Exercise and your mental health

Why is exercise so important for your mental health?

As you’ve probably guessed by now I am a big advocate of exercise during pregnancy and motherhood because of all of the benefits to you and your baby. There is one very big benefit that doesn’t get talked about as much and that is the impact it has on your mental health. Here are a few of the reasons exercise is so important for your mental health during pregnancy and postpartum.

Improved self-confidence

Every woman deserves to feel confident in themselves and their body at all stages of life, pregnancy and postpartum included. This one does take time, practice and positivity but by exercising you become confident in what your body is capable of and you are ready for what life has to throw at you physically. Think baby, car set and bags or pregnancy at 38 weeks pain-free and active.

Exercise is the tool to get your body to where you’d like it to be, I’m not just talking aesthetics. I’m talking about being free of pain during pregnancy so you can move however you want to or regaining full control of your pelvic floor and healing your core to feel good and stop any leaks.

Exercise makes this all possible and it helps you to feel condiment in your body, it gives you the time you need to spend with it to connect and understand what it needs. You are taking care of yourself.

More energy

This can seem counterproductive when you are a little tired but I promise once you get moving you create more energy! You increase your blood flow and oxygen supply to your muscles and brain making them more alert and you get a boost for the rest of the day.

Exercise is the tool to get your body to where you’d like it to be, I’m not just talking aesthetics. I’m talking about being free of pain during pregnancy so you can move however you want to or regaining full control of your pelvic floor and healing your core to feel good and stop any leaks.

Exercise makes this all possible and it helps you to feel condiment in your body, it gives you the time you need to spend with it to connect and understand what it needs. You are taking care of yourself.

Lower stress and anxiety

Exercise helps increase your feel-good endorphins which helps lower stress and anxiety. This intern helps your sleep, self-esteem and energy. One big circle from exercise to feeling happier.

Improved sleep

Did you know that exercise actually helps to regulate your sleep and give you a more restful night, so you wake up feeling more refreshed? As mums, we need all of the restful sleep we can get so this is another big one on the tick list for me. Make sure to keep your workouts to the morning or early afternoon, as working out in the evening can give you a boost of energy and disrupt your sleeping pattern.

Me time

I have to admit sometimes exercise is my ‘me time’, my escape to move my body and focus on me which is amazing. But sometimes my workout includes my little buddy and it can feel stressful as he wants to lift dumbbells and climb on top of me. But if you are able to realise the importance and share this with your partner so they understand you need that time, it gives you the mental and physical space you need to focus on and give yourself the care you need as you do for everyone else.

I hope this has helped and inspired you to exercise for not only the physical benefits but also the mental health benefits. With the improvements to our sleep, mood, energy, stress levels and self-confidence it’s a brilliant way to do something for yourself, reconnect with yourself and be a happier you.

Lucy is a pre & postnatal corrective exercise specialist and mum. She is on a mission to empower, educate and inspire women during pregnancy and motherhood to feel fit, healthy and body confident.

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