You probably know that exercise is healthy during pregnancy, but the practical implementation is a tougher pill to swallow. Between the nausea, fatigue, and other ailments, dragging yourself to the gym can feel nearly impossible.
So maybe you need some additional motivation to make those workouts happen. The infographic below from Mom Loves Best outlines the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy - many of which actually combat some of your primary pregnancy complaints.
Read on to learn more, and then check out the infographic for the full scoop.
The Benefits for You
It makes sense that exercising during pregnancy can help you stave off additional and unhealthy pregnancy pounds, but did you know it can also help reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes? It can even help to give you more energy, reduce morning sickness, and alleviate back pain.
Exercise during pregnancy can also help with swelling, improve constipation, and even boost your immune system. Being sick, sore, and tired is hard enough when you’re NOT pregnant; it’s even more miserable when you are. Who knew that something as simple as exercise could help you feel so much better?
The Benefits for Your Baby
Exercise during pregnancy also has very tangible benefits for your baby. Babies born to mothers who exercise regularly tend to have a healthier birth weight, and it also helps their lungs develop better in utero, which could lead to fewer breathing difficulties after birth.
They are also born with a stronger immune system, which is important since babies can be super susceptible to many diseases. There is also evidence that they have more brain activity, better oxygen flow, and a lower heart rate than babies born to mothers who didn’t exercise regularly.
How to Exercise Safely
So you want the benefits of exercise, but where do you begin? How do you do it safely? The general rule of thumb is that if you were active prior to your pregnancy, you don’t need to significantly reduce the time or intensity of your workouts. If you are just beginning a workout regimen, start slowly and don’t push yourself too hard.
Either way - whether you’re a fitness guru or a complete novice - there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Always stretch before your workouts, and listen closely to your body. Never try to push through pain; “no pain, no gain” should never be your pregnancy workout motto. Adjust your workouts as you advance in your pregnancy and as your center of balance changes. Make sure you drink plenty of water and only exercise in moderate temperatures in order to avoid dehydration and overheating, both of which can be exceptionally dangerous while pregnant.
And always, always keep your doctor apprised of your workout routine. They can help you identify your target heart rate, and give you tips on what signs to look for that may indicate you need to dial it down.
So even though it’s hard, keep up your workouts throughout your pregnancy. Even a 20-minute light workout has benefits, and in case you needed one last bit of motivation to make exercise part of your routine, here you go:
Women who exercise tend to have shorter and easier labors than those who don’t.
If that won’t get you motivated to lace up those sneakers, I don’t know what will!