Should I Exercise During Pregnancy | 4 Steps To Springboard You Into Action
As a prenatal specialists and chiropractic physicians, our resounding answer to women who ask if they should exercise during pregnancy is always YES! We strongly urge every woman to get up and move each day to perform some form of dedicated exercise.
The doctors at Hemmett Health also preface this with allowing yourself some slack when it comes to a day where you just don’t feel up to hitting the gym, yoga studio or cannot bear to tie up those laces for a brisk 3 mile walk, especially during slippery or snowy weather as is often the case with a Vermont winter. Let’s face it, growing a human is a pretty awesome feat in of itself! So yes, absolutely give yourself some space to just rest and be still on the days where doing anything more than just breathing and eating seem like a monumental task.
Studies prove that exercise can strengthen and improve overall physiologic and musculoskeletal health as well as ease some pregnancy related symptoms. Exercise such as aerobics, impact and nonimpact activities, swimming and resistance training can help the following:
- Ease back and other musculoskeletal pain
- Lower maternal blood pressure
- Reduce swelling
- Improve post-partum mood, including sadness
Exercise and daily movement are essential components of comprehensive mental and physical well-being and health. The benefits are not just limited to you – your baby is also reaping the rewards! This research study showed that babies born to mothers who exercised regularly, had an increase in brain maturation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27622854
Deciding where to start can sometimes be enough to prevent you from taking the plunge. Here are 4 easy steps to take spring board you into action!
1. Make a goal of exercising 5 days a week; at least 30 minutes of activity scheduled into your calendar like any other commitment. It’s always easier to have a friend, and increases the likelihood of accountability, so make an exercise date with a friend, spouse, coworker.
Alternatively, post your completed workout to social media and you’ll be rewarded with encouragement from friends and family.
2. Choose an activity that is fun! If you like to dance, seek out Jazzercise or Zumba. If you prefer outdoor exercise, search out new hiking trails or boardwalks. If it doesn’t feel like hard work, you will be more likely to stick to the program.
3. Join a prenatal group fitness class. There are plenty of prenatal yoga classes and studios that cater to the pregnant mama. This is a great way to also meet other women who share your feelings.
4. Seek out a licensed Athletic Trainer or other specially trained therapist to help you find your safe baseline of fitness and where you should begin.
Not only will you feel an overall improvement of your health and the health of your baby, you will be working towards getting stronger for labor and delivery as well as the fourth trimester. It is critical to have a good knowledge of, and control over, your abdominal and core muscles. A keen sense of mind/body connection with respect to your abdominal musculature will facilitate a great awareness of your body’s natural ability to labor.
When your beautiful baby is born, you begin a new stage of life known as motherhood. It will likely be the most emotionally and physically taxing job you will yet encounter! Also, undoubtedly, the single most rewarding. Physically, the demands of nursing, feeding, bathing, cuddling and 24/7 care can add up to some intense neck and back pain if you are not prepared. Prenatal fitness and exercise can help lay the groundwork to establish a great baseline of strength and endurance. You will need it!
The Hemmett Health Vermont-based team is passionate about comprehensive prenatal health. Let us empower you to achieve a vibrant, healthy and happy pregnancy!