As I move into the depths of my third trimester, I’m feeling incredibly grateful for the random bursts of energy and my body’s willingness to engage in physical activity. Lord knows my first trimester was a challenge.
Every woman’s pregnancy differs, especially in terms of activity level. Some are confined to bed rest; some experience extreme nausea; some feel better than ever; and some carry on as usual without any issues. I’ve experienced all four stages, yet the best part is when I’m able to enjoy a nausea-free day and an hour of Pilates class!
A carefully tailored exercise regimen reaps several benefits, especially while pregnant, so I try to exercise often as my body will allow. My exercise of choice is Pilates, and after every class I feel increasingly better, more powerful, and calmer. Below are several benefits of participating in Pilates while pregnant (all of which you want to attain. Trust me on this one, ladies!)
Reduces Lower Back Pain
During Pilates class, there is a focus on strengthening your abdominal muscles. When strengthening these muscles, you become less likely to develop pain in your pelvis and lower back. Relaxin, a hormone released during pregnancy, causes the ligaments that connect your bones to become more flexible, thus making you more prone to lower back pain. Needless to say, minimizing pain during pregnancy is a total win.
Breathing is a key component in Pilates class, and this is especially beneficial for pregnant woman. Learning to control your breathing is useful for labor in addition to beneficial for the baby in terms of quality air exchange.
Reduces Bodily Strain
Whether I’m feeling fantastic or crummy, one thing is for sure – getting in and out of bed and walking up and down the stairs strain my body. Thankfully, in Pilates, participants are taught several safe positions that provide comfort and reduce the load on the pelvis and lower back.
This benefit is my favorite. The mere act of taking time for yourself in a positive, uplifting environment provides the opportunity to decompress and relax while concentrating of the strength of your body. Regardless of skill level, allow your mind to rest, and be mindful of your solo time. Remember, in nine months your solo time will be scarcer, so please enjoy will you can!