Pregnant women in the mood for a Latin workout shouldn’t let their growing bellies stop them. The physical and mental health benefits of dancing can do wonders for you (and bub), as long as you listen to your body.
Gone are the days when healthy pregnant women were confined to lengthy periods of bed rest, to prevent premature delivery.
Although this is necessary for high-risk pregnancies, most women are now encouraged to get out and about.
In fact, gentle movement and exercise boosts the physical and mental health of expectant mothers.
“Moderate exercise is now recommended even for women who did not exercise before becoming pregnant. Indeed, pregnancy is considered an excellent time to introduce healthy lifestyle habits because the mother is highly motivated.” – Sydney Morning Herald
At a glance, pregnant women who get the green light from their doctors can look forward to:
- Healthy blood circulation
- Increased fitness and toned muscles
- Stress reduction
- More confidence
Just ask dancer Gemma Marin, who took the internet by storm with her pregnant dancing video with husband Israel Duffus.
5 health benefits of dancing (Latin) for pregnant women:
1. HEALTHY BLOOD CIRCULATION
Moderate exercise is the way to go, if you want to take care of your heart and lungs.
Regular dance sessions can boost your heart rate, lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
But the benefits don’t end there – aerobic exercise is perfect for boosting good cholesterol levels, while lowering bad cholesterol.
Then there’s the sweat, which you might notice as blood pumps through your veins while dancing up a storm. This can help to rid your body of toxins!
2. DANCE FOR FITNESS
A global study has found that more than half of all pregnant women gain too much weight while they’re expecting.
“Being overweight during pregnancy can lead to bigger babies, an increase in caesarean births and pre-term births.”
Gentle exercise can help to combat this! Salsa, Ballroom (don’t try the lifts) and Samba are fun ways to tone muscles, boost energy levels and keep weight in a healthy range.
The best part of dance class is you’re likely continue on a regular basis, since there’s a strong social aspect. In this case, the priority of pregnant women should be to maintain fitness, rather than improve it or lose weight.
3. LESS STRESS
It’s no secret that dancing boosts endorphins and other feel-good chemicals like serotonin. This is exactly what women need when harbouring new life inside their bodies.
Did you know a stressful pregnancy can negatively impact a developing fetus, as well as the mother?
“Many pregnant women are anxious or depressed, and this can affect how the baby’s brain develops. This in turn leaves the child at greater risk of anxiety, depression, slow learning or behavioural problems such as ADHD later.” – Spectator Health
Although there are other factors involved, it’s important for expectant mothers to take care of their psychological wellbeing.
And the mental health benefits of dancing don’t end there. Latin dance classes help to sharpen your memory. Repetition is needed to master the different steps and nail the routine.
This refines motor learning skills, which is particularly useful if you’re suffering from baby brain!
4. MORE FLEXIBILITY
Frequent Latin and Salsa classes can make your body more flexible. A wide range of movement is needed to master certain positions. Moving your body in new ways gently stretches muscles and limbs.
As far as easy labour tips go, increased flexibility can help during the birthing process. Pregnant women are often given exercises to prepare for labour, to boost their comfort levels.
Dancing is a sophisticated way to acquire this flexibility!
5. APPRECIATION FOR YOUR CHANGING BODY
Latin dancing is a wonderful way to boost your confidence at the best of times, but especially when expecting.
It’s normal to struggle with body image during pregnancy. There’s a sudden onslaught of changes to contend with: weight gain, tiredness, cravings, swollen body parts…just to name a few!
Dance lessons help you to feel empowered, while appreciating the badass moves that your body can pull off. Dancing can highlight the beauty in your changing body.
Speak to your doctor or midwife about the health benefits of dancing…
It’s a good idea to seek medical advice before getting involved in any exercise, if you’re expecting.
This is particularly important if you have a chronic health condition, or pregnancy complication.
In our next post, we’ll explore the precautions that pregnant women should take when enjoying a Latin workout. Although the physical and mental health benefits of dancing are immense, you still need to be careful.
It’s a good idea to tell your instructor how far along you are, as an extra measure.
Arthur Murray Latin dance classes in Sydney: perfect for pregnant women!
Our studios are based in Sydney CBD, Bondi Junction, Crows Nest and Parramatta, so you can choose a location that’s convenient for you.
We teach ballroom, latin, swing, waltz, salsa, cha cha, tango, merengue, foxtrot and rumba.
Feel free to contact us to find out more.
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