Exercising regularly is beneficial because it helps build your bones and muscles, increases your energy level, and keeps you healthy. Exercise during pregnancy has the added benefit of helping you look and feel your best at a time when you're experiencing many changes in your body.
Read the following information from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and learn how pregnancy affects your ability to exercise and how exercising during pregnancy can benefit you.
Many of the physical changes caused by pregnancy affect your ability to exercise:
Joints: Due to pregnancy hormones, the ligaments that support your joints become more relaxed. Because of this added mobility in your joints, your risk of injury increases. For this reason, you should avoid bouncy, high-impact or jerky exercises.
Balance: As your pregnancy progresses, the extra weight in your belly shifts your center of gravity and stresses your joints and muscles -- particularly those in the pelvis and lower back. The result is greater instability, back pain, loss of balance, and increased risk of falling.
Heart Rate: Because your weight increases during pregnancy, your heart has to work harder. Exercise increases your heart rate and the flow of oxygen and blood to muscles and away from other parts of your body. It's crucial not to overexert yourself.
The Benefits of Pregnancy Exercise
Exercising and staying active during your pregnancy can help you with some of the symptoms of pregnancy like feeling tired and sluggish, and gaining too much weight. Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial because it:
- Reduces backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
- Increases energy and stamina.
- Lifts your spirits and balances your mood.
- Improves posture.
- Helps build better muscle tone and strength.
- Promotes better sleep.
- Gives you a sense of control and self-confidence.
- Provides you with time for yourself to do something for yourself.
- Gives you the opportunity to do some socializing -- a pregnancy exercise class is a great way to befriend other pregnant women.
In addition to keeping you fit and healthy now, regular activity during pregnancy also helps improve your ability to cope with the rigors of labor. And after baby is born, it is easier for you to get back in shape if you've been staying fit all along. While moderate and pregnancy-safe exercises are good for you, it's not advisable that you exercise for weight-loss purposes during pregnancy.
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.