What Are the Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy?

Five benefits of staying active during your pregnancy

By now you’re probably aware of the marvelous health benefits of exercise. Nothing works better for weight control, strengthening the heart, and relieving stress than a focused exercise session; but what if you’re pregnant? Do the same benefits apply? What are the benefits of exercising while pregnant?

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy: It may reduce the risk of obesity later.
Exercising regularly during pregnancy can help to prevent excess pregnancy weight gain. Putting on excess weight during pregnancy has been associated with a higher risk of maternal weight gain and obesity years after the baby is born. By staying active while you’re pregnant, you can avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy and decrease the risk of keeping it on after the baby is born.

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy: It may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes
Several studies have shown that being physically active during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. It’s important to prevent gestational diabetes since it can increase the risk of delivering a high birth weight baby, making delivery more complicated. Babies born to women with gestational diabetes also have higher rates of developmental problems, blood sugar abnormalities, and lung problems. Gestational diabetes can also increase the risk of developing diabetes later.

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy: It reduces pregnancy related stress
Although pregnancy is an exhilarating time, the changes happening to your body can also bring about a certain degree of stress. Many women have problems sleeping during pregnancy and a daily exercise program can make it easier to get much needed rest during this important time. Exercise causes natural release of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that give a sense of well being.

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy: It may benefit the baby
You may not be the only one who benefits from a good exercise program. According to a study conducted at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, babies born to women who were physically active had healthier lungs and nervous systems.

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy: It may make childbirth easier
Exercising requires a great deal of stamina and focus, traits that are also important for successful childbirth. Developing those traits through regular exercise can make the experience of childbirth easier.

Exercising during pregnant can also help relieve some of the most common symptoms of pregnancy such as backache and constipation. Always talk to your doctor before starting a pregnancy exercise program and avoid high impact exercises that cause too much jarring motion. Always drink plenty of water and avoid exercising in extreme temperatures. Listen to your body and only do what you feel comfortable doing on any given day. During pregnancy, excessively strenuous exercise should be avoided. Do what makes you feel good and reap the benefits for both you and your unborn baby.

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