Exercising during pregnancy isn’t just helpful – it can have true health benefits for both mother and baby. Many women are hesitant to exercise during pregnancy, or don’t know what’s safe and what’s not. But staying active while pregnant is important! Here are some of the benefits offered by prenatal fitness.
Reducing Stress & Anxiety
There are many hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy, and with all these changes come worries and stress. Exercise can be an excellent way to manage stress and keep anxiety levels in check. Not only will a mild workout help release endorphins – hormones that can help regulate mood – but simply focusing on your body and mind will also provide a great distraction from worry.
Moreover, with increased stability in hormones due to regular exercise, you may find yourself feeling calmer and more at ease throughout your pregnancy.
Preventing Excess Weight Gain
Although gaining some weight during pregnancy is healthy, too much weight gain can have serious repercussions. Avoiding excessive weight gain starts at the beginning of your pregnancy, and exercise then can be helpful. Just make sure you seek advice from a doctor or prenatal fitness expert before starting any routine.
Exercise helps you to burn calories and build and maintain muscle. Just make sure to adjust your calorie intake to account for the calories burned – otherwise, you run the risk of not providing enough nutrition for both you and the baby.
Preparing for Childbirth
Some expectant mothers experience back pain due to changing posture during pregnancy. But regularly doing certain low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, and yoga can help strengthen your abdominal muscles and lower back, resulting in less pain and better preparation for labor.
In addition, exercising during pregnancy can help increase your endurance, which is especially helpful during the later stages of pregnancy and can make labor and delivery significantly easier.
Prenatal exercise doesn’t just benefit the mother; it can benefit the baby too. Regular exercise can increase the amount of oxygen to your baby, helping to nourish its development. Studies have also found that babies born to women who exercised during pregnancy had higher APGAR scores than those born to mothers who did not exercise.
Additionally, there is research showing a link between regular exercise during pregnancy and a reduction in the risk of neural tube defects in babies.
Exercising during pregnancy has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits for both mother and baby. Talk to your doctor before starting any prenatal fitness program to ensure that it’s safe for you and your baby. With the right guidance, you can stay healthy and feel great during your entire pregnancy.