Pregnancy Exercises – Feel, reflect and adapt3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Health institutions all over the world recommend pregnant women to keep exercising during their pregnancy. Why? Since there are so many benefits for both mum and the baby from staying active and taking part of some type of pregnancy exercises.
It is important though to adjust both your goals and expectations during pregnancy and to also make adjustments to your workout routine. A rule of thumb is that every pregnancy is unique, even for the same mother with her different pregnancies. So when reading about tips for pregnancy exercises, always remeber to ultimately listen to Your Body and what feels right for You.
In general, pregnancy exercises will lay the foundation for a healthy and natural weight gain and will make it easier to lose weight after pregnancy and recover from childbirth.
A strong body and good fitness often make you feel stronger and more vibrant. Those are factors that most likely will help you cope with the discomforts of pregnancy and aid during childbirth.
Some of the benefits from strength training during pregnancy are a reduced risk of poor posture & back pain and better blood circulation since it improves as you move. That in turn decreases swelling. Other known positive effects of exercise during pregnancy are better sleep, less nausea and fatigue and reduced risk of constipation.
Exercise also has great benefits on mental health and the overall sense of wellbeing. We tend to feel more in balance and get less agitated and irritable thanks to an increase of endorphins and other “happy hormones”. Many who exercise regularly also report on experiencing an increased sense of control during pregnancy. They said it made it easier for them to tackle their life as pregnant and constantly changing.
What type of pregnancy exercises you should do
What type of exercise, how often you should exercise or what to avoid depends entirely on your unique pregnancy. Get in touch with your body and learn how to listen and read your signals. That is the best tips there is even though it might seem vague and not that helpful at some times.
Swimming, walking and lighter weight training though are gentle workouts that should be safe for most pregnant women throughout their pregnancy.
It is common to have better and worse days during a pregnancy. Take the opportunity to work out on the better days and rest when you feel out of it.
Goals and expectations
A good exercise goal during pregnancy is to work out with the mindset to be in as good condition as possible for childbirth. Childbirth is a really heavy workout and you will have great benefits from e.g improving your stamina and building stronger inner abdominal muscles.
On the contrary, getting in the best shape of your life is a good goal AFTER pregnancy.
It’s usually a challenge to be able to accept that you have to lower your expectations while being pregnant. Many women have high expectations on themselves and do understand that they should aim lower or differently during pregnancy, logically. But they have a hard time integrating that knowledge. Therefore it’s very important that you remind yourself to be kind to yourself and that pregnancy is a short period of time in comparison to the rest of your life. Every moment in life has its own unique possibilities and limitations. Make sure to make the best of what is NOW.
Feel, reflect and adapt
With ultra high expectations, it’s easy to get disappointed. Planning your workout week by week is a good way to make sure there’s space to feel, reflect and adapt.
It’s common that the intensity and workload vary from week to week. Periods of nausea might make you skip exercise during a few days and other days you might trade strength training for outdoor walking.
Exercise during pregnancy will benefit you in many ways, but it’s very important that you don’t pick on yourself for the things you can’t do or aren’t able to motivate yourself to do. A stress free pregnancy should be the number one priority <3