Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health in Pregnancy


Pregnancy can bring with it feelings of low mood and anxiety. These can be new feelings that mums have not experienced prior to becoming pregnant or can be in conjunction with existing mental health issues.

Whether it is a new experience or in addition to a current mental health problem, exercise has been proven to be beneficial in helping relieve such symptoms.

Breathing in the fresh air increases the amount of oxygen your body transports to its cells. This increase in oxygen increases your energy levels and therefore has a greater impact on mental well being. This helps you to ground yourself by helping your mind to cope with anxiety, low mood or physical problems with a different perspective and clearer mind.

Feeling stronger to cope with problems that perhaps normally you would not struggle to deal with. This impacts on your self esteem making you feel better equipped to deal with how you are feeling.

Isolation can contribute to feelings of low self esteem which can increase feelings of low mood and anxiety. By trying to break this cycle of feelings and getting out in the fresh air for a walk can reduce this. Exercise is a natural anti anxiety treatment which enhances mental well being through the release of endorphins. This will in time increase your emotional resilience.

By maintaining regular exercise this will create a natural routine of having daily exercise. This then in turns helps routine to form and you feel you have a purpose for the day.

Exercising outdoors and being exposed to sunlight also provides your body with vitamin D to maintain healthy bones. Vitamin D enables your body to absorb calcium and phosphates from your diet. Exercising offers all the known physical benefits as well which can in turn affect mental health in a positive way. Not only does exercise benefit mums mental wellbeing during pregnancy but also

Tips on staying mentally well in pregnancy

  • Eat nutritious meals
  • Talk to others
  • Join local groups
  • Do something for yourself every day.
  • Reducing isolation

You might also find that ecotherapy benefits your well-being by providing a therapeutic space where you don’t have to talk about your problems, or even think about them – instead there is more space to learn new skills, develop new interests and make new friends.

Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air — which increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind.

According to a group of studies published in a 2010 issue of the “Journal of Environmental Psychology,” research participants reported feeling happier, healthier and more alive when they spent time in nature.