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10 Reasons You Haven’t Heard To Exercise While You’re Pregnant

Here are just a few of the many reasons that exercise can actually benefit pregnant women—before, during and after giving birth.

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Expectant mothers who exercise are less likely to have unplanned c-sections.

More and more mothers are being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which can lead to your baby growing too large. In this case, your baby may be too hard to deliver, requiring a cesarean delivery. Moms who exercise during their pregnancy are less like to have unplanned c-sections.

Running while pregnant is a great way to boost your heart.

If you’re fit and your baby is healthy, it’s perfectly okay for you to continue your normal routine up until your final trimester—it’s a great way to boost your heart. Expectant mothers who are new to running should start slower and build up to running. Don’t overdo it too quickly, and be sure always to listen to what your body is telling you.

Weight training during your first trimester will help prepare your body for the added weight of your baby.

Studies from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health reports low to moderate training twice a week is safe and effective for pregnant women—and weight training during your first trimester can help prepare your body for your baby’s added weight.

During your first trimester, you can try riding a bike for a healthy way to increase your heart rate.

Once you enter your second trimester, your balance may not be what it used to be. At this time you may want to consider switching your bike out with a stationary bicycle, which is a healthy way to increase your heart rate.

Doing Pilates can help you with balance issues associated with pregnancy.

Pilates focuses on building core muscles and challenging your strength and balance. When you become pregnant, your body begins to produce higher levels of relaxin, which softens the ligaments in your pelvis to make room for your growing baby. This relaxin circulates throughout your entire body, not just your pelvis which can lead to wobbly hips, knees, and ankles. Over time you will learn what your body is capable of and how to control your balance.

Activities such as yoga can help reduce blood pressure.

High blood pressure is common in pregnant women and even up to 20 weeks after delivery. High blood pressure can decrease the blood flow to the placenta, and your baby may receive less oxygen and fewer nutrients if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Doing a little yoga during your pregnancy can help to reduce your blood pressure.

Exercising throughout your pregnancy can lead to a faster, easier labor.

Strengthening your abdominal area, core, and pelvic floor can aid in speeding up both labor and delivery. The average first-time mom has a labor of 12-14 hours—cutting this time down will lead to a happier, healthier mother and child.

Exercising during pregnancy can help tame your lower-back pain.

Pregnancy related back pain is a common complaint in pregnant women. The added strain caused by your baby bump can have a negative impact on your quality of life. It’s estimated that 50 percent of women will suffer from lower back pain due to pregnancy. Of those women, one-third will experience severe pain. Doing low-impact weight training or stretching exercises such as yoga can significantly help lessen your pain.

Regular exercise can prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes.

If untreated, gestational diabetes can deliver excessive sugar to your baby’s bloodstream, which can cause potentially serious complications for both you and your unborn child. Doing regular exercise during your pregnancy can help prevent this.

Pregnant women who exercise have improved circulation and blood flow.

You can increase your circulation and blood flow by doing consistent exercise. This will allow your baby to receive nutrients it needs more efficiently. Better circulation also helps prevent constipation, varicose veins, and leg cramps.