Pregnancy exercise, why is it important? Well, naturally you want to be fit and feel at your optimum during this special time in your life. There are so many good reasons to exercise now.
If you are working outside of home, exercise will help you unwind and come back to yourself and ‘home’ after a day at work. If you are a stay-at-home-mom, it’s just as important to get out and get physical. Either way, you need to stay fit and it'll help you get prepared for labor too! Natural pregnancy and birth take physical preparation as well as emotional.
Pregnancy exercise helps release loads of lovely “feel-good, happy hormones” called endorphins. These hormones help you feel naturally high and relaxed…..important for both you and your baby. You are intrinsically connected to your baby, both physically and emotionally. When you feel down, he’ll know it; when you feel happy, he’ll know it.
It has been shown that babies born to relaxed happy moms, have a healthier birth weight and show positive signs of having had less stress during their growing months inside you. Stress can lead to problems in pregnancy, labor and afterwards. Pregnancy exercise is one of your best tools to reduce or manage stress.
Pregnancy exercise is also important as a preparation for labor. If you think of labor as a marathon event, you soon realize why preparation helps. Athletes don’t enter into half or full marathons without doing months of preparation. It certainly pays off!
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water when exercising. It's also a good idea not to eat just before you do some sorts of exercise. Experiment and see what works for you. Always have a healthy snack with you for when you get hungry. You'll probably feel ravenous after swimming or aquanatal sessions! Banana's, muslei bars or almonds are a good energy source.
How do you find any time in your busy day to do exercise? Well, it doesn’t need to be formal prenatal exercise sessions for starters. Housework and gardening are both very physical and count as good exercise. If you can’t get out to a class, it doesn’t matter. Even 15-20 minutes here and there will add up. Every little bit counts.
Also consider getting a DVD of Prenatal Pilates for example. Pilates supports your core muscles, building stronger abdominal and back muscles. Check out our
Store for a recommended Prenatal Pilates DVD with Ten Minute workout sessions.
When you can make time, swimming and walking are both excellent all-round prenatal exercises. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you need to go to the local shops try and walk or cycle sometimes instead of driving. Ask yourself, is it within walking distance? Do I really need to drive? Prenatal or pregnancy yoga is another wonderful exercise to do.
Did you know that Belly Dancing for pregnancy is another really great exercise to do during pregnancy? Belly Dance was actually started for women in pregnancy and labor Centuries ago. There are many different types of belly dance. It involves moves like hip circles and figure-of-eight movements. The 'Camel Walk' and other steps are great too. See the videos on my Belly Dance For pregnancy page for inspiration.
Many woman in labor naturally move in the circular motion of belly dance. It's a natural way to get your baby in the best position for birth.
During pregnancy your body naturally produces a hormone called ‘Relaxin’. This hormone helps your tight ligaments and tendons etc relax and move as your body grows and changes. This allows for opening up of pelvic joints, stretching of abdominal skin and many other areas of the body that need to expand and change during pregnancy.
As you have lots of Relaxin floating around your system, you need to be extra careful not to over stretch any joints as this can cause damage, which is hard to repair later. Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is one such problem that can get worse with each consecutive pregnancy.
Want to know more about prenatal yoga and how it can benefit you and your growing baby? Take a look at much more information on what prenatal yoga has to offer. Go to Natural Pregnancy Midwife's
prenatal yoga page for lots more information. Learn how to stretch, relax, become calm and connect with your body and your growing baby.
To Yoga During Pregnancy
To Belly Dance For Pregnancy page