Our last post, Exercise During Pregnancy, is it Safe? outlined basic guidelines for safely exercising whilst pregnant. Today, we’d like to give you a little motivation and discuss why exercising while pregnant is important and well worth the effort, not just for mum but for baby too. Let’s start with the benefits for mum...
Exercise, pregnant or not, helps to:
- Control weight
- Improve muscle tone
- Maintain cardiovascular fitness
- Modulate the endocrine (hormone) system
- Improve your mood
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Increase the quality of your sleep
- Stimulates the bodies detoxification pathways
That’s just the basics. For pregnant women, exercise has a few added benefits. Exercising whilst pregnant has been shown to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, hypertension and gestational diabetes. Exercise can prevent low back pain and urinary incontinence - two problems that are much more common than they should be, and are often tolerated unnecessarily. (See more info on Maternity Care.)
Good for You, Great for your Baby
Not enough to get you up and moving yet? Well here are the benefits for bub. Exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of congenital abnormalities, normalises birth weight and, contrary to previous thinking, increases the incidence of full term delivery.
Now for the clincher; the latest research delves into the affects that exercise during pregnancy has on your child, through adolescence and even into adulthood. A number of studies suggest that the benefits to the child of exercising during pregnancy include lower weights, lower fat percentages, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Other studies have demonstrated positive correlations between exercise in pregnancy and language development, coordination, balance, strength, speed and endurance.
Extra Info on Exercising Whilst Pregnant
The bottom line is that everybody can benefit from exercise, and that includes expectant mums and their bubs to be.