In this first series of our fitness related Q&A, our BMF Academy Trainer Andy gives some answers to questions regarding exercising during pregnancy.
Can exercise make you feel better and relieve some symptoms of pregnancy?
Yes, exercising can certainly help relieve pregnancy symptoms. Specifically, exercise can help to alleviate pain in the back and hips through practicing mobility and other movements.
Exercise is also thought to help relieve other symptoms of pregnancy such as constipation and tiredness.
Pregnancy has its ups and downs, and it’s thought that having planned exercise commitments can really help give you a boost on those tougher days to get up and about. Exercise releases endorphins which help you feel great and increase positivity - improving your mood, wellbeing and reducing stress levels – all important factors whilst pregnant.
Can exercise bring about Labour?
No, exercise won’t bring on labour. However, it wouldn’t be advised to be exercising too close to your due date purely with the concerns of logistics of getting to a hospital. There is no research to show exercise can bring on labour.
Does exercise and being fit help with labour?
In general it is thought that if someone is fit and healthy, with an awareness of their body they can have easier and faster births. If you consider that your muscles will be stronger and more responsive to aid in the pushing phase of the labour, this can certainly help. Someone that is used to exercising and pushing themselves will also likely have a familiarity with some discomfort and understand coping strategies. There is research to show that exercising before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy can also help with the recovery process both physically and mentally.
Can running harm the baby?
No. If you are used to running before becoming pregnant then there is no reason to stop running. Just decrease the distances and reduce the intensity as your pregnancy progresses. You will become heavier and your posture will change naturally so listen to your body and do what feels comfortable.
For more information on exercising whilst pregnant, have a look at these links below.