For many women, pregnancy seems like the perfect time to sit back and relax. Of course, you want to enjoy this stage of motherhood and hitting the gym might be the last thing on your mind.
In addition, morning sickness, fatigue, and back pain due to extra weight can make you want to sit all day in the comfort of your home and do nothing.
But not moving around or exercising a bit can be bad for your health as well as your unborn babies. A growing body of research suggests that exercise has big benefits for both of you.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise for pregnant women on most or all days of the week.
Caution: If you’re experiencing complications and your doctor has recommended bed rest, then avoid any kind of exercise.
Here are some of the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
1. Prevents Excess Weight Gain
Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable, but gaining too much weight can affect your health and that of your unborn baby. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and the need for a cesarean section.
But regular exercise can help burn excess calories and keep your weight in check.
In addition, exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of complications of pregnancy and decreases the chances of complications of childbirth.
2. Relieves Constipation
Taking iron supplements as well as the increased level of progesterone in the body during pregnancy can lead to constipation. But active women often do not suffer from constipation.
An active body encourages active intestines. Just a brisk walk of 30 minutes on a daily basis can keep your bowel movements regular.
In addition, light exercise can help digestion and relieve constipation.
In addition to exercise, increase your intake of fiber and dietary liquids.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Blood pressure will occasionally increase during pregnancy, but if it occurs too often or increases too much, it can lead to preeclampsia. Staying active can help reduce your risk of obstetric complications like high blood pressure.
4. Prevents Gestational Diabetes
Regular exercise early in pregnancy can help prevent gestational diabetes, which is very common among obese women.
Exercise helps prevent unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy, improves glucose metabolism, and reduces insulin resistance.
5. Improves Mood
Exercise is just as effective as medication when it comes to improving your mood during pregnancy. Exercise helps release endorphins into your body, helping to improve mood while reducing stress and anxiety.
Plus, it helps you sleep better, which plays an important role in improving your mood and spirit.
6. Eases Back and Pelvic Pain
Often, when women enter the second and third trimesters, they suffer from lower back pain. This may be due to weight gain, posture changes, and contracted muscles.
To relieve back or pelvic pain, exercise is the best option. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles, which helps your body cope better with the pains of pregnancy.
7. Fights Fatigue
Daily exercise will allow you to feel energetic and fight against fatigue during pregnancy. This is because exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, so you do not get too tired.
One of the causes of pregnancy fatigue is nighttime agitation and lack of sleep. But regular exercise can help you sleep more deeply and rest more.
8. Prevents stretch marks
Regular exercise during pregnancy ensures healthy and radiant skin. It helps the skin maintain its elasticity by improving blood circulation.
As exercise induces perspiration, it also removes toxins from the body.
In addition, exercise is one of the best ways to avoid gaining weight too quickly, which can aggravate stretch marks.
Start exercising early, eat healthily and take good care of your skin to prevent ugly marks from appearing on your abdomen, buttocks, and thighs.
- Walking is a great exercise that can be done during pregnancy.
- Other good choices include swimming, low-impact aerobics and cycling on a stationary bike.
- Avoid any strenuous exercise because it can make you more tired.
- Always warm up, stretch and cool during a workout.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and be sure to avoid overheating.
- Start small, stay motivated and simply move.
- Exercise can be more fun if you do it with your partner or friend.
If you are unsure whether a particular activity is safe during pregnancy, always ask your doctor first.