Benefits of Staying Active During Pregnancy

Staying active has been beneficial for both me and my baby.  I am remaining healthy and fit.  Exercise has eased my back pain, boosted my energy, improved my mood, and helped with my sleep. I also feel less nauseous, especially in the first trimester.  And, of course, the more you exercise during pregnancy the more your body stays strong and toned.

Here are some of the great benefits:

  • active_pregMakes you feel better
  • Improve your sleep
  • It can reduce constipation and swelling
  • Get your body back faster from childbirth
  • Prepares your body for childbirth
  • Less weight gain
  • Minimize aches and pain
  • Muscle tone, endurance and strength

Staying active is an overall mood booster and body changer. Working out de-stresses the mind.  Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins– those positive feelings that improves your mood and fight pregnancy fatigue.   Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals.  Why not stay active to feel confident, strong, and happy after a workout?!

General Recommendations

The following recommendations are based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Family Physicians for staying active during pregnancy:

  • Avoid doing exercises that require being on your back after 20 weeks
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is supportive but not constricting and will help keep you cool
  • Consume an extra 300 calories a day that you need while pregnant
  • Avoid getting overheated when exercising, especially in hot, humid weather
  • Drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated

Activity Ideas

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Dancing
  • Low impact aerobics and exercises

Hydration

Hydration is really important while exercising and even more important while pregnant. Staying hydrated while exercising is important because of the added sweat loss.  Even if you are not thirsty after working out, drink water anyway to refresh the fluids you lost.  Drinking water can help fatigue and prolong endurance.

Pregnant women should be able to continue most of their physical activities.  If you were exercising prior to becoming pregnant, you can usually continue the activities.  However, Be sure to consult your health care provider before starting an exercise program.  Please make sure you always hydrated and avoid getting over heated during exercise.  Avoid activities that are high risk and can cause you to fall. Bottom line:  ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and always talk to your doctor befor beginning a new exercise routine.

How do you stay active during pregnancy?

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Benefits of Staying Active During Pregnancy

  1. Tricia Stringer September 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I walked two miles a day unless it was raining or I was sick. It became a habit that I felt I HAD to do each day. What a great habit! I gained 7 lbs during my pregnancy. I started at 145 lbs. I ate three meals a day plus two snacks. My blood pressure was awesome 100/70. I felt great. My doctor never said anything to me about my small amount of weight gain. I delivered a 7lb baby at 38 weeks with no epidural and a 12 hour labor. I encourage everyone to exercise.

  2. Elizabeth (Betsy) Buchert, MD September 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    so true! i especially love the elliptical for pregnancy. use the one with the moving arm pieces, keep your shoulder blades pulled down your back and your chest open to really help your back and posture. if you use this correct posture you can get a great deep transverse abdominal workout as well. another thing i did for cardio while third trimester pregnant was ride the stationary bike keeping a completely erect straight back posture (don’t lean over and rest on handles) – also great for deep core strength. both are also easy on your joints. and yoga is fantastic! thanks for this great encouragement for mommies!

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