Pregnancy is an exciting experience, but it can also be a tiring one! In-between appointments, to-do lists and nesting, exercise doesn’t always feel like the most appealing activity. This can feel especially true during the -third trimester!)
However, upping your activity levels while you await baby’s arrival can actually result in a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy - and even speed up post-delivery recovery! Here are some of the main benefits:
Lowers Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can rise during pregnancy, but if it becomes too high there's a risk of developing preeclampsia. A study found that by staying active - even just by walking regularly - can keep blood pressure from rising. It can even lower your likelihood of giving birth to a macrosomic (or oversized) baby, meaning your chances of experiencing complications during delivery is lower.
Tiredness is one of the trademark hallmarks of pregnancy - especially during the first and third trimester. It sounds odd, but not doing any exercise can actually result in feeling even more exhausted.
Listen to your body and never push yourself over what you think you can handle, but even activities like an easy walk, gentle yoga or a prenatal class can make a big difference to your energy levels.
Things like discomfort, bladder pressure, heartburn and cramps can make falling asleep a challenge during pregnancy! However, exercising consistently during the day or early evening can improve the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling more rested.
Speeds up Post-delivery Recovery
The more you increase your pregnancy fitness, the faster your physical recovery will be after childbirth. In a 2012 study, women who exercised recovered faster after labour than those who didn’t exercise.
Reduces the Risk of Pregnancy and Delivery Complications:
According to a 2017 study, women who participated in fitness programs were less likely to develop gestational diabetes. They were also less likely to have unplanned cesarean sections than those who didn’t exercise.
Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to exercising during pregnancy. As long as you follow advice from your doctor or healthcare professionals and avoid anything that feels too challenging, you can maintain an enjoyable, safe exercise routine throughout your pregnancy.
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