Saturday, November 27, 2010

Benefits of Exercise For All Women

The changes that a womens body experiences throughout pregnancy and the first year postpartum are dramatic and have an affect emotionally, physically and mentally.


Exercising on a regular basis will help improve your immune system. You will sleep better at night and notice increased energy during the day. Depression and anxiety can easily be controlled by a regular workout routine. Cravings for sweets and junk food will quickly be replaced by an increased appetite for natural, wholesome and nourishing foods, helping you improve your overall health. Increased flexibility and muscular strength will improve skeletal balance and reduce the strain on your body which can lead to injury and pain from day to day life.


One of the most important ways to prepare for pregnancy and childbirth is proper exercise. A regular workout will help with circulation (reducing the middle of the night leg cramps that we all love!), digestion (reducing the heartburn that a lot of pregnant women experience), and constipation (if this was not uncomfortable enough to experience during pregnancy, constipation can also lead to hemorrhoids). Hormones released throughout pregnancy cause muscles and ligaments to loosen, requiring greater muscle tone and proper posture in order to avoid further discomforts. Exercise can help an expectant mother deal with her changing body (and body image) that very often affects her self-esteem. Pregnancy is a time to be proud of your body and show it off to the world... you are carrying a new life in your belly, be proud and let the world know it!


The demands of labour and delivery differ for every women, but one thing remains the same – you must be prepared mentally and physically. The abdominal muscles must be strong and you must be able to focus on how you are using them. Learning how to “feel” the correct muscles in your core is an integral part of the prenatal fitness training. Strengthening exercises for the pelvic floor, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility training are key components to an effective prenatal fitness routine. All of these components will aid you through the delivery process as well as the postpartum recovery and leading into the years of taking care of your new baby. Returning to your pre-pregnancy fitness level is much easier to achieve if you remain active throughout the 9 months.


So, now you have had your baby and you feel like you are stuck at home. This is the most important time to get out of the house, stay healthy and interact with other mothers. Emotionally, this time can be a roller-coaster ride for most women. Most women are exhausted due to lack of sleep, are sore from the recovery process and carrying a new baby around all day, worried about regaining their pre-baby body and feel isolated from being home alone with a baby all day. Exercise can help with all the above concerns. Emotionally new mothers need the support of other mothers that understand what they are experiencing. They also need to take some time to take care of themselves in order to be better prepared and able to take care of their babies, who are completely dependent on them for nourishment, comfort and most importantly – love.

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