The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. Learn how increasing your activity level can do wonders for both you and your unborn child as well as your mental well-being.
The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. With the fall and winter months approaching it’s appealing to stay inside and curl up on the couch with a warm drink, particularly when your back is aching and your feet are sore. It’s a common occurrence to feel sad, anxious or depressed when skies are grey, likely due to lack of sunlight. During these precious pregnancy months, it’s imperative to take care of your body and your mental health. Luckily, increasing your activity level can do wonders for both you and your unborn child as well as your mental well-being.
We all know that exercising is good for you. So how can we motivate ourselves to get outside when it’s cold or raining? Let’s take a look at what increasing your activity levels can do for you.
The benefits to activity are endless and it helps reduce some unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, such as:
Leg cramps and swollen feet
Shortness of breath
Help build your strength for labour and delivery (Bonus: it may even help shorten labour!)
When choosing activities it’s important to avoid contact sports to minimize your risk of physical contact with others or risk of falling. Pick activities that are comfortable for you and make sure to warm up, cool down and stay hydrated.
Three easy tips for how to get moving when the weather wants you home
- Find low impact activities that you enjoy, such as walking, stationary bike, aquafit, or join a prenatal fitness class.
- Keep the activity short but efficient. Start with 15 minutes and build up to 30 minutes - that’s all it takes!
- Walk to the grocery store, appointments, or the coffee shop. Take a friend with you. Earn your cozy drink and enjoy a nice visit at the coffee shop!
In addition to the physical benefits that exercise provides, it also boosts your mood and energy levels, and reduces your likelihood of getting postpartum depression and anxiety.
Click here for more information on the benefits of exercising while pregnant.
Feeling anxious or depressed during your pregnancy?
It’s important to recognize when to seek help and to remember the following:
- It’s not your fault
- These symptoms do not usually last for very long
- It’s important to talk to someone about your feelings
- Help is available
- Call your doctor or midwife
- Call Fraser Health Crisis line 604-951-8855 or 1-877-820-7444, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
See the Fraser Health website for more information including a depression screening tool to check your own symptoms.