The benefits of exercising during and post pregnancy – Adaderana Biz English

Attributed to Jessica Silva who is a fitness specialist and director at FHIIT, that made her passion for health and fitness her career. With qualifications from American Fitness Professional Association, the Herman & Wallace on Pelvic Rehabilitation and NASM Women’s Fitness, she has a wealth of knowledge on the benefits of exercise for prenatal and postnatal women, allowing them to reduce stress and anxiety during and post-pregnancy and increase self-esteem.

Pregnancy is a transformative time in a woman’s life, and staying physically active during this period can have numerous benefits for both the mother and the baby. However, it is crucial to approach exercise during pregnancy with caution and follow appropriate guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. If you are a sedentary person, starting with a medium or high-level CrossFit programme or a high-intensity workout is not the way to start your fitness journey. I can’t stress how much we don’t recommend working out in your third trimester with the goal of having a natural birth! Working out needs to be done with thinking of the health and wellness of both mother and baby. Here we discuss the importance of an active lifestyle for both mother’s and baby’s wellbeing:
 
Improved Physical Health:
1. regular exercise helps improve cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance, which can support the mother during pregnancy, labour, and delivery. It can also aid in postpartum recovery by promoting healing, restoring muscle tone, and enhancing overall physical well-being. Exercise during pregnancy helps maintain cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility. It can assist in managing weight gain, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes, and improving overall stamina and endurance. Engaging in activities like walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, or low-impact aerobics can contribute to a healthier pregnancy.
Enhanced Emotional Well-being:
2. Pregnancy often brings about hormonal changes and emotional ups and downs. Exercise has been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and enhance self-esteem. It acts as a natural stress reliever, promoting mental well-being and contributing to a positive mindset during this transformative phase.
Preparation for Labour and Delivery:
3. Certain exercises can specifically target and strengthen the muscles used during labour and delivery, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the abdominal muscles. Strengthening these muscles can potentially make the birthing process more manageable and aid in postpartum recovery.
Reduced Discomfort and Common Pregnancy Ailments:
4. Many women experience common discomforts during pregnancy, such as back pain, swelling, and constipation. Regular exercise, under appropriate guidance, can help alleviate these discomforts by improving posture, strengthening muscles, and enhancing circulation. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the safest exercises for individual needs.
Postpartum Recovery:
5. Maintaining a reasonable level of fitness during pregnancy can contribute to a smoother postpartum recovery. It can aid in regaining muscle strength, promoting healing, and restoring pre-pregnancy body shape. Gradually reintroducing exercise postpartum, with guidance from healthcare professionals, can help women ease back into physical activity safely.
Considerations for exercising safely during pregnancy:
A. Always consult your healthcare provider or a trained fitness trainer: Before starting or continuing an exercise program during pregnancy, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice, taking into account any specific considerations or medical conditions.
B. Appropriate exercise selection: Certain exercises and activities are generally considered safe during pregnancy, such as walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and prenatal yoga. However, high-impact or contact sports should be avoided. It’s crucial to choose low-impact exercises and reduce the risk of falls or injury. This mainly depends on how active the individual was pre-pregnancy.
C. Listening to the body: Pregnancy is a time when the body undergoes significant changes, and it’s important to listen to its cues. It’s advisable to modify or avoid exercises that cause discomfort, pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. You don’t need to stick to a set routine, identify what your body requires. Paying attention to the body’s limits, and body posture at different stages of pregnancy and adjusting the intensity and duration of workouts accordingly is crucial.
D. Hydration and proper nutrition:
Staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise is vital for the well-being of both the mother and the baby. Additionally, ensuring a balanced diet that meets the increased nutritional needs during pregnancy is essential to support energy levels and overall health.
Engaging in regular exercise during pregnancy can have numerous physical and emotional benefits. It is essential for expecting mothers to prioritize their safety and well-being, following appropriate guidelines and seeking guidance from healthcare providers. By incorporating safe and suitable exercises into their routine, women can maintain their fitness, enhance their emotional well-being, and enjoy a healthier pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
It’s important to note that every pregnancy is unique, and individual circumstances may impact the type and intensity of exercise that is suitable. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or a qualified prenatal/postnatal fitness professional to develop a safe and appropriate exercise plan tailored to your specific needs and medical history.

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