We all understand that regular exercise is important to optimise our physical and mental health. The benefits of exercise before, during and after pregnancy are just as important, if not more, to ensure your body is at its best to support you and your baby. Exercising can also reduce back pain and other symptoms of discomfort felt throughout your pregnancy.
But what type of exercise do I do?
There are a number of ways to exercise, however it’s important to know what exercise is going to nurture your body during this exciting time.
Great news is there’s ever growing evidence supporting the many benefits of Clinical Pilates to enhance your health throughout your pregnancy, and recovery following the birth of your little one.
So what are these benefits of Clinical Pilates during pregnancy?
Strengthening your deep abdominals, pelvic floor and gluteal muscles during Clinical Pilates can help reduce the risk of developing pain and provide relief from discomfort.
During pregnancy your body releases a hormone which encourages the ligaments and joints in your body to relax to prepare for delivery. A side effect of this is less support to handle the increased pressure placed on your pelvic floor and abdominals as your baby grows. This may leave you prone to lower back or pelvic pain.
Your posture will also be affected by your growing tummy (and breast tissue) during pregnancy. This can further lead to back pain.
Clinical Pilates helps minimise this by strengthening your deep abdominal and postural muscles to support your back and prevent pain.
As well as helping you avoid this pain, Clinical Pilates also increases your awareness of your changing posture, allowing you to be positively mindful of your daily movements. It also encourages air exchange between you and your baby, and helps you prepare for controlled breathing during labour.
Regular exercise can also help maintain an optimal healthy weight, reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes and as your legs strengthen, minimise fluid retention and possible leg cramping.
So what are the benefits of Clinical Pilates after pregnancy?
The hormone released during your pregnancy continues to circulate through your body up to 9 months after delivery. New repetitive activities required to look after your newborn, such as lifting, carrying and feeding, not to mention the delivery itself, can lead to strain and discomfort on the upper back, lower back and hips. Changes to your body’s posture and balance due to your breasts producing milk, as well as changes to your body weight can also increase this strain.
Clinical Pilates can assist in healing the affected uterine, abdominal and pelvic muscles. This form of exercise is particularly good for nurturing the vulnerable joints and muscles that were weak and under strain around the pelvis and lower back.
The positive psychological benefits from participation in Clinical Pilates and other forms of exercise has also been shown to minimise stress, increase coping mechanisms, and give you time to focus on yourself so that you can better care for your newborn.
During pregnancy there are so many changes happening to your body and everything around you. Having some time for yourself to participate in exercise allows your mind to slow down and switch off from all the outside stresses, and reflect on the internal changes in your body during this exciting time.
Remember, your body won’t be physically changed forever! By nurturing your body back safely with Clinical Exercise and Pilates, you can spend less time worrying about you and more time caring for your precious new little one!
You can learn more about whether Exercise is safe during Pregnancy in the following Blog article – Is Exercise Safe during Pregnancy?