Benefits of exercise during pregnancy are different from those received by people who are leading an active lifestyle. Sure, you might not be able to experience runner’s high or build perfect abs while carrying a baby, but there are plenty of reasons why you want to create your exercise routine and stick with it during 9 months of your pregnancy.
And even if you were particularly active before getting pregnant, right now is not the time to morph yourself into a couch potato! While being pregnant offers plenty of excuses to indulge (from eating more sweets, to giving up sports), you do not want to cross a workout routine off your daily activities.
Quite the opposite. Since you are now carrying a child, your eating habits and your well-being has to become your priority, because your baby’s health largely depend on it.
Good news is that exercise or healthy eating shouldn’t feel like a chore. Taking a 40-minute walk in the park, liberating your mind from worry during the yoga practice or experiencing the feeling of weightlessness while swimming in the pool, can be quite enjoyable. It can also be beneficial in many different ways.
11 Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Greater energy to get more things done
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy It is common to feel tired especially during the first trimester of your pregnancy. When you are feeling that way, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. However, if you will overcome initial resistance and allow yourself exercise for as little as 30-minutes a day, you will soon notice a huge improvement in your energy levels. First, regular bouts of exercise will strengthen your cardiovascular system and allow you to get more things done without tiring as easily. Second, exercise will help to tone your muscles and build your endurance.
High level of confidence
At the times when you wonder how this strange, rounded body can possibly be yours, exercise can go a long way into making you feel better and more confident about your appearance.
More radiant-looking skin
One of the noticeable benefits of exercise during pregnancy is increase blood flow to your skin, which will give you that radiant “glow” that some pregnant women have.
No Annoying Backaches
Back pain is one of the most common complaints that women have during pregnancy. The growing belly shifts the center of gravity and puts a lot of strain on the spine. One of the most effective ways to relieve back aches and to improve your posture is to tone and strengthen muscles of the back, thighs and glutes.
Constipation is another frequent “side-effect” that many moms-to-be have to deal with during pregnancy. Believe it or not, regular exercise helps to boost your metabolism and accelerate digestive movement in your intestine.
Easier, shorter labor
Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce the time of your labor by 30%? Well, it turns out you can do it. Several studies show that one of the most stunning benefits of exercise throughout the pregnancy is fewer complications during delivery and easier, shorter labor.
The results of the exercise might not be visible during pregnancy, but they will definitely show after the childbirth. 25-30 minute of daily workouts will help you to maintain healthy weight while expecting and quickly regain your pre-pregnancy body after the baby is born. This is a promise that is backed up by scientific evidence. Research has shown that women, who walked for only 30 minutes a day during their pregnancy, were 80% less likely to gaining extra weight.
Exercise helps to relieve stress and anxiety, promotes better, sounder sleep and as a result keeps you feeling more rested during the day.
Less chance of having a baby blues
Studies suggest that “baby blues” or feelings of sadness, numbness and loss of appetite during the first two weeks after giving birth are experienced by almost 80% of new mothers. One of the ways to make yourself “mood-swing-proof” is to exercise throughout pregnancy. Exercise triggers the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins and allows you to surround your baby with joy and optimism from the D ay 1.
Reduced leg cramps
Leg cramps is another problem commonly experienced by many moms-to-be – a problem that can be relieved and even prevented with regular exercise. What is the “science” behind this statement? Well, it all starts with a few other benefits of exercise during pregnancy, such as improved blood circulation and, consequently, increased amount of oxygen transported throughout the body. And the better oxygen transportation in your body is, the less likely you will suffer from the muscle cramps.
When you exercise during pregnancy, your baby is not just floating there, adding weight on your bladder. Instead, he or she actively joins you in the workout as his cardiac system is growing stronger and healthier.
The new studies how that this training response lingers months and even years after birth. In fact, babies born to mothers who exercised while pregnant were found to be fitter than babies whose mothers were leading sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy.
What to Remember When You Exercise?
To get maximum benefits from exercise during pregnancy while staying comfortable and reduce the risk of getting injured there are a few easy suggestions that moms-to-be have to follow:
- When exercising wear loose, comfortable clothes and a good sports bra for additional support.
- Wear comfortable shoes with anti-slip sole.
- Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated.
- When working out, remember not to hold your breath. As your baby grows and puts more pressure on your lungs, you might notice a decreased ability to breathe in more air when you exercise. If this happens, slow down and take a few deep breaths.
- Keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute. Tip: If you can’t talk while you’re exercising, you’re doing it too strenuously.
- Before starting your workout program, always consult with your doctor or health care professional.
- Stop exercising if you feel fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations, bleeding, shortness of breath, or pain in your back or pelvis.
- Avoid exercising on hot, humid days as overheating can potentially cause problems with the developing fetus.
- Be smart about your workouts. Along with the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, there is a number or physical activities and exercises that have to be avoided by all moms-to-be, as they may cause back pain and some serious pregnancy complications.