Are pregnancy and exercise a good combination? We all know there are countless benefits of working out, but what are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy? It has been shown that the benefits of exercise not only apply to women but also to the developing fetus. Some studies even suggest that those who continue exercising during pregnancy could give their baby a neurological advantage when they grow up.
Those who have exercised at least 30 minutes a day while pregnant have also been able to:
- Modify weight gain
- Avoid preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
- Prevent or treat gestational diabetes
- Improve mood and comfort for labor
- Strengthen muscles and build endurance for childbirth
- Be mobile throughout pregnancy, even at the end
- Rebound from added weight and stress of new motherhood
The amount and type of exercise performed during pregnancy varies between women. Those who already exercise can choose to continue their current routine; it will just become harder with extra weight. Most exercises are safe for a mother and baby, but it’s best to avoid the following:
- Exercises that require you to lay flat on your back, which can cause back strain and could lead to fainting
- Working your abdominal muscles – this isn’t necessary because they are being stretched to accommodate the baby
- Exercises that could cause you to fall down – during pregnancy a woman’s balance is a little off
Moms-to-be, here are some safe exercises to try during pregnancy:
Before starting an exercises routine during your pregnancy it is always important to talk to your health care provider first. It’s also essential to drink plenty of water and to not exhaust yourself. Remember you are working your body, not pushing it. Once an exercise becomes a habit it will become easier on your body. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say you can participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most days of the week, as long as your health care provider approves.