Benefits of Exercise in Pregnancy
If you exercised prior to becoming pregnant, you’ll be glad to know that you can still benefit from exercise.
If you would like to get more active during your pregnancy, you can usually begin a gentle exercise routine. There are some medical conditions which may make initiation of exercise during pregnancy inadvisable. These include low-lying placenta, bleeding and history of miscarriage. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are not sure whether to start or continue exercising in pregnancy.
Exercise in pregnancy carries many potential health benefits. These can include:
• maintaining a healthy weight
• managing stress and anxiety – boosting mood
• increased fitness and stamina for your birth and afterwards
• improved circulation
• can contribute to healthy blood pressure
• relief of bodily aches and tiredness
Physical Changes in Pregnancy
Weight gain, ligament laxity and altered centre of gravity are some changes to expect by those who are pregnant. Ligament laxity refers to the presence of hormones such as oestrogen and relaxin in the pregnant body. This eases the passage of the baby through the pelvis at birth by making the ligaments more stretchy.
Ligament laxity can manifest changes in other areas of the body. It can cause pelvic instability and pain, which is one of the reasons why high-impact exercise is not recommended in pregnancy. It can also relax the ligaments of the feet. This relaxing of ligaments can lead to hypermobile joints and pronation or rolling in of the feet during pregnancy.
Increased pregnancy body weight and water retention puts an added load on the already-softened feet. All these factors combine to increase the chances of flattening of the feet during pregnancy. Flat feet are an irregularity which can lead more more foot problems such as heel spurs and plantar fasciitis later on. To help prevent foot problems, supportive footwear and insoles are recommended for pregnancy.
Lightfeet Support Insoles are podiatrist-designed to support the arches and reduce the risk of flat feet during pregnancy. Their shock-absorbing foam works extra hard to support increased body weight as you carry your baby. Lightfeet Insoles are both lightweight and durable. They will travel anywhere with you and hold you securely while you walk. The antibacterial moisture-wicking material used in Lightfeet Insoles help keep tired, swollen feet cool and fresh during pregnancy.
Resting with the feet higher than the heart every day is helpful to minimise the risks of water retention and sluggish circulation in pregnancy. Foot-circling and pointing-and-flexing exercises also help blood flow and foot health.
How much to exercise?
You will need to work with your healthcare providers and listen to your body to choose a suitable level of exercise while pregnant. Athletes in training will need special consultation with their doctors about how much to exercise.
Those with a good fitness level and no pregnancy complications should still apply the principles of good posture while exercising. Walking and swimming are excellent exercises for pregnancy. Walking with supportive shoes and insoles will help you enjoy the benefits of exercise as your baby grows.
Walking is an excellent exercise to start while pregnant even if you were not previously active. Make sure you that your shoes and insoles are specially designed to support your arches and minimise wear and tear on your body while pregnant.