There are many benefits associated with staying active during pregnancy, as long as your pregnancy is progressing well and there are no complications.
Moderate cardiovascular exercise won’t harm an unborn baby and it is generally advised that pregnant women continue doing the same exercise they did before they fell pregnant — with a few exceptions and some modifications as they progress through the trimesters.
There are so many reasons to keep fit and healthy during pregnancy. Here are just some of them …
9 reasons to exercise during pregnancy
It gives you the energy for pregnancy and labour
Keeping fit improves your energy levels and helps you deal with the increased energy demands of pregnancy and labour (women often cope with labour better having exercised through their pregnancy).
Will help you look after your new baby
Maintaining your fitness will help you to look after your new baby once born. Labour and birth can really take it out of you and the effects of sleep-deprivation can be cruel. Looking after yourself – and staying fit and healthy – will assist in your recovery and help give you more energy to cope with the frequent feeds and chronic tiredness.
It can help with pain
Moderate regular exercise has been shown to boost the release of beta endorphins which can provide a sense of wellbeing and decrease the perception of pain during pregnancy. This can lead to less lower back pain, headaches, or round ligament pain.
It makes you feel good
According to one study, women who didn’t exercise regularly only had a 2.5% increase in endorphins with exercise. The women who did exercise regularly over two months had a 57%, 79% and then a 145% increase in endorphin release with exercise.
It boost endorphins during labour
Not only does regular exercise boost endorphin release during exercise, it also boosts endorphin release during labour (endorphins – the body’s natural drug!).
It makes you happy
Exercise can improve a woman’s self-image and wellbeing during and after pregnancy, generally keeping her happier.
Can reduce back pain
Exercise that targets and strengthens the core stability muscles of the back and pelvic joints can reduce low back pain.
It helps you sleep better
Fit individuals have been shown to have better sleep patterns – more slow wave sleep. This will leave you feeling more rested and get a better night’s sleep.
It helps you maintain a healthy weight
And finally… exercising during and after pregnancy will help you to stay within a healthy weight range during pregnancy and afterwards as well.