11 Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

11 Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an extraordinary journey for any woman, both physically and emotionally. As your body changes to accommodate the growth of your baby, it becomes imperative that you stay active and healthy.

In addition to improving your overall well-being, exercise during pregnancy can prepare your body for labour and childbirth. 

In this guide, you’ll learn the 11 benefits of exercise during pregnancy, when to start exercising for normal delivery, safe early pregnancy exercises, at-home workouts for pregnancy, and exercise restrictions for each trimester.

The Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

Exercise during pregnancy does great things for both you and your baby. It helps you manage weight gain, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, and make you feel better, just to name a few things. In addition to its physical benefits, frequent exercise helps to make your muscles stronger and better prepares your body for the rigours of childbirth, and it can even make it easier for you to get back into shape postpartum.

pregnant lady walking exercise

11 Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

You don’t have to trade in your favourite workout gear for oversized sweatshirts just yet. The gym can be your new playing field or even your own home. Here are the benefits of working out while you are pregnant:

  1. Improved cardiovascular health: Strengthens the heart and blood vessels so you and your baby have increased circulation.

  2. Better mood: Physical activity releases endorphins and can help ease stress, anxiety, and depression.

  3. Weight management: Helps you keep within healthy weight gain guidelines. It even makes it easier to slim down after your baby is born.

  4. Reduced risk of gestational diabetes: Helps regulate blood sugar and can lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes, a condition that affects pregnant women and the body’s ability to process sugar. The condition can create serious health issues for a baby.

  5. Better sleep: Helps you get the rest you need and quickens the process of falling asleep, which is especially important because a little human inside you is sleeping, right?

  6. Reduced back pain: Strengthens and stretches muscles in the back and around your core, which is important for avoiding and relieving back pain.

  7. Increased energy: Keeps you from nodding off throughout the day and before dinnertime.

  8. Improved posture: Exercising can help you to maintain and have a proper posture during pregnancy.

  9. Preparing for childbirth: Boosts muscle strength and endurance needed for the many hours of labour that lie ahead in delivery.

  10. Faster recovery: Increases your odds of snapping back into shape after labour and delivery.

  11. Bonding with baby: Is the perfect opportunity for a mother-to-be to bond with her baby. It may be by dipping in the pool with that little one growing inside of her.

Which Month Should You Start Exercising During Pregnancy for Normal Delivery

Exercise can generally be started when you are pregnant, but it's important to speak with your healthcare provider first. Most women's gentle exercises can be performed in the first trimester. The duration and intensity of your exercises can be gradually increased as your pregnancy advances.

Home Exercises Suitable for Early Pregnancy

Expectant mothers will be glad to hear that they don't have to put their regular workouts on hold for nine months. Fortunately, there are safe exercises you can continue to do during early pregnancy at home. These often include walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga, which can help you stay active during early pregnancy and beyond in a way that's gentle on your body and baby.

pregnant lady yoga exercise

Workout Restrictions

Of course, certain workouts must become restrictions under certain conditions — such as when you're having a sensitive pregnancy. Here are our best workout rules for each trimester that pregnant women can do at home safely.

First Trimester

  • Avoid exercises that involve lying flat on your back for an extended period of time, as well as activities that have a high risk of falling or abdominal injury.

Second Trimester

  • Avoid any exercises that involve lying flat on your back. Also, off-limits activities that require jumping, sudden changes in direction, as well as high-impact sports and heavy lifting.

Third Trimester

  • Avoid the same exercises from the second trimester, but stop doing any activities that put pressure on your pelvis or require you to lie flat on your back. That means no deep squats or lunges.

The benefits of keeping fit during pregnancy are numerous in terms of physical and mental well-being. It also makes it easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born. Remember to start gently, particularly in the first trimester and intensify as your pregnancy progresses. But before starting any new form of exercise make sure that your healthcare provider has given it the ok.

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