Alysia is wearing the 'Evolve Bra' and the 'Casual Tank' in navy.
With your due date just around the corner, exercise might be the last thing on your mind...but there’s actually plenty of great reasons to keep active during these last few months of pregnancy.
From better sleep to faster recovery times, recent studies suggest a modified exercise routine can have significant benefits for both mum and baby.
When exercising during a time of extreme bodily changes, it’s important to ensure you keep safety top of mind. This means keeping your doctor/midwife in the loop and paying close attention to your body’s signals. If you're feeling tired for hours after a workout or you feel more sore than usual, it could be time to start making adjustments.
Every woman’s experience is different and even the same woman can feel very different during each of her pregnancies. I know for me during the third trimester with my first, I still felt comfortable doing things like riding a bike or doing squats, but for my third it was a totally different story! Getting in and out of the car was a big enough challenge!
So, if you need motivation to get moving whilst pregnant, here’s six important benefits to remember:
1. Exercise helps prepare your body for childbirth.
It’s doesn’t matter how quickly it’s over, labour is hard. It is no doubt one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. So, being in good physical condition before birth can pay dividends in a variety of ways. Keeping active leading up to delivery will improve your stamina so you can maintain good levels of focus and determination - two things you’ll need ample reserves of when bringing your baby into this world!
2. Exercise decreases discomfort.
Many mums-to-be experience back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Core-focused exercises like some of those found in pilates or yoga classes are great for improving overall posture and easing pain.
3. Exercise is a stress reliever.
Your moods could be all over the place while you’re pregnant, and it’s common to experience anxiety and depression either when pregnant or postpartum. Adding just a little bit of exercise each day - even if it’s just a 15m walk around the block - will help pump those precious endorphins, thus keeping spirits high and stress levels down.
4. Exercise will strengthen you.
Carrying a baby around all the time puts a fair amount of pressure on the body. You will likely discover muscles you never knew you had! Prepare for this by building strength in your arms and core. Exercises like bicep curls, lateral lifts and tricep extensions will help give you the extra strength you're going to need as a new mum...plus they're great for toning up too!
5. Exercise helps fight fatigue.
Feeling tired all the time in your third trimester is not unusual, and although it seems counter-intuitive, resting too much can actually make you feel even more lethargic. Going for a short walk, doing some stretches or even some light weights can be just what you need to push your energy levels up.
6. Exercise promotes better sleep.
The bigger your baby bump gets the more uncomfortable sleeping can become, not to mention all those visits to the toilet in the night! Working out regularly plays a big part in reducing restlessness and ensuring a good night’s sleep. After birth, the word ‘sleep’ is suddenly removed from the lives of many new mums, so it’s really important you're feeling healthy and well rested for when bubs arrives!
So there you have it...a few benefits to remember if you're heading into your third trimester and wondering what to do around exercise. Again, please keep your midwife and/or doctor informed on what you're doing, just to be sure you're both being kept as safe as possible.
There are so many exciting times ahead for you beautiful mama! It's going to be very busy...but please don't forget about the power of exercise once your baby arrives. Exercise will help you both physically and mentally and ensure you're the best version of yourself for you, your baby and your family.
You've got this!
Written by Nikki Clarke.