The following are some of the benefits you reap when exercising during your pregnancy:
- Improves your posture, relieve the typical aches and pains of pregnancy, strengthen and stretch your muscles and keep you energized and up-beat.
- Help to control excess weight gain, and may help you relax and sleep better.
- Increase your strength and stamina and will help you cope better during the marathon of labor. Your postpartum recovery will be quicker.
- Help your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles regain their strength sooner and you will find it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy shape if your muscles are toned and stretched during pregnancy.
- Benefit you once the baby has arrived by helping you gain and maintain strength throughout your prenatal fitness training.
Current research continues to show that women can and should safely exercise and maintain their levels of fitness during the perinatal period. Women who continue to exercise regularly throughout their pregnancies are less likely to need medical intervention during labor and delivery (i.e. pitocin use, forceps delivery, etc.) and experience less time in both active labor and during the second (“pushing”) stage.
With these findings in mind, more and more women are starting an exercise program or continuing to exercise during their pregnancies. Regardless whether you are new to exercise or a seasoned exerciser now that you are expecting it is even more important to incorporate regular workouts and proper nutrition into your daily lifestyle.
Not only do you and your baby reap benefits throughout your pregnancy, but the long term effects of exercise for both mom and baby are tremendous. Do not wait until your baby is born to begin an exercise routine.
Make sure you are in care of a physician and that you seek advice and training from an experienced pre & post-partum fitness coach who can guide you through the entire prenatal fitness program customized to your needs, stage of pregnancy and lifestyle.
Same goes for babies of fit mothers, the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet are tremendous. They:
- Are born healthier
- Have better Apgar scores
- Weighed less and have less body fat at birth
- Are calmer
- Handle labor better
- Have significantly better oral language skills by the age of five
- Increased IQ
References: *Clapp III, James F. Exercising Through your Pregnancy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1998.