There are countless benefits of exercise during pregnancy, making it something every pregnant woman that is medically able should do. Exercise can lower a pregnant woman’s risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, regulate hormones and even help prepare them for labor. I exercised up until my delivery day with my three children because of all the amazing health benefits. There are so many benefits of exercising while you are expecting that every pregnant woman should be working out, right? You would think so but some women are not medically cleared if they are a high risk pregnancy, some lack the energy or motivation, while others exercise until delivery day. So you can understand more and then make your decision, let me share with you the benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
1. Boost Your Baby’s Brain
In a 2013 study, researchers at the University of Montreal found that exercising for just 20 minutes 3 times a week boosts your baby’s brain activity. The interesting part of this study is that before this study, it was only known that exercise increased brain activity of the individual, not that it could affect across the placenta to the fetal brain. Isn’t boosting your baby’s intelligence one of the amazing benefits of exercise during pregnancy?
2. Lower Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes occurs as a result of having excess sugar in your blood. You can help control this through a healthy diet and exercise. There are no guarantees because gestational diabetes is also a genetic factor but you can reduce your risk by exercising, eating healthy and keeping your weight under control.
3. Lower or Eliminate Back Pain
As your body secretes the hormone relaxin in your pregnancy and your joints become more flexible, you may notice your balance off and your back may even begin to hurt. By exercising through your pregnancy you can help lower or possibly even eliminate this lower back pain. One tip, however, is that you can only do the plank to strengthen your core because you should not lie on your back to do abdominal exercises or any exercise on your back, as this reduces blood flow to the fetus.
4. Regulate Hormones
As your hormones change throughout your pregnancy you may notice your mood to be off the norm at times. Exercise will help to regulate your hormones to reduce mood swings. You also may find yourself feeling less confident as you near the end of your pregnancy, but exercise can help build your confidence so that you can embrace your beautiful bump! You have a miracle growing inside of you so smile and get a light workout in!
5. Help Prepare for Labor
Exercise can help prepare you for labor by strengthening your body and mind. Some studies have even shown that exercising though your pregnancy can actually reduce the time of your labor and delivery! Now that is motivation! I had speedy deliveries and even speedier recoveries because of staying fit through pregnancy and if your doctor gives you the green light, so can you!
6. Sleep Better
As your body changes with your growing fetus you may find yourself feeling sleepless. As you near the end of your pregnancy you may be 25 pounds heavier or more. You may find yourself tossing and turning at night. Exercise will help you to sleep better and more soundly throughout your pregnancy so make sure you get your workouts in.
7. Regain Your Body Quicker after Childbirth
As your body changes for forty weeks of your pregnancy, if you exercise you can monitor the amount of weight you gain so that it is in a healthy range (usually 20-40 pounds). You will also bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight sooner if you exercise through your pregnancy.
I hope you exercise and stay healthy throughout your pregnancy, for the health you and your growing miracle. Just remember to listen to your body, follow your doctor’s guidelines and enjoy each kick and movement of your growing baby. Before you know it your pregnancy will be over so enjoy the moments now and prepare for an amazing life with your child. So tell me, are you expecting? If so will you work out? Have a safe delivery!