Exercising is not only good for your body, but it is also important for your overall wellbeing. Exercising while pregnant can unleash a wealth of benefits for you and the baby. For the sake of your child’s health and yours too, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women exercise for at least 20-30 minutes at moderate intensity every day, unless your doctor says otherwise.
Here are the top 15 benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
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When you are pregnant, you often feel lethargic and exhausted throughout the day. However, exercising during pregnancy can help you feel stronger by improving your cardiovascular system which will keep you energetic throughout the day. You can do yoga or Pilates if you are not a treadmill person. There are plenty of safe exercise routines for pregnant women these days.
- Restful sleep
It can be hard to find a comfortable sleeping position during pregnancy. But if you exercise regularly, you will be tired enough to slip into a restful sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
- Make pregnancy healthier
Research proves that it is highly beneficial to engage in light exercise for at least 4 days of the week during pregnancy. It not only makes you stronger but also reduces the risk of pregnancy related complications such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
- Feel stronger
As you exercise regularly, your body starts to feel stronger and can cope with back aches, pains and general discomfort. You can do yoga or stretches to ease the back pain or take up swimming to make your abdominal muscles tougher. Walking is also a great way to incorporate gentle movement into your exercise routines.
- Prepare for labor
Needless to say, the stronger you are, the more prepared you will be for labor when the time comes. You will be able to handle labor and delivery better if you have a good level of stamina.
- Improves your mood
Pregnancy can be a stressful time. However, one study reveals that after exercising your brain releases the feel-good chemical, also known as serotonin, that lifts your spirits and prevents ugly mood-swings which are associated with pregnancy.
- Keep your weight under control
Pregnancy can lead to obesity in a lot of women. It can be very frustrating to see the weight on your scales increase every time you step on them. However, by exercising consistently, you should be able to keep your weight in check and feel better about yourself. This is a safe way of keeping the weight off; too many women think that a corset and pregnancy go together, when they certainly shouldn’t. Waist training and using corsets while pregnant can be detrimental to the baby’s health, so make sure you’re utilising exercise instead.
- Regain your pre-pregnancy figure faster
When you have exercised throughout your pregnancy, it will be easier for you to keep up the routine long after your pregnancy. In fact, the more active you are during your pregnancy, the quicker you will bounce back after childbirth.
- Enjoy your me-time
Once you get your bundle of joy home, you will not always have the luxury of doing what you want, when you want. Exercising during pregnancy can be your therapeutic session, without worrying about a crying infant at home.
- Improves digestion
When your body is in constant movement, your intestines perform better. By exercising, you can help to keep bowel movements regular, thus preventing pregnancy constipation which is a common complication.
- Control blood pressure
It is possible for your blood pressure to go up during pregnancy. However, you can limit that risk by exercising regularly. Simple walking every day has been proven to be beneficial at keeping blood pressure under control.
- Preparing for a healthier baby
A study conducted on mice showed that mothers-to-be who exercised regularly gave birth to babies that were less susceptible to diabetes and obesity.
- Make the most of pregnancy hormones
When you are pregnant, your body releases a pregnancy hormone called relaxin that loosens up your pelvic joints as well as other joints for easier delivery. By enjoying prenatal yoga, you can make the most of this natural window of opportunity, easing the process of delivery.
- Your child may be born with a stronger heart
Women who exercise during their pregnancies may be more likely to give birth to babies that are born with healthy hearts, in comparison to women who do not exercise at all. You may be able to transfer your passion of cardio fitness down to your child by engaging in prenatal physical activities.
- Fewer symptoms of morning sickness
You will feel less nauseated after a workout session, making you feel healthier and better throughout your pregnancy.
Always seek approval from your doctor or other medical practitioner before engaging in any exercise during pregnancy.
‘Jess Walter, Freelance Writer’