While most people know the importance of exercise in their daily lives, many people seem to forget how important exercise is during pregnancy. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend 20 minutes to half an hour or exercise a day. Benefits of working out while pregnant are plentiful, and some of the top three include:
Lowering risks of pregnancy related complications.
According to studies, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes, after exercising moderately just three times a week, had a 58% reduced risk of delivering oversized (macrosomic) newborns, thus lowering the risk of a C-section by 34%.
Reduce pregnancy discomfort.
Regular exercise helps pregnant women deal with the aches and pains of pregnancy by strengthening muscles. Stretches, yoga, walking, and swimming, are all great exercise to help ease back pain, improve circulation, and strengthen abdominal muscles.
Boost your energy.
While many pregnant women report a decrease in energy and increased fatigue and sluggishness due to physical tolls taken on the body, exercise is a great way to combat energy loss. Exercise helps to strengthen the cardiovascular system, which helps women tire out less easily while dealing with the demands that pregnancy takes.
Aside from the well known and clear benefits to exercising while pregnant, some lesser known pros include:
Children grow up to be smarter.
Research shows that the kids of mothers who exercised during their pregnancy tend to have better memory, as well as higher scores on language and intelligence tests.
Exercise may help you quit smoking.
Expectant mothers who smoke cigarettes report that exercise encouraged them to quit smoking, curbed cigarette cravings, and boosted overall morale and energy to stop smoking.
Boost your child’s athletic ability.
A study shows that people in their 20’s with mothers that worked out during the course of their pregnancy excelled athletically over children with mothers that did not work out during pregnancy.
Labor may be shorter.