There are a number of positive effects that exercise will have on your pregnancy. Some of them help you in the immediate term, while others provide benefits down the road. Understanding a little bit about the benefits of pregnancy exercise can help you to become motivated about keeping up with your routine during pregnancy.
It’s important, first of all, to realize there are some limitations to your pregnancy exercise. You need to know that exercise has never been linked directly to miscarriage. However, there are some secondary side effects of exercise during pregnancy you should think about. As always, you face the risk of dehydration, muscle strain and an increased heart rate. These things can be avoided by drinking plenty of water, stretching before and after exercise, not overdoing it, and keeping an eye on your heart rate while you exercise. Also, there are some types of exercise that bring with them the risk of abdominal injury, and these should of course be avoided during pregnancy.
Here, then, are some of the benefits of pregnancy exercise:
- An overall greater sense of well-being and self-control
- Relief from aches and pains, such as backache
- Relief from constipation
- Help with sleeping better and longer
- Stress relief
- Your body is better prepared for labor and delivery
- Your body is better prepared to lose weight after your baby is born
Some types of exercise are particularly beneficial and appropriate for a pregnant woman. Some of these include walking and swimming. These types of exercise work your major muscle groups, and they also work to help you heart be stronger. Both offer very little risk of injury.
Another type of exercise that can be beneficial to a pregnant woman is yoga. Yoga can help you keep fit and increase your energy level, and extensive yoga stretching can give pain relief now as well as help you during labor.
Some pregnant women prefer other exercises, such as biking or Pilates. The key is to make sure you talk with your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen. Also make sure to keep hydrated, and follow all of the basic safety rules when you’re exercising.