Are you getting any exercise during your pregnancy? While you don’t want to start anything strenuous during pregnancy that you haven’t been doing previously, exercise has so many benefits. It can help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, leg cramps, and swelling of the ankles. It also prevents back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the back. Exercise can help you sleep better, improve your mood, and it helps prepare your body for childbirth. Some studies suggest that the fitness level of the mother can result in a shorter labor, fewer medical interventions, and less exhaustion during labor.
My Favorite Exercise for Pregnancy
Exercise does not have to be strenuous or difficult. Here are some easy exercises to incorporate into your day.
- Kegels – These are some of the muscles in your pelvic floor. The muscles and the exercises for these muscles were named for the doctor that discovered them. Strengthening your pelvic floor can improve your sex life, give you more control while pushing your baby out, and help prevent leaking of urine when you sneeze or cough during pregnancy and especially after. For more information on what the Kegel muscle is, does, and how to do the exercise, visit the National Association for Continence.
- Squats– Doing squats helps strengthen the other sets of muscles in your pelvic floor.
- Walking– Dr. Robert Bradley from the Bradley Natural Childbirth Method recommended doing a 10 minute walk a day. If you feel up to it, more is great. Don’t feel like it has to be an hour or not at all though.
- Swimming– Swimming is my favorite. The weightlessness feels great when you are big and bulky at the end of pregnancy. Swimming is one of the best ways to help decrease your swelling if you have it.
- Spinning Babies– The Spinning Babies website has great tips for exercises to help you with optimal positioning of your baby. Some of them are good to do daily. Others are important to do if baby is in a breach or posterior position.