amazed that so many people still consider exercising during pregnancy to be dangerous and shameful. There were comments about how selfish I am for exercising. That I am putting my babies life in danger all for a better body. That I was stupid, idiotic, and shame on me for convincing other idiots to do the same.

Why do some people still consider pregnancy to be an ailment? Don't get me wrong, pregnancy is tough! Not everyone is blessed with an easy go at it. Personally, this time around I have really struggled with prenatal depression as well as pretty intense back pain from early on. There are women who have high risk pregnancy and really struggle. The fact of the matter is not all pregnancies are created equal. Exercising during pregnancy is not practical, and sometimes is not safe for everyone. That being said, for a normal healthy pregnancy exercise should be recommended and encouraged.

If you were previously exercising before you became pregnant it is safe to say to can and should resume your regular exercise routine as long as it is comfortable. Even those who have not been exercising should begin an easy entry level routine such as prenatal yoga, light cardio, or simple beginner body weight strength exercises.

Some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy include:

Weight Management: Though you cannot completely control the amount of weight you gain, daily activity can help you stay within a healthy range.

Pain/constipation/bloating: Exercise can help with back pain and general stiffness by strengthening your body and improving posture. Many women also suffer from constipation, bloating and swelling. Daily activity can help prevent those symptoms or atleast move them along quicker.

Stress/Anxiety/Depression: Exercising can be a great way to alleviate stress and boost your mood. During activity your body will release endorphins and endorphins make you feel good! Getting your heart rate up and your blood flowing can increase your daily energy as well as self confidence.

Labor and delivery: Keeping your body strong and your cardiovascular strength up during pregnancy can help you have an easier labor and delivery. Squatting is commonly a position during labor that will help the pelvis open during pregnancy to help the baby descend. Practicing squatting during pregnancy will strengthen your pelvic floor and prepare your body for labor.

Recovery and postpartum: If exercise is maintained during pregnancy it will aid in a quicker recovery from birth. Also, it will be mentally and physically easier to get back into exercising when your care provider gives you the okay to do so.

There are obviously some high risk activities that should not be continued into pregnancy, such as skiing, scuba diving, contact sports or any other sport with a high fall risk. When it comes to regular basic exercise, it is better to participate than not for a low risk normal pregnancy. The benefits are well worth it. So get clearance from your doctor to get out there and get active!