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The benefits of exercising while pregnant

Heavily pregnant woman stretching on the grass

There are many benefits associated with staying active during pregnancy, providing your pregnancy is progressing well and there are no complications.

Moderate cardiovascular exercise won’t harm an unborn baby.

Here are 9 fantastic reasons to keep moving and exercising regularly throughout your pregnancy.

  1. 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).
  2. Maintaining your fitness will help you to look after your new baby once born.
  3. Moderate regular exercise has been shown to boost the release of beta endorphins which can provide a sense of well-being and decrease the perception of pain during pregnancy. This can lead to less lower back pain, headaches, or round ligament pain.
  4. 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.
  5. Not only does regular exercise boost endorphin release during exercise, it also boosts endorphin release during labour (endorphins – the body’s natural drug!).
  6. Exercise can improve a woman’s self-image and wellbeing during and after pregnancy, generally keeping her happier.
  7. Exercise that targets and strengthens the core stability muscles of the back and pelvic joints can reduce low back pain.
  8. 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.
  9. And finally… exercising during and after pregnancy will help you to return to your pre-pregnancy weight earlier and more easily.

 

For more info about how to safely exercise while pregnant, check out our Ultimate Guide to Exercising While Pregnant, and see where you can find your nearest pregnancy exercise class.

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