15 Benefits of Being Physically Active While Pregnant

For all populations, the benefits of being physically active are well-known. Likewise, it is important for pregnant women to be physically active because doing so benefits both the mother and the baby.

 

 

Once you know just how important exercising when pregnant is, you will have that added motivation to keep you moving throughout each trimester. So, if you are pregnant without complications, I encourage you to engage in appropriate exercises to enjoy these listed benefits, for yourself and your baby.

 

 

 

Pregnant woman exercising with dumbbells Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

 

 

Benefits to The Mother

 

  • 1. Improves fitness – There are many necessary changes happening in your body during pregnancy that affects your posture, balance, and fitness. Being physically active helps maintain cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and improves balance and posture.

 

  • 2. Increases energy level - Pregnancy can make you tired, exhausted, and anxious. But participating in a regular exercise program can give you the energy boost you need.

 

  • 3. Boosts mood – Being active releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins as well as calming chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

 

  • 4. Reduces back and pelvic pain – Performing recommended abdominal exercises supports your spine and helps your body cope better with the aches and pains of pregnancy.

 

  • 5. Improves sleep - When you feel less anxious and feel fewer body pains, then you can relax and sleep better.

 

  • 6. Controls weight - Weight gain during pregnancy is a natural and necessary process. However, excessive gestational weight gain is associated with maternal complications. Being physically active during pregnancy will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight

 

 

 

25,225 Black Pregnancy Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

 

 

 

  • 7. This in turn decreases the risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, etc.

 

  • 8. Faster postpartum recovery – Being physically active during pregnancy will make it easier to drop weight once you have your baby. On the other hand, you will have a harder time losing that weight if you wait till after pregnancy, after having a long-term break, to start.

 

  • 9. Prepares you for labour and delivery - Giving birth requires strength, stamina, determination, and focus. Being physically active strengthens your body and mind throughout pregnancy, and better prepares you for labour and delivery.

 

  • 10. Body image satisfaction - A lot of women struggle with their body changes while they're pregnant but being active can help you feel more comfortable by making you feel more in control.

 

  • 11. Reduce swelling - During pregnancy you will likely experience swelling as your body retains more fluid. Exercise can reduce this swelling by increasing your circulation and blood flow.

 

 

 

Black pregnant women exercise ball Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

 

 

Benefits to The Baby

  • 12. A physically active mother is less inclined to have an overweight child

 

  • 13. Exercising during pregnancy increases the blood flow to your child.

 

  • 14. A physically active mother is more likely to have a baby who has a healthier heart

 

  • 15. In summary healthier mother, a healthier baby

 

 

 

References

 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women

 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Physical Activity Recommendations for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

 

  • Dipietro L, Evenson KR, Bloodgood B, Sprow K, Troiano RP, Piercy KL, Vaux-Bjerke A, Powell KE; Benefits of Physical Activity during Pregnancy and Postpartum: An Umbrella Review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Jun;51(6):1292-1302.

 

  • Prather H, Spitznagle T, Hunt D; Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy. PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation. November 2012 4(11):845-50

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Nwaliweaku Anidi is a Public Health specialist, working in Nigeria’s national public health institute, and also the Founder of Active Lifestyle Project,  a social project that encourages healthy lifestyles, through educational awareness and behaviour changes, particularly physical activity, in the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases. Follow her works on Instagram here

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Samatha Styles
I want to use this means to let the world know that all hope is not lost Getting pregnant after having tubes clamped and burned, I know IVF and Reversal could help but the cost is way too high, i couldn't afford it either and i so desire to add another baby to my family been trying for 5 years, not until i came across Dr Zico, who cast a pregnancy/Fertility spell for me and i use his herbal remedy/medication and i got pregnant. l hope that women out there who are going through the same fears a