Pregnancy is one of the most important moments in a woman’s life. Any future mom wants to protect her unborn child and make sure he enjoys perfect health. However, this doesn’t mean you should stay glued to your bed and avoid exercise or sports. Prenatal fitness is good for you and your baby. Staying active will help your body cope with the increased demands on your joints and muscles, strengthen your pelvic floor, and reduce weight gain.
Getting to Know the Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy is not the time to put up your feet and rest, but a time to make healthier choices, such as working out or quitting sugar. Regular exercise can help prevent excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other disorders that may occur during pregnancy.
Health experts agree that both aerobic and strength training are safe and beneficial for moms-to-be. The aim of prenatal exercise is to stay fit rather than to reach peak performance. Working out will not affect your baby or reduce the amount and quality of milk you produce. It can actually boost your overall health, reduce labor pain, and prevent urinary incontinence in the future.
Physical exercise can help women adjust to the physical changes that occur during the nine months of pregnancy. It may help relieve tiredness, fatigue, nausea, swelling of the feet, varicose veins, and lower back pain. Working out also improves your muscle tone and makes you stronger overall. On top of that, it relieves stress and anxiety. Future moms who exercise are less likely to become depressed after giving birth.
Is Exercise Good for Your Baby?
Your unborn child can benefit from exercise just as much as you do. Recent studies indicate that working out not only increases mitochondrial activity in your brain, but this effect may also cross the placenta and benefit your baby’s brain. Regular exercise can also reduce your risk of miscarriage and premature labor. If you stay active during pregnancy, you’re 75 percent less likely to need a C-section, forceps delivery or other intervention.
Researchers have also found that moms who work out while pregnant give birth to healthier babies with a normal body weight. Babies who carry extra pounds at birth are more likely to become overweight and develop diabetes later in life. By working out, you may enhance your child’s athletic potential and lower his risk of chronic diseases in adulthood. On top of that, your baby may grow up to be smarter and enjoy better cardiovascular health.