Benefits of Working Out while Pregnant
Staying fit during your pregnancy makes the entire 40 weeks easier to manage, brings you and your baby tremendous benefits, makes labor and delivery easier than for non-exercisers, and helps you go back to your pre-pregnancy weight and size after your baby is born.
Be sure to get your doctor’s permission before embarking on a prenatal exercise program. Some high-risk conditions do rule out exercise during pregnancy.
Here’s just some of what you’ll be doing if you stay fit during your pregnancy:
Reducing back pain and soreness: As you likely already know, your baby’s growing size puts pressure on your hips, butt, and back, which can lead to stiffness and soreness. When you exercise during pregnancy, you improve your posture and get your back, hip, and butt muscles in shape, thus reducing back pain and soreness.
Gaining enough but not too much weight: You absolutely need to gain weight during your pregnancy, because of the extra fat stores, body fluids, and blood your baby needs to grow properly — not to mention the weight of the child! But many women gain too much, and take years to lose that weight (or never do). Recent studies show that women who regularly exercise right up to the end of their pregnancies gain nearly 8 pounds less than non-exercising pregnant women, but were still well within the normal weight-gain limits for a healthy pregnancy.
Getting good sleep: If you’re having trouble sleeping during your pregnancy — as many women do — exercise can help you sleep more soundly at night and feel more awake during the day.
Reducing delivery complications: Several studies show that women who exercise have fewer complications during delivery and generally need fewer drugs for pain relief.
Reducing time spent in labor: One of the most stunning benefits of getting and staying fit during pregnancy is that labor is significantly shorter (by about one-third). Also, women who exercise tend to go into labor about five days earlier than women who don’t exercise, making pregnancy that much shorter.
Having a leaner child: Studies show that women who exercise regularly during pregnancy have leaner (not low-birth-weight) babies, and this leanness continues by age 5. This starts your baby off on the right fitness foot from Day 1.
Quickly returning to your normal weight: Women who exercise during pregnancy have less weight to lose after they deliver and find that the weight comes off more easily than for women who don’t exercise.