While pregnancy might seem like the classical period to sit back and relax, resolving to embark on a regular exercise regimen not only helps you stay in shape but also prepare you for labor and delivery. As a matter of fact, pregnancy can be great period stay active even when you have not exercised in a while.
Equally, getting enough sleep is important during pregnancy. It may not be easy to sleep soundly with the enlarged belly getting in the way. You will have to switch to the best sleeping position during pregnancy to accommodate the growing girth.
Below is a lowdown on what you need to know about exercise and sleeping during pregnancy.
Why Do You Need to Exercise During Pregnancy?
To help you understand why exercising is important during pregnancy, it important to start by looking at the benefits. During pregnancy, exercise can:
- Reduce or prevent back pain as well as other discomforts
- Enhance energy levels and boost your mood
- Help keep your weight in check
- Allow you to sleep better
- Boost stamina and increase muscle strength
Additionally, exercising during pregnancy can lower the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure as well as reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression. It may also lessen the likelihood of your child being born significantly larger than average (fetal macrosomia).
What Should be the Intensity of the Exercises?
Most doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercises for pregnant women on most if not all, days of the week.
You may take short walks if you’re just beginning. Walking offers moderate aerobic conditioning without subjecting the joints to too much stress. Other ideal choices of exercise include swimming and low impact aerobics as well as cycling on a stationary bike. You may opt for strength training as long as you don’t lift heavy weights.
How Do You Stay Motivated
Due to the hormonal changes taking place in the body during pregnancy, you may slip back with your exercise program. Here are a few tips to keep you motivated.
- Start small – You don’t need to enroll in a gym. You can walk around the neighborhood or take the stairs instead of an elevator.
- Find a training partner
- Try a class such as a prenatal yoga class designed for pregnant women
- Get creative by engaging in activities that you enjoy
- Take time out to rest
As the size of the belly increases, it becomes difficult for a pregnant woman to sleep. Other physical symptoms that interfere with sleep include frequent urge to pee, increased heart rate, and leg cramps as well as backaches.
How Should You Position Yourself During Pregnancy?
To reduce discomfort during sleep, you should:
- Favor Your Left Side – According to research, the best sleeping position during pregnancy is to lie on your left side. This helps improve your body’s blood flow and that of your body. Also, you may try keeping one or both knees bent. Nonetheless, it should not worry if you wake up in a different position.
- Use Pregnancy Body Pillows – To reduce discomfort, consider using a pregnancy body pillow to offer support to your bent knees, belly and back. Some of the best pregnancy body pillows include Today’s Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow, Espresso, and the Leachco Snoogle Chic Total Body Pillow.
- Elevate Your Head – Elevating your head can help regulate heartburn and snoring.
How Can You Rest Comfortably?
To manage sleep disturbances during pregnancy:
- Maintain a regular sleeping routine
- Eat healthy foods
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Stay active
Exercise and sleeping during pregnancy go hand in hand, and the need to get the basics right cannot be overstated as outlined above.