While pregnancy is a good excuse for staying inactive and lazing around, it should not. Regular exercise is a perfect way to attain a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy while promoting lifelong health and wellness.
Visit this site for pregnancy-friendly gym equipment to kick off your fitness journey. Here are nine benefits you will reap from being physically active during pregnancy.
Is Exercising Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy comes with numerous emotional, mental, and physical changes. You may feel the need to sit back and relax as you nurse a plethora of body changes. Sitting around is not helpful, especially if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy.
Exercise is generally safe for the mother and baby and doesn’t make you vulnerable to miscarriage, low birth weight, or premature labor. In fact, pregnant women with healthy pregnancies should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
However, moms-to-be should consult a practitioner to get the go-ahead for exercising. While exercise is good for the mother and does not harm the unborn baby, a doctor may limit or restrict it. The practitioner may restrict exercise for expectant women with heart and lung diseases, preeclampsia, cervical problems, and placenta issues.
Most exercises are safe in pregnancy as long as you do them cautiously and listen to your body. The best ones are swimming, brisk walking, cycling a stationary bike, squats, and group dances. These activities have a low injury risk, exercise the whole body, and can be done until the last trimester.
Some exercises, such as horseback riding, skiing, extensive running, and jumping, may be harmful during pregnancy and should be avoided. When exercising, please wear comfortable clothing, stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and don’t overdo it.
Benefits of Regular Exercise While Pregnant
Increase Sleep Quality
Many pregnant women experience sleep problems such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome. Research shows that 76% of expectant women struggle with poor sleep quality in the three trimesters.
Exercising is an excellent non pharmacological way to improve sleep quality. It tires you out and boosts sleep drive, thus pushing your body to sleep more. Additionally, exercise relieves stress and anxiety, which are enemies of sleep. Nonetheless, do not work out too close to bedtime, as it can sabotage your sleep.
Prevent Excess Weight Gain
One study shows that moms-to-be who work out two to three hours weekly throughout the trimesters were 40% less likely to battle excess weight gain than their counterparts who don’t exercise.
Physical activity prevents weight gain and maintains a healthy weight in three ways. Firstly, it increases metabolism and burns off calories, helping lose body fat. Second, muscle building and repair after exercise burns more calories.
Third, it maintains muscle mass that tends to decrease with age. Lastly, it prevents weight gain for expectant mothers at risk of obesity.
Lower Risk to Certain Diseases
Exercise can reduce pregnant women’s risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and cesarean birth. Gestational diabetes, for example, is prominent, with the CDC reporting that 6-9% of pregnant women develop the condition.
It has adverse effects on the health of women and their unborn babies. Women are likely to develop high blood pressure and have a cesarean delivery, while babies are at risk of preterm birth, congenital disabilities, and stillbirth.
Reduce Some Pregnancy Side Effects
Expectant mothers experience numerous unpleasant side effects throughout their pregnancy, including morning sickness, vomiting, fatigue, gas and bloating, frequent urination, vaginal discharge, and constipation.
Physical activity can ease some of these side effects, including constipation, bloating, fatigue, and swelling. Regular exercise relieves constipation by encouraging active bowels. It also fights fatigue by increasing energy levels.
Working out promotes stamina, strength, and overall fitness. Aerobic exercises like dancing, brisk walking, and indoor cycling are prominent for strengthening the heart and lungs and enhancing circulation. The stamina and endurance acquired prepare you to tackle one of the most challenging workouts -labor and delivery.
Ease Back and Pelvic Pain
As your baby bump grows, much pressure is put on the lower back, leading to back pain. You may feel stiffness, soreness, and aches in your lower or upper back, which can sometimes extend to your pelvis.
While remedies for back pain range from watching pregnancy weight to avoiding heavy lifting items and buying a firm mattress, regular exercise can also help. Physical activity for strengthening the back and abdominal muscles, the pelvic floor, and thighs such as arm and leg raises, Kegels, wall squats, and pelvic tilts can reduce and relieve back pain.
Pregnancy can be stressful, with 17% of expectant women being psychologically stressed. Unfortunately, high-stress levels can put you at risk of miscarriage, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, low birth weight, and premature birth.
Physical activity helps moms-to-be reduce stress in two ways. First, it increases the release of endorphins in the body, chemicals essential in improving mood and reducing anxiety while easing stress. Second, exercise lowers pregnancy discomforts, a significant stressor for pregnant women.
Reduce Odds of Delivery Complications
Regular moderate-intensity exercise three times a week can reduce a pregnant woman’s risk of having a macrosomic baby –a big baby weighing more than 13 ounces. A bigger baby can increase the likelihood of complications for the mother and child. The mother may have prolonged labor, uterine rupture, and excessive bleeding, while the baby may develop breathing problems, shoulder dystocia, and birth trauma. Although regular exercise does not eliminate the risk of fetal macrosomia, it reduces it significantly.
Speedy Recovery After Delivery
Fitness during pregnancy can enhance post-delivery recovery. One study revealed that physically active women recover faster after labor than inactive ones. You recuperate faster and resume household chores as well as other personal and job obligations.
While you may struggle to finish a meal in the first trimester, contend with a changing body in the second, and battle fatigue and frequent urination in the third trimester, exercising may be the last thing you want to consider. Research shows that regular exercise benefits you and your baby by lessening the risk of certain diseases, improving sleep quality, easing pregnancy side effects and complications, and keeping you feeling good as your body changes.