For those of you that consider exercise to be a major part of your life pre-pregnancy, you are likely to be straight into researching what you can and can’t do during pregnancy once you get that positive test. But it may be that you weren’t huge into exercising before, so perhaps you are unsure why you should start exercising during pregnancy.
I want to let you know that it’s never too late to begin exercising even if you are in the latter stages of your pregnancy. And here’s some of the reasons why it’s so beneficial.
Let’s start with the physical reasons
We are going to be gaining extra kilos over the next nine months and our bodies need to be strong to carry that extra bit of weight all day long.
Our posture will change to accommodate our growing bump and if we don’t stay on top of it, it can cause some pretty horrible discomfort in our backs and pelvis. Correct exercise and mobility sequences can really help if you are experiencing pain.
Labour and birth for most women is an exercise in strength and endurance. There’s no telling how you might give birth but if you feel strong and confident with your body’s ability to move and stay energised over longer periods of time, you are giving yourself the best chance of a positive birthing experience.
What about the emotional benefits?
We all know that exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good in all stages of our life, and who needs these happy hormones more than someone dealing with a big life change like pregnancy? Exercising not only releases endorphins that can give us the boost we need when feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and emotional, but it can also give us a sense of control at a time when a lot is changing around and inside us. Regular exercise is a time to take back some control, and do something for you that you are in charge of while your body does it’s own thing in growing the baby.
There can be a big social element to exercise as well.
Pregnancy feels quite lonely at times, especially if you are the only one of your group of friends who are going through it. If you are exercising in a community filled with other pregnant women or going to a prenatal class you may meet and chat to women who are in the same boat as you. They will understand what you’re going through, and that alone can really help. Taking some time to find a class that works for you could be the thing that turns your pregnancy from a nerve-racking uncertain time to something you really enjoy with like-minded people.
So much of pregnancy is preparing for the arrival of the little one, and sometimes it can feel like the mother is forgotten so taking some time for you is really important. Alongside antenatal classes, buying baby grows, testing out buggies – we should all try to do something just for ourselves each week. Whether that is a pedicure or an exercise class is up to you but don’t forget how important it is.
Empowered and Strong for Birth
I had a newfound respect for my body during both my pregnancies, and exercising throughout was very empowering. I wanted to prove that I could continue to feel fit and strong right up to birth. Unfortunately you still get a lot of people questioning the suitability of exercising during pregnancy but please be assured that it is not only safe, but beneficial whilst you’re growing your baby. Our bodies are amazing and nature takes over with the physical adaptions, but if we can help our bodies through this changing time I strongly believe it keeps our minds fit too.
The Bumps & Burpees community is filled with the most wonderful women who support each other through pregnancy and into motherhood. It makes me proud everyday to see so many of you turning up to the classes with me and telling me how strong and empowered you feel in the lead up to and during your birth. If that’s not the aim, then I don’t know what is! If you want to find out more about the Bumps & Burpees Pregnancy Plan then click here.
There are a wide variety of classes available, from focused strength for the upper and lower body and cardio workouts, to yoga, pilates and stretch sequences to help mobilise and relax the body. Why not give my taster class a go. It’s total body cardio class with a Beyonce sound track – filmed when I was 37 weeks pregnant -but suitable for any stage of pregnancy or post natal (after your health check at 6+ weeks)