Pregnancy can be a major shock to a woman’s body. Hormone shifts, body discomfort, and other difficult symptoms can make physical activity seem extremely daunting and the workouts you once enjoyed may start to feel impossible. Although exercise may be the last thing on your mind during pregnancy, there are incredible benefits to staying active prenatal.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, low impact exercise can help with back pain and swelling caused by stress and weight gain during pregnancy. The ACA recommends exercises such as squats and stretching to strengthen your lower back which receives a lot of pressure throughout pregnancy.
According to a 2016 study, prenatal exercise has also shown to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications such as hypertension and preeclampsia. The study found that when women maintain being physically active throughout pregnancy it helps keep them at a healthy weight, reduces blood pressure, and overall improves immunity which leads to a smoother pregnancy and healthy child.
If you loved working out prior to pregnancy, continuing to do safe and non intensive workouts can be a great way to keep your energy levels up and increase “happy” hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. A study from 2012 found that prenatal exercise can reduce common pregnancy symptoms of anxiety and depression by as much as 80%!
Supporting your body with breathing exercises, stretching, and strengthening techniques throughout the significant changes of pregnancy can help you stay connected with your body as well as your baby.
Postnatal is also a significant change to the body after experiencing the whirlwind of pregnancy and labor. The body simply does not “bounce back” immediately after creating new life and it can take some time before you feel 100% yourself again.
Exercise can be a great way to manage the stress of postpartum and ease back into your normal routines. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claims that women with non-complicated labors have the ability to return to daily physical activities just a few days post-delivery! It is ultimately up to you and listening to your body in order to decide if you feel ready to begin exercising again.
Caravan is now offering classes to help you stay active pre and postnatal with exercises that keep your core, belly, ribcage, and pelvic floor engaged. The classes place emphasis on breathing techniques and low impact strengthening workouts that support you and your baby.
Browse through the classes: Pre & Postnatal Workout
American Pregnancy Association. Exercise During Pregnancy: Safety, Benefits & Guidelines. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/exercise-during-pregnancy/
Mayo Clinic. Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let’s move! https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896