7 Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise is great for your body and overall health at any stage of life, including pregnancy. Some women have formed the impression that exercise can increase their risk for complications. However, experts debunked the idea that exercise harms pregnant women since this belief fueled the causes of excessive weight gain. Furthermore, there are many benefits of exercise during pregnancy for both mother and child. It can also stop you stop gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Providers recommend exercise for nearly all stages of pregnant women.
Unless your OB-GYN informed you not to exercise due to having a certain medical condition or high-risk pregnancy, find an exercise routine that you love and can stick with! Here are seven benefits of exercising during pregnancy:
- Lowered risk for gestational diabetes
- Less risk of gaining too much weight during pregnancy
- Less baby weight to lose later on
- Lowered risk for constipation
- Improved sleep patterns
- Lowered risk for hypertension
Lowered risk for gestational diabetes
Another form of diabetes, you develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy which can increase your baby’s risk for diabetes or obesity later in life. Gestational diabetes can also lead to high baby birth weight. Furthermore, it can make delivery more difficult. Exercise can lower your risk for gestational diabetes by helping you maintain a normal, healthy weight throughout pregnancy.
Less risk of gaining too much weight during pregnancy
Other benefits of exercise during pregnancy are simply less weight gain. Of course, it’s normal and healthy to gain weight during pregnancy. However, gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase your risk of complications during delivery. Exercise helps you gain minimal weight while pregnant.
Less baby weight to lose later on
Since exercising leads to less weight gain, you can benefit from having less weight to lose after your baby is born. Some women spend months, or even years losing the extra weight they gain during pregnancy, but exercise can help you avoid these woes.
Lowered risk for constipation
More benefits of exercise during pregnancy consists surprisingly of less constipation. Exercise promotes good blood flow and circulation. It also helps flush waste from your body. Since constipation is a common side effect of pregnancy, exercising regularly can promote regular bowel movements, and lower your risk for constipation.
Improved sleep patterns
If baby movements and changes in your body frequently lead to sleepless nights, exercise can naturally help improve your sleep patterns. Even on days you can’t fit in your full exercise routine, go for a walk for the sake of being active and promoting a good night’s sleep.
Lowered risk for hypertension
Exercise lowers your risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure, in a number of ways. First, it promotes better blood flow and circulation. Second, exercise naturally reduces stress, which can lead to high blood pressure. Hypertension increases your risk for a pregnancy condition called preeclampsia which can lead to premature birth and other complications during pregnancy.
Increased energy levels
Exercise increases your energy levels so you can devote more time to doing activities with your family, or to focus on achieving your goals at home or work. Try exercising first thing in the morning so you can benefit from lasting energy throughout the entire day.
The best way to start exercising is to do an activity you know you’ll enjoy the most. Consider signing up for prenatal yoga, or go for walks with your partner or friends. Then, as you start feeling more energetic, try new exercises, sports, and leisure activities that get your heart pumping.
Women’s Care offers comprehensive, board-certified obstetrical care, including the special care of high-risk pregnancies. Learn more about the causes of excess weight gain and how to gain minimal weight while pregnant. Schedule an appointment with WCF today to benefit from a happy, healthy pregnancy.