Maintaining a workout routine while pregnant is extremely important both for you and for your baby. And while some exercise such as running may become too strenuous later in pregnancy, many exercises such as yoga and stretching may be safely performed throughout all nine months. Committing to a daily stretching workout, preferably in the morning and evening can have a variety of benefits. Let’s take a look at the top three benefits of stretching while pregnant.
The circulatory system is often overlooked when it comes to appreciating the human body. This system exists as the transportation highway of your body; keeping it in tip-top shape is extremely important, especially during the second and third trimesters. Stretching can increase your body’s circulation. This is particularly crucial during pregnancy since your body not only adds weight, but blood as well. Your blood is a vital component in your body; it delivers both oxygen and nutrients to every organ in your body as well as across the placenta to your growing baby. The better your circulation, the better functioning your entire body is.
Pregnancy can be full of stress; mamas-to-be worry about everything from prenatal nutrition to having everything reading before their baby arrives. And then there is the stress over the actual birth. Studies prove that a pregnancy workout is a wonderful way to reduce stress. Whether you’re experiencing physical stress from carrying additional weight around your middle or emotional stress from your job or selecting the perfect name for your little one, stretching can relax your body and mind.
Reducing stress during your pregnancy is particularly important because stress hormones can pass through the placenta to your growing baby. High levels of stress hormones have been proven to negatively affect fetus growth as well as contribute to preterm labor and low birth weights. Lowering levels of emotional and physical stress can also encourage better sleeping habits. A relaxed body is a body better able to drift off and enjoy quality sleep.
Stretching is a low-impact exercise that you can maintain throughout your pregnancy. Unlike other exercises such as running or weight lifting, stretching can be performed safely for all nine months and even during the post-partum recovery period. And best of all, as a low-impact exercise stretching doesn’t require any equipment. In the final trimester you may find a strap or towel beneficial, but by no means is any equipment required. A good stretching routine works with your body and as long as you listen to your body’s limits, injuries are very unlikely to occur.
Stretching just 15-20 minutes twice a day is a wonderful way to enjoy the benefits of stretching. Consider trying to work it into your daily routine after waking in the morning and before going to bed at night. A good stretching workout should be comprehensive; it should target all the major muscle groups in the body.