Did you know that exercising while pregnant can help your body handle the changes of pregnancy and prepare for the challenges of labor?
In fact, regular movement has been proven to benefits you and your baby in these key ways: Reduces back pain, eases constipation, may decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and labor interventions, promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy, improves your overall general fitness, and strengthens your heart and blood vessels.
Not too long ago, exercising while pregnant wasn’t nearly as common as it is now. Exercise is not only allowed but is strongly encouraged by doctors. But don't just take our word for it; let's review 5 reasons to exercise while pregnant.
1. Reduces Unpleasant Pregnancy Symptoms
From leg cramps to hemorrhoids to back pain, being pregnant can be an uncomfortable affair. Adding movement into your day can help relieve many common symptoms of pregnancy. By getting your blood flowing - whether by walking or strength training - you will increase your circulation, which helps with everything from varicose veins, leg cramps, and constipation. Back pain can be reduced by strengthening the muscles of the body that help support it as your belly grows.
Not sure where to start? Let us help! All of our stroller-based classes are great for pregnant mamas as well. Click here to see our upcoming schedule.
2. Improves Your Mood
It’s incredibly stressful to prepare for a new person to enter your life! Mood swings are synonymous with pregnancy, and luckily simply getting some exercise can help even out these intense feelings by releasing endorphins. Endorphins not only help boost positive feelings but also help reduce pain perception. Exercising with friends or in a class with other moms-to-be gives you an additional mood boost because of the sense of community and friendship.
3. May Help Prevent Gestational Diabetes
Your healthcare provider has likely talked to you about gestational diabetes, and if you haven’t had the glucose test, you’ll take that between 24-28 weeks. Research has shown that moderate physical activity a few times a week during pregnancy improved the mother’s glucose tolerance, helping to prevent gestational diabetes. Plus, higher levels of physical activity both before and in early pregnancy significantly lowered their risk of developing gestational diabetes.
4. Improves Sleep
Getting your sweat on can help you sleep better at night and make it easier to fall into a deeper sleep. If your workout is energizing, make sure you finish your workout at least 3 hours before you plan to go to bed; if you choose more mindful movements like yoga, feel free to move while in your PJs.
Guess what? We have a program for that too! Make sure to check out our On Demand offerings here.
5. Prepares You For Birth
If you aren’t sold on prenatal exercise by now, then listen up! Exercise will help you have an easier, likely quicker, labor. Being physically fit may not reduce the actual pain of labor, but mentally getting through a tough workout will help you manage the pain of labor more readily.
There are studies that suggest women who worked out during pregnancy have shorter and less exhaustive labors. Think of giving birth as an endurance event. You may be able to get through a marathon with little to no training, but you certainly won’t feel good!