Should you exercise while pregnant? Absolutely! Here’s why.
Spend any decent amount of time Googling around the pregnant part of the internet, and you’re bound to start thinking that pregnancy is a time when the things you shouldn’t do totally outnumber the things you should.
And there are heaps of articles that give you conflicting advice, too: No sushi! Ok sushi is fine but NO TUNA! Never, ever, ever lie on your back! Except when you’re getting that pregnancy massage because if you neglect your self-care your baby will suffer!
Oh, honey. We’re tired just thinking about all the advice wars.
And the advice around pregnancy exercise? Well, it can be just as confusing.
We’re here – two healthcare pros – to tell you the simple truth: exercising while pregnant is almost *always* a fabulous idea.
And that’s because of some pretty obvious benefits to your health that exercising for 30 minutes a day–whether you’re pregnant or not–bestows upon your beautiful body.
Exercise boosts your energy and mood
Yup – just like when you’re not pregnant, exercise can quickly turn around a seriously lousy day. And what pregnant mama doesn’t need that?
Recent scientific studies show that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is the magic number for boosting your mood and fighting off depressive mood swings. And that’s true for you, too! Exercising can regulate your hormones–which are basically on a glittery roller coaster operated by monkeys–and stabilise your moods.
So throw on your stretchy pants, get moving to some music, and remind yourself what a great day feels like.
It helps regulate sleep
We know, we know. Sleep is a major situation when you’re pregnant.
Whether you’re in the first trimester and doing a great round the clock imitation of Sleeping Beauty, or you’re into your third trimester and can’t figure out how to nod off while you’re shaped like you’ve got a hard and VERY uncomfortable pillow under your shirt, regular sleep is crucial for a healthy pregnancy.
But regular or daily exercise–even for that magic 30 minutes per day–can cue your body to wake up on time and unwind at bedtime. And all that sleep is helping bub to grow and develop right on schedule, so making time to exercise helps baby, too.
Exercise keeps the plumbing clear
Yeah, that plumbing.
When you’re pregnant, you release a hormone called relaxin, which does exactly the job you might expect from its name: it relaxes your muscles and joints to make room for the growing baby. But it also relaxes your intestines–which means they can’t move waste through your changing body as efficiently as before.
Combine that with the pressure of your growing uterus, your “interesting” appetite, and more, and you’ve got one of the most common complaints from pregnant mamas: constipation.
But exercise stimulates those muscles to keep things moving. So not only are you pumping blood and oxygen into your tissues, you’re pumping…other stuff…right on out!
Bub likes it, too
Regular exercise doesn’t just make you feel fabulous. Since your body is connected with your baby’s in that special way, your exercise routine can make your little one healthier, too.
Studies have shown that when a mama exercises regularly, her baby is less likely to be significantly larger than average (yay! Fetal health and easier delivery!) or experience respiratory problems post-delivery.
Now that’s a win-win.
Ready to bet moving, but not sure where to start? We’ve got it handled! Check out our pregnancy exercise program and leave the planning to us.