The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Fitness

The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

By The Sculpt Society

A Guide To Staying Active While Pregnant

Pregnancy is beautiful in many ways, but the changes you feel in your body and mind can be an adjustment. While rest is one important part of taking care of yourself during this time, staying active and incorporating appropriate pregnancy exercises into each trimester can make for a healthier, more positive pregnancy journey and pave the way for a smoother postpartum recovery. In this guide, we explore the benefits of exercise during pregnancy and give tips on how to move safely during each trimester.

Benefits of Exercise for Both Mama and Baby

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a newcomer to exercise, incorporating physical activity during pregnancy benefits both you and your baby. Explore our TSS Prenatal Program if you’re looking for a safe way to move throughout your entire pregnancy!

Regular exercising during pregnancy help with:

  • Improved circulation
  • Enhanced muscle tone
  • Increased energy levels and stamina
  • Regular exercise can also help manage any potential pregnancy complications (such as preterm labor, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia).

These benefits of moderate exercise can be particularly valuable in preparing you for labor and birth. Let’s dig into some of the key benefits women see from exercising during pregnancy.

Cardiovascular Health

Keeping your heart healthy is an important part of physical activity, especially during pregnancy. Exercise can help you keep a strong and healthy heart and will help support you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.

  • Brisk walking, low-impact sculpting, and other cardiovascular exercises are great for heart health. These activities enhance blood flow, providing essential nutrients and oxygen for you and your growing baby. 
  • Improved cardiovascular health can also contribute to better endurance, making daily activities feel less strenuous.
  • Exercise during pregnancy supports appropriate maternal and fetal weight gain, ensuring the health of you and your little one.

We always recommend that you consult with your doctors to discuss their recommended exercise intensity and to monitor any conditions like high blood pressure. This will help ensure a healthy pregnancy journey for both you and baby.

Strength and Muscular Endurance

Maintaining muscle strength during pregnancy helps you support your changing body and prevent discomfort. Your pregnancy workouts don’t need to include strenuous exercise to be effective. Try to avoid certain exercises during pregnancy and focus on light to moderate intensity exercise will likely be the most impactful. By incorporating resistance exercises or gentle sculpting workouts with light weights, you can improve muscular endurance and support your joints. Strong muscles also aid in maintaining proper posture, which becomes more important as your bump grows.

  • Preparation for labor: Building muscular endurance through exercises like squats and pelvic floor strengthening exercises can help prepare your body for the physical demands of labor, potentially aiding in a smoother delivery process.

The TSS Prenatal Program is here with a variety of pregnancy workouts to help you move through each stage of your pregnancy, give it a try today! 

Mood Enhancement for Mental Health

Pregnancy often comes with hormonal fluctuations that can affect mood, emotions, and mental health. Regular exercise releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, which can alleviate stress, anxiety, and even symptoms of depression. Taking a brisk walk or participating in a prenatal workout class are wonderful ways to boost your spirits and promote emotional well-being.

  • Social connection: Participating in group prenatal exercise classes can foster a sense of community and provide an opportunity to connect with other pregnant women combating feelings of isolation. Consider joining our private Facebook groups with other Prenatal TSS Mamas or Postnatal TSS Mamas.
  • Mind-body connection: Mindfulness practices incorporated into exercise routines, such as deep breathing and meditation, can enhance the mind-body connection, promoting a sense of calm and inner balance.

Better Sleep and Stress Relief

Discomfort and hormonal changes can make getting a good night's sleep a challenge during pregnancy, but regular physical activity can improve sleep quality by reducing restlessness and promoting relaxation. Moreover, exercise can reduce stress, which is especially important as you navigate the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy.

  • Circadian rhythm regulation: Regular exercise helps regulate your body's internal clock, promoting a more consistent sleep-wake cycle and better sleep patterns.
  • Coping mechanism: Engaging in exercise can provide a healthy outlet to manage the stress and emotional challenges that may arise during pregnancy.
  • Enhanced nutrient delivery: Exercise promotes efficient blood flow, ensuring essential nutrients are transported to the placenta to support the growth and development of your baby. 

Embrace movement throughout your pregnancy with the Prenatal Program 2.0!

Improved Posture and Reduced Back Pain - Benefits of Exercise for Both Mother and Baby

As your baby bump grows, your center of gravity shifts, often leading to changes in posture that may contribute to back pain. Engaging in exercises that focus on transverse abdominal core strength and alignment can improve posture and reduce the strain on your back. Gentle stretches and exercises targeting the back, hips, and abdominal muscles can provide much-needed relief.

  • Spinal alignment: Incorporating exercises that promote spinal alignment, such as cat-cow stretches, can alleviate pressure on the spine and provide relief from discomfort.
  • Enhanced stability: Exercises that challenge balance and stability, learned from prenatal exercise programs or gentle balance poses, can improve core strength and stability, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Reduced swelling: Gentle movements and exercises can prevent or alleviate swelling in the extremities, a common discomfort during pregnancy, by encouraging proper fluid circulation.

From improving cardiovascular and mental health to helping you get a good night’s sleep, staying active during pregnancy offers many potential benefits for both you and your baby.

Pregnancy exercises can be safe and enjoyable. Just remember to consult your healthcare provider with any personalized questions and make modifications as needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Sources:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Exercise During Pregnancy." Accessed from ACOG.
  • Better Health Channel. "Resistance Training - Health Benefits." Accessed from Better Health Victoria.
  • American Pregnancy Association. "Exercise During Pregnancy." Accessed from American Pregnancy.
  • Kaiser Permanente. "Pre-Labor Exercises." Accessed from Healthy Kaiser Permanente.
  • National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The Effect of Physical Activity During Pregnancy on Preterm Delivery and Birth Weight: A Retrospective Cohort Study." PubMed Central (PMC). Accessed from NCBI.

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The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

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