Congratulations on your pregnancy. Depending on your own personal preference, how your pregnacy is going and what your GP/midwife/consultant advises you, you might be thinking of doing some sort of exercise routine. No matter what you do, there are always going to be huge benefits.
First off, I will say listen to your body and don't push yourself. Stick to what you want to do - now is not the time to try to become super fit! Your body will go through a huge amount over the next few months, but doing some regular exercise can help you in so many ways.
It's better to try to stick to a regular routine, doing some form of activity two to three times per week, as opposed to once every three weeks. Your body won't be used to sporadic exercise, which can do more harm than good, so aim to do something, whether walking, swimming, weight training, or prenatal fitness, yoga or pilates classes, a couple of times per week.
Some of the benefits of prenatal exercise are:
  • You will feel so much better afterwards - exercise releases endorphins, so even if you've had a bad day and don't feel like doing anything, your mood will be improved during and after a light workout.
  • You will sleep better - burning off energy during a class or workout helps to relax you, and most definitely helps you to sleep better.
  • You will have more energy to do the normal day-to-day things - even when you're tired, doing some exercise will give you more 'get up and go'. Trust me; I am up with a four-month-old baby three to four times every night, but I'm not exhausted because I'm exercising every day.
  • You will have reduced feelings of water retention, stress, depression and additional weight gain - this all goes hand-in-hand with each other. When you're exercising, you're more likely to eat healthily, therefore keeping your growing body weight on track, which makes you feel better.
  • You will have stronger arms, legs, core and back - by doing some sort of strength routine during pregnancy, you are building muscle and helping your body. Your back could get sore from carrying the extra weight of your growing baby and amniotic fluid, so strengthening your legs and core will ease off any pressure in your lower back
  • You may experience an easier labour - this is one I can truly vouch for! My first labour was long and difficult, and I was not fit at all. My second labour was a breeze compared to the first. The midwife who delivered my son four months ago, who didn't know me, commented on how strong my legs and back are, and said that it made everything so much easier for me. I was fit and strong during my second pregnancy, and experienced a quick labour which I was able for.