Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
Having a baby is one of the most wonderful moments in any mother's life, but it can also be one of the most taxing things for your body. During your pregnancy your body undergoes many changes to prepare it for the birth, and changes are not always comfortable . You willgain weight, probably have mood swings, your back and joints will ache, your feet will get swollen and sometimes you get nauseous and dizzy. So let’s just say it, pregnancy isn't easy. But exercising throughout your pregnancy could help prevent or lessen some of the discomforts of pregnancy.
Just because you just became pregnant doesn’t mean that it is time to stop exercising, actually exercising during your pregnancy is extremely beneficial for you and your baby. During the course of your pregnancy you blood pressure levels with change. The first trimester your blood pressure is very low, as your body gets used to the increase of blood in the system ( now it needs to pump more blood for you and the baby). Also, progesterone levels in your body, causes the wall of blood vessels to relax making your blood pressure lower. This is the cause of dizziness and shortening of breath you experience during your pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester. Your body is also producing an influx of estrogen and progesterone that affects your mood and emotions. Another concern of pregnant women, is the weight gain after the baby is born, and how sometimes it could be hard to get back to your pre-pregnant weight.
Exercising if done correctly can help offset some of these problems, as well as keep you and your baby healthy. Exercising during your pregnancy will lower your blood pressure and your baby’s heart rate which is the ideal health state for a fetus. It will also help by reducing those moments of dizziness and nausea you experience. Exercising will also help strengthen you muscles to prevent the back pains and aching joints during pregnancy. And as a bonus, exercising helps by keeping you and your baby happy by releasing endorphins (natural chemicals that make you happy).
First things to consider is that exercising while pregnant is meant to keep you fit not make you fitter. You are not meant to go for personal best when exercising while pregnant but to help keep yourself healthy and your baby safe. The question that we get the most as a personal training business is "What type of workouts can I do while pregnant? Is it safe?" The answer to that, is it depends. It depends on which trimester you are in, and what are your fitness levels. If you have never worked out a day in your life, I don't think that during your pregnancy is the right time to become a body builder. We have divided these articles in three parts, each targeted specifically for every trimester.
Pre-Natal Workouts-First Trimester
During your first trimester, it is the best time to start working out if you have stopped or haven’t done so in a while. At this point you can still do most types of exercise you would ordinarily do, just refrain from any contact sport or exercises that have a big risk of your falling down or hight impact such as horse back riding, or flag football! At this stage you could begin to feel shortness of breath, and fatigue more often than before, so try not to push yourself that much; stop and relax if you are feeling dizzy or tired. Best pre-natal workouts to try on your first trimester are:
- Low impact, and low intensity workout such as power walking or light jogging.
- Weight training and Functional training is very safe, specially if you focus on low weight and high repetitions to stay toned.
- Cycling on a stationary bicycle is a great cardio exercise as well as it avoids putting necessary strain on your joints.
-Swimming is probably the best exercise throughout your pregnancy. You will received the benefits a full body toning session, and avoid all gravity and pressure. Plus your baby will love it!
Keep in mind that at this stage, your body is still undergoing some major changes and adjustments, and it takes time for your body to adapt to this new situation. Don't push yourself to hard, and keep in mind the important thing is to keep your baby and yourself healthy, happy and ready for next stages to come. Stay tuned for second trimester tips next week!