Benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Exercising for 30 minutes on most, or all day can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is still beneficial, as well. The important thing is to be active and get your blood flowing. Exercising and staying active is best not only for you, but also for your baby. Having a healthy child must be the top priority of both the parents. Finding ways to make a consistent workout routine should be a part of the nine months of preparation for baby it can be just as important as shopping for nursery gear or taking childbirth classes.
Exercise during pregnancy has been shown to have many positive effects, they include:
Physical health benefits:
- Reduces pelvic and backaches: the growing baby bumps puts an extra stress on your lower half, resulting in lower back aches and an achy pelvis. Exercising, however, may result in lower aches.
- Reduces constipation: An active body encourages active bowels.
- A healthier child’s heart: One group of researchers looking at human babies discovered that a regular workout routine during pregnancy helped lower the heart rate of the fetuses at 36 weeks gestation (a good thing, since a higher heart rate can be a sign of fetal distress).
- Prevents or manages gestational diabetes Exercise may help reduce the risk of developing diabetes. One study found that when women who had gestational diabetes exercised moderately three times a week, their risk of having an over weight baby was reduced by 58 percent.
- Increases energy: exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, so you don’t tire as easily and you have the energy to ride out stressful times. And with strong, toned muscles, you don’t need to put in as much effort to engage in any activity, whether it’s grocery shopping or sitting through meetings at the office.
- Improves sleep: As your pregnancy progresses, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be a real challenge. But exercise can tire you out enough to lull you into a more restful sleep.
- Lowers the blood pressure: blood pressure occasionally goes up during pregnancy, but too much and it can be a warning sign of preeclampsia. In one study, staying active, simply walking regularly has been found to keep blood pressure from rising.
- A quicker recovery after deliver: If you remain inactive during pregnancy, you will find it more difficult to start a regular exercise program once your little baby has arrived. Staying fit and active during your pregnancy will help you get going post pregnancy.
- Your body will be accustomed to handling the rigors of working out and therefore might be able to handle the demands of labor better. If you have strengthened your body throughout pregnancy, you will be better prepared for labor and delivery. Giving birth requires strength, stamina, determination, and focus.
- Exercise can help increase energy by increasing oxygen supply to the muscles and by improving circulation.
- It lowers the chances of delivery entanglements or complications
- Exercising throughout pregnancy may also make it easier to get back in shape after your baby is born.
- Improves posture
- Promote muscle tone, strength, and endurance
- Reduces swelling
Mental health benefits include:
- Improves mood. Exercising increases the release brain chemicals called endorphins and chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, these chemicals help you feel good and also aids being calm. This helps your body cope better with the aches and pains of pregnancy. When you physically feel better, you also mentally feel better.
- Increased self-confidence: watching the scale inch its way up to numbers you’ve never seen before can be disconcerting. Staying active helps you feel better about yourself and improves your odds of gaining a healthy amount of weight.
- Increased sense of control.
- Immediate positive feedback and effect on lifestyle.
- Increased quality of life.
- Positive impact on body and mind.