10 benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Where exercising during pregnancy was once taboo, healthy pregnant women are now encouraged to continue a modified fitness program to prepare them for the demands of labour and caring for a newborn baby. For women who have never exercised before conceiving, there's much to be gained from adopting an appropriate exercise program while pregnant, and beyond.
While frequent trips to the bathroom throughout the night, weight gain and hormonal changes will often have you feeling frazzled, bear in mind some of the benefits of regular exercise during pregnancy:
- Lift your spirits — exercise boosts levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood, putting you in better spirits.
- Prepare for childbirth — labour requires stamina, focus and plenty of determination; the fitter you are, the better equipped you will be for giving birth.
- Reduce constipation — by moving more you'll accelerate movement in your intestine.
- Faster return to pre-pregnancy healthy weight — you will gain less body fat, making it easier to lose the excess kilos once baby is born.
- Sleep better — exercise can assist in managing restlessness and disturbed sleep during pregnancy.
- Maintain a level of fitness — if you were a regular exerciser before falling pregnant, you'll be keen to stay in shape.
- Reduce stress — pregnancy is both a joyous and stressful time, exercise can temper the emotional rollercoaster.
- Reduce pregnancy discomfort — exercise can help manage back pain and strain as your belly grows.
- Improve your self-image — exercise increases the blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy glow.
- Me-time: — it will be the last time you can enjoy your exercise high without having to coordinate babysitters and sleep times once baby is born.
- Exercise program for pregnancy
- Exercise program for mums with infants
- Exercise program for mums with preschoolers
- Exercise video - dips
- Exercise video - lunges
- Exercise video - planks
- Exercise video - push ups
- Exercise video - squats
Your exercise program
Your personal trainer
Be guided by your doctor or health care professional before participating in any exercise program while you are pregnant and following childbirth.
This article was written by Tiffany Bonasera for Kidspot. Sources include Better Health Channel.
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