Some people think that doing exercises during pregnancy is scary which can lead to abnormalities in the placental growth and development of the fetus. Others consider exercise as a factor that can cause birth defects and other complications.
Well, based on many proven investigative research and studies, performing simple exercises is essential to a woman’s pregnancy because it has wonderful benefits on the overall health of both mother and child.
The Importance and Benefits of Exercises During Pregnancy
It appears that exercise-induced cardiovascular and metabolic training effects enhance the functional changes of pregnancy in a manner that is also protective. Exercise increases blood volume, heart chamber volumes, maximal cardiac output, blood vessel growth, the ability to dissipate heat, and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. So, the changes produced by exercise actually complement those induced by pregnancy.
Women who exercise regularly during pregnancy have more circulatory reserve, which improves their ability to deal with both anticipated exercise and work, and unexpected ones like hemorrhage, trauma, and many more circulatory stress.
Exercise also improves gas transfer and oxygen availability and usage at the level of microcirculation and the cell. It is necessary to make the cells get rid of their metabolic wastes.
The placentas of women who exercise regularly throughout early and mid-pregnancy grow faster and function better than those women who are healthy but don’t exercise regularly. Therefore, at any rate of uterine blood flow, there is more oxygen and nutrients that can get across to the baby of the woman who exercises than to the baby of one who does not.
Here is the list of the main effects of some simple exercises on your body and your baby during your pregnancy:
1. Cancel out most of the unpleasant side effects of pregnancy such as back pain, fatigue, constipation, swelling, etc.
2. Lowers your chances of having complications during pregnancy
3. Decreases the possibilities of both premature labor and the birth of a very small baby
4. Improve the overall health of your body systems: circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive
5. Help you prepare for labor and the delivery of your baby
6. De-stress, relax and calm you, and gives you positive energy during pregnancy
The Best 3 Exercises During Pregnancy
Before you do some exercises, consult your ob-gyn first and evaluate your health condition to avoid having problems in your pregnancy. If you’re fine and have the capacity to perform some exercises, ask your doctor what kinds of exercise you can do and how long you need to perform them.
To support your body during your pregnancy, we’ve gathered some information to help you become fit and healthy so here are the top three exercises that you should be doing during your pregnancy:
1. Aquatic-training or water-based exercise – the resistance of the water supports the body and requires exercises to be performed at a slower speed, making this type of exercise attractive and safe not only for those who are pregnant but also for amateurs, older participants, and people bearing too much body weight. This is essential to relieve some of the discomforts of pregnancy and to help manage any aches or pains pregnant women are experiencing.
Research suggests that moderate exercise, specifically exercise in water, is safe and may even be beneficial for maternal health and fetal outcome. Some of the general benefits of aquatic exercise in pregnancy are the following:
*Enhanced physical functioning and mobility
*Stress reduction in the mother, leading to improved fetal outcome
*Improved body image and health-promoting behaviors
2. Pilates – this exercise is mainly a combination of t’ai chi and yoga but focuses on the body’s center or “core strength”, which emanates from the muscles that lie from the pelvis into the rib cage and diaphragm. During a woman’s pregnancy, the core requires greater stabilization due to the changes in your posture, weight, and center of balance. Creating strength in your core muscles, pelvic floor, and other areas will aid the reduction of some pressure on surrounding joints, muscles, and bones.
As your pregnancy progresses, the muscles that make up the core plus the muscles supporting your body, and your baby’s weight become stressed and extremely challenged. Performing Pilates exercise has wonderful benefits which are:
*Enabling the mother to maintain good posture
*Alleviate some symptoms of pregnancy such as decreased energy levels, aches, and pains, breathlessness and muscle tightness, as well as labor preparation
*Recover more quickly after childbirth, enabling the mother to return faster to a normal and active life
3. Belly dancing – originated from the Middle East, it teaches vital connection and awareness of the pelvic floor and core muscles.
Performing slow, controlled hip-circling movements rhythmically tighten the different pelvic floor muscles, good for early stages of labor, while faster hip and shimmying actions involve a higher lift and hold in pelvic floor and core muscles, great during the intense contractions. Some of the benefits of belly dancing are:
*Building of pelvic floor, core muscle strength, and endurance
*Reduce back pain and other aches during pregnancy and labor
*Regain postpartum tummy control
Despite the contrary beliefs, simple exercises like doing aquatic exercise, pilates, belly dancing, or even walking and jogging, are essential to prevent having birth complications and help expectant mothers have an easy and comfortable pregnancy.