Is Physical Activity Important during Pregnancy?

a pregnant woman with a child

Exercising isn’t always the top priority of most pregnant women. The constant changes in their bodies, moods, and habits make it even harder for them to hit the gym and be active. But according to health experts exercising during pregnancy has many positive effects that will benefit you and your baby.

Even a simple activity like walking or stretching can significantly improve your mood and give you a better sleep. So if you still can’t find the motivation to be active while your baby bump is growing, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about the advantages of physical activity for expectant moms that you might find interesting.

The Benefits of Pregnancy Exercise

Growing up, you’ve probably been educated that exercising plays a vital role in keeping your boy healthy. Plus, it prevents diseases and keeps unwanted fats away. But it’s crucial during pregnancy due to various reasons. Here’s why you need to get moving while pregnant.

Exercise reduces the risks of complications.

We all know that pregnancy can result in many complications. But studies show that exercising during pregnancy reduces the risk of complications and prevents pregnant women from developing gestational diabetes. Being physically active is also helpful if you plan to have a normal delivery.

Lower chances of delivery failures.

Women who exercise three or more times a week will not gain too much pregnancy weight. As a result, they will most likely NOT have macrosomic babies (heavy babies). A heavy baby can result in many delivery complications and even force a mother to undergo an unplanned cesarian section.

Quick postpartum recovery.

Pregnant women who exercised during pregnancy can also recover quicker than those who did not perform any physical activities. Mothers tend to gain weight during pregnancy, and that’s normal. But if you want to go back to your natural fit body as fast as possible, exercising while you’re pregnant would be of great help.

But of course, your diet will also play a significant role in keeping you fit. Ask your doctor about the best diet meals for new moms, and always go for the safest options. Some whey protein products are safe for lactating moms, and some need special consultation. If possible, ask a professional about the best supplements to take.

Better mood.

Women are moodier during pregnancy. They tend to experience a roller coaster ride of emotions they don’t even understand. Studies show that pregnancy causes many women to develop depression or anxiety, especially if they don’t have physical activities.

Exercise can boost your mood and make you feel better. It reduces the risk of depression during pregnancy and eliminates stress and anxiety, making you feel better despite the body pains caused by pregnancy.

Regulated blood pressure.

It’s easy for a pregnant woman’s blood pressure to go high, and that’s normal too. But when the blood pressure goes too high, it might put the pregnant woman at risk of preeclampsia (high blood pressure). Simple exercises like stretching, walking, and yoga is an excellent way to ensure that your blood pressure stays at healthy levels while you’re pregnant.

Relieve back and pelvic pain.

Pelvic and back pain are also prevalent among pregnant women. These things happen because as the baby keeps growing, the more pressure it puts on, the lower body part. Regular exercises, especially during the late semester of pregnancy, help ease body pain and discomfort.

Better sleep.

a pregnant woman sleeping

Trouble sleeping is also a struggle for most pregnant women. The best way for you to sleep comfortably while pregnant is by exercising daily. However, make sure not to perform physical activities right before bedtime as it will increase your energy even more.

The Benefits for Babies

If there are benefits for pregnant women, exercising is beneficial for the baby too. Your baby will get the following benefits if you exercise while you’re pregnant.

  • Low risk of diabetes.
  • Stimulated brain health.
  • Low BMI upon birth.
  • A healthier heart.

If you want to ensure a healthy and safe delivery, always exercise, eat healthy meals, and follow your doctor’s instructions.

Starting Your Routine

You will not instantly see the results of exercising. Often, the benefits will start to show if you regularly exercise for about 150 minutes per week. Moreover, the benefits will increase the more you stay physically active.

So even if you don’t always hit the 150-minute goal per week, as long as your heartbeat keeps rising as you exercise, you’re good to go. Jogging, yoga, aerobics, and Pilates are some exercises you can consider starting your pregnancy fitness journey.

Even though you weren’t a total gym rat before you got pregnant, there’s nothing to worry about. Start with light exercises for at least 5 to 10 minutes a day, and slowly add a few more minutes every day so you can stay active. However, be sure to avoid activities that will put you at risk of falling or severe injuries.

 

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