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Why You Should be Moving Your Body During Pregnancy

Why You Should be Moving Your Body During Pregnancy

The magnitude of information posted about exercise and pregnancy on the internet can be overwhelming. Between social media, scholarly articles that most of the population don't read, and what you hear on the street, I can understand how confusing it can be. 

This is a modified list of the benefits of pregnancy and exercise from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:

  • Prevents excessive weight gain and weight retention
  • Prevents or improves symptoms of depression
  • Maintains your physical fitness
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Decreases the risk of preeclampsia
  • Decreases recovery time
  • Lowers risk and severity of back pain
  • May decrease the risk of a Caesarean birth
  • Releases endorphins

As much as I love reading research and a good old scholarly article, these are facts. Not only does purposeful movement and strength training prepare your body for a mammoth event, but it gives you real self-care time.

These are great at any stage:

  • Low impact aerobic activities
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Modified yoga and pilates
  • Running and jogging*
  • Strength training*

*if your medical health professional has cleared you to do so

Exercise is highly encouraged if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. A good rule of thumb to follow: if you've previously taken part in high-intensity anaerobic training or lead highly active lifestyles, you can absolutely continue at first if you feel fine. 

Of course, while exercising while pregnant is safe, modifications must be made depending on:

  • Your movement screen 
  • Your trimester
  • Your mood and mental status at that time
  • How much energy you have
  • Any unusual symptoms

It's such a dynamic process - your anatomical and physiological needs are continually evolving. It becomes essential to listen to your body and make sure you're guided under safe instruction, even if that looks like leg-lifts and pelvic floor work from the couch or you're in the gym bench-pressing with dumbbells. 

Of course, if there's any pain, discomfort, or unusual physical symptoms when you're exercising, stop. To dodge any unnecessary risk, avoid contact sports, activities with a high risk of falling (skiing, surfing, off-road cycling), scuba diving (think the pressure inside your chest cavity and abdominal), and anything in high temperatures; hot yoga/pilates.

Strength training

Our goal here - perform exercises that help you feel capable and strong in a changing body, not necessarily hit new personal records

  • Increase muscle function and bone density
  • Increase metabolism
  • Reduce risk of injury
  • Improve your posture
  • Reduce pain in the back, neck, and shoulders

We focus on major movement patterns, stabilising the core, and help maintain good alignment. Between lifting babies and kids in and out of car seats, pushing buggies, carrying groceries, and a baby bag, it's not difficult to see why moving and training your body is essential. What you do in the gym has a direct correlation to daily life. We consider your daily activities and make sure we cover squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling, all while keeping your spine supported. 

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