31 Important Benefits of Exercising while Pregnant – Bun Maternity

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31 Reasons why Exercise is Important during Pregnancy

Now that you're carrying a new life, ensuring that you get the exercise you need is more important than ever. Why? Here are 31 good reasons to consider ...

  1. Daily exercise boosts your energy levels, which can be lower than usual during pregnancy.  While tiredness is real, the mental thought that you are energized, healthy, and revitalized from a workout session can be enough to keep your endorphins up all day.  The physical benefits will also add up and soon enough you will be a much more active and happy mum. 

  2. Exercising for 20-30 minutes per day can help you sleep better while you're pregnant, and we all need as much "good" sleep as possible. 

  3. Exercising daily, or even a few times a week can help reduce your risk for certain pregnancy-related complications.  Such as gestational diabetes and other health complications that can arise just from being pregnant.  Pregnancy changes your body...even a very healthy seeming person may find new issues arise from the time of being pregnant.  Stay active to keep changes at bay while your hormones are doing enough crazy changes. 

  4. Exercise, even third trimester exercises, helps prepare your body for the rigors of childbirth. In general, the fitter you are when you give birth, the better.  Mmmmhmmm, it literally can be a marathon.  Keep active so delivery can be "easier" that it would be if you didn't work your pelvic floor, kegals, and do those long walks.  

  5. Regular exercise reduces stress and boosts feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin.

  6. Regular exercise helps ease some of the discomfort associated with pregnancy like swelling (by increasing blood flow) and lower back pain.  Even really good long walks can help circulation, keeping down any swelling of the legs and ankles.

  7. Exercise helps improve your self-image, which can suffer when you start to gain weight.  A "belly only" pregnancy is possible by keeping a healthy diet and keeping up activities.  Eat a ton...a ton of good healthy foods, and balance sweet cravings with activity and eating them periodically so you avoid excessive fat gain.

  8. Being fit can help make the process of childbirth a little easier because it improves muscle tone and strength.

  9. Exercise improves your posture, which is a help when your body is carrying several extra pounds.  Back pain is real. Sit up straighter, get a body pillow if needed (works wonders in bed), and try to walk with good posture. 

  10. Exercise improves the health of your heart -- and your baby's heart too!  You're heart needs to be strong for childbirth so keep it up mama!

  11. Studies show that when your body fat is low (as a result of exercising), your baby's will be too, and those benefits not only give her a great start, but can help ensure she stays that way into her childhood years.  This also ties into your baby's birthweight and risks for childhood diabetes.  Keep healthy for that healthy baby to be. 

  12. Being healthy and fit when you give birth due to faithfully following an exercise regime during pregnancy can help your body bounce back faster.  While your body is a superpowerful force, as long as you can stay active and eat a healthy diet, you will find postpartum recovery to be a little easier and quicker. 

  13. Regular exercise during pregnancy is believed to help boost your child's brain functioning.

  14. You can improve your Microbiome -- the beneficial bacteria in your gut -- and your unborn baby's as well. Why is this important? Because scientists have learned that the bacteria that reside in the intestines of humans have a direct connection to our immune systems, our brains, and our metabolisms -- not to mention improving our digestion.

  15. Practicing yoga regularly keeps you calm and stretches tired and overused muscles.

  16. Regular exercise is a great way to ward off constipation -- a common complaint among pregnant women that are sometimes exacerbated by the supplemental iron in prenatal vitamins.  It's amazing what even a good walk will do to get the food down and reduce feeling backed up. 

  17. You can capitalize on the fact that pregnancy tends to make your muscles more flexible by doing prenatal yoga and showing off your amazing flexibility to your friends and family! (Relaxin is a pregnancy hormone that loosens your pelvic joints in preparation for childbirth, and also has the effect of relaxing other joints in your body.)

  18. Being fit might make you less likely to need an Episiotomy for a vaginal delivery.

  19. Exercise also reduces the odds that your obstetrician will need to use forceps to aid in your baby's delivery.

  20. Women who exercise throughout their pregnancy are less likely to need a C-section than women who don't exercise while pregnant. That is only considering everything is normal, like not breech baby, etc. etc. 

  21. The benefits of exercising during pregnancy can follow you into middle age, according to a Fit Pregnancy's citing of a study that followed women for 20 years after pregnancy.

  22. Practicing prenatal yoga will help you learn to better deal with discomfort.

  23. Exercising in water can help relieve pressure on joints and let you enjoy a wonderful sense of weightlessness at a time when you feel anything but weightless!  Swimming is a great workout while pregnant!

  24. Establishing a regular exercise routine during your pregnancy can make you feel so good about yourself, that you're more likely to continue to prioritize exercise after giving birth.

  25. Exercise may make you less prone to nausea -- or at least it can help take your mind off it, which certainly helps.

  26. Dancing (a great form of aerobic exercise) can boost your mood and expose your baby to uplifting music while he's still in the womb!  Baby can hear and sense the happiness in you...so bust a move mama and crank up the tunes!

  27. Exercises like walking can help improve your stamina -- something you'll need plenty of for labor and delivery and once your baby arrives at home.

  28. Each time you complete a workout, you get a boost in confidence, and that can spill over into the rest of your life.  A bright and happy mama is totally contagious to the energy of those around her!

  29. Taking a prenatal exercise class will give you the opportunity to meet other expectant Moms, some of whom you may end up being friends with for years to come!  A great support group will also help curb postpartum depression and feelings of loneliness. 

  30. Exercise makes you look better. Increased blood flow enhances the legendary "glow" that pregnancy brings.  That glow can be real...so exercise combined with the fact you haven't been drinking, you're gonna look and feel amazing!

  31. Exercising regularly helps keep your immune system in tip-top shape, reducing your risk for colds and flu during your pregnancy. You can't afford to be sickly during pregnancy so stay active and eat lots of blueberries and antioxidants to keep sickness away. 

With all these benefits, don't forget to drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water a day!  Keep the UTI's away, stay hydrated for baby and yourself, manage exercise with drinking water, and find yourself feeling really good during this special time. 

So obviously, there are a multitude of reasons to exercise during your pregnancy. Some of the best pregnancy exercises include prenatal yoga, walking, water exercise and working with weights to tone muscles. Just be sure to advise your doctor of your exercise plans and get her approval -- a wise move even when you're not pregnant!

While we're on the subject of exercising while pregnant, take a minute or two to check out the great tank tops, hoodies, tees, leggings and other great prenatal, postnatal and breastfeeding fashions at Bun Maternity because you'll want to show off that bump and mama glow in style!

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