Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy: 10 Reasons to Be More Active
During pregnancy, you may want to sit back and relax, as you might feel more tired than usual due to morning sickness, cramps, back aches, etc. However, being inactive won’t help you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. There are multiple benefits of exercise in pregnancy, from promoting muscle strength and endurance to reducing back pains, boosting mood, etc.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), exercise minimizes the risk of:
- GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus)
- Operative vaginal delivery
- C-section delivery
So, keep exercising to minimize common pregnancy complications and maximize health benefits.
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Reduced Mood Swings
Pregnancy can cause abrupt and apparent changes in your mood, leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, and irritated. Exercise can help release more endorphins, the neurotransmitters in the brain that reduce pain, depression, and anxiety.
Healthy Body Weight
Weight gain during pregnancy is the major cause of GDM, which can increase your baby’s weight, causing difficulties during delivery. Exercise can help reduce the risk of GDM while maintaining a healthy weight.
Improved Strength and Stamina
While improving your endurance and strengthening your core muscles, exercise helps you control your breathing better, thus better preparing your body for labor and delivery. If you are able to deliver a baby, you won’t need a longer hospital stay and medical intervention post-delivery.
Decreased Pelvic and Back Pain
As your baby grows, it puts extra pressure on your lower abdomen, causing pelvic and back pain. However, exercises that involve techniques to strengthen your back, abdomen, pelvic muscles, thighs, and glutes can help reduce pain and inflammation.
During pregnancy, having a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep can be challenging, as your baby bump may make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. You may even experience cramps and movement that keep you from sleeping. On the other hand, exercise keeps you active throughout the day. The more active you are, the more your body longs for rest, helping you better sleep during pregnancy.
A Healthy Baby
Exercise not only helps you be prepared for delivery but also promotes your baby's heart and brain development, reducing the risk of congenital cardiac and neurological disorders.
Relief from Constipation
The muscles in your diaphragm and abdominal walls help promote regular bowel movements. Lack of physical activity can weaken these muscles, resulting in constipation. Exercise can strengthen these muscles, keep your bowels functioning well, and prevent constipation.
An Active You
Pregnant women seek more rest to combat pregnancy-caused fatigue during the first and third trimesters. However, resting too often without doing anything can make you lazy and tired. On the other hand, exercise (like walking, cycling, etc.) will help you become used to exercise and an active daily life.
No Risk of Being Underweight in Babies
Exercise helps keep your blood pressure in check. This increases the blood flow to the placenta, helping your baby to get the nutrients and oxygen required to have a healthy birth weight.
Easing Post-Delivery Recovery
Bringing your body back to shape after giving birth can be challenging. However, exercise will help you stay fit and healthy, which not only helps during your delivery but also makes it easier to recover physically after giving birth.
Tips to Exercise Safely During Pregnancy
While there are several benefits of exercise in pregnancy, consult your OBGYN before you begin and seek their recommendations.
Here are some additional tips to help you enjoy the maximum benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
- Begin with simple exercises like walking. When your body is ready, you can practice swimming, biking, and strength training with less weight.
- Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, sick, or uncomfortable.
- Refrain from sports like skiing, gymnastics, horse riding, or other high-risk activities.
- Don’t exercise in hot weather.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout.
- Don’t practice exercises that involve lying flat on your back for extended periods, especially after the 4th month.
- Don’t overwork yourself
Receive High-Quality Pregnancy Care from North Atlanta Women’s Care!
At North Atlanta Women’s Care, we understand every pregnancy is different. That’s why we follow a customized yet compassionate approach to ensure you receive the best possible pregnancy care & delivery in Suwanee, GA. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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