With your due date just around the corner, now more than ever, 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.
From better sleep to faster recovery times the evidence from recent studies suggest a modified exercise routine can have significant benefits for both mum and baby.
With carrying out any type of exercise when your body’s experiencing constant 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 are 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 for each baby. I know for me, during the third trimester for 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 help get you moving, here’s 6 important benefits to remember;
1, Prepare your body for childbirth
It’s doesn’t matter how quickly it’s over, labour is hard. It could be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. So, with that in mind, doing what you can to be in good physical condition during birth can pay dividends in a variety of ways. Exercising and keeping active leading up to the birth can help improve your stamina and maintain good levels of focus and determination, two things you’ll need ample reserves of when bringing your baby into this world.
2, Decrease discomfort
Many mums to be experience back and pelvis pain during pregnancy and exercises like pilates, that focus on your core, are not only great for improving overall posture but also really help with pushing during the birth.
3, Stress relief
Your moods could be all over the place while you’re pregnant and for many women it’s common to experience higher levels of anxiety and depression than usual. Adding just a little bit of exercise each day, even if it’s just a fifteen minute walk around the block, will help keep spirits high and stress levels down.
4, Extra strength post baby
Carrying a baby around all the time can put a fair amount of pressure on the body, you will likely even discover muscles that 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 are great for toning and will help give you the extra strength you are going to need as a new mum.
5, Fight fatigue
Feeling a little tired all the time in your third semester is not unusual and although it seems counter intuitive resting too much can actually make you feel even more tired. Going for a short work, doing some stretches or even light some light weights can be just what you need to get your energy levels up and feeling positive.
6, Better Sleep
The bigger your baby bump gets the more uncomfortable sleeping can become. Many regular exercisers report that keeping active plays a big part in reducing restlessness and ensuring a good night’s sleep. After birth, the word ‘sleep’ is suddenly removed from the vocabulary of many new mums, so it’s really important to put measures in place during your last few months of pregnancy to keep you rested and in good health in preparation for inviting your new human into the world.
So there are a few helpful points to remember if you are pregnant and heading into your third trimester. Lots of exciting times ahead that is for sure, just always be sure to make time for you and look after yourself.
Written by Nikki Clarke.