Do you need some motivation? I know I do! With this fatigue and all these hormones coursing through my body the last thing I want to do is exercise. I used to think pregnancy was a lazy season of life where you get to eat a lot and lie around waiting for the baby to grow. Not only that, but I had the impression that exercise during pregnancy is cautioned against and could be dangerous to the health of the baby. While pregnancy does consist of increased amounts of resting and eating, refraining from exercise altogether during pregnancy is far from ideal. I’ve been surprised to learn there are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy. Ultimately, a healthy pregnancy should involve 30 minutes of activity per day.
If you thought pregnancy was an excuse to sluff off and not worry about exercise, think again! Here are seven important reasons to stay active, or if you weren’t already, to get started:
- Increased Energy: It seems counter-intuitive, because when I am tired or nauseous the last thing I think of is exercising to help give me more energy. However, getting moving can not only give us a small dose of energy for the day, it most definitely helps in the coming days.
- Sleep Better: I know this is true for me as well. When I get my muscles moving during the day, I’m better able to relax and catch some zzz’s.
- Increased Health: Both mom and baby benefit from exercise. Exercising increases circulation, strengthens the heart,and lungs, as well as builds muscle. When mom is healthier, so is baby!
- Mental Health: Depression and Anxiety are normal symptoms of prenatal hormone changes, as well as postnatal. Exercise is proven to help reduce the effects of depression. Getting moving can not only decreases symptoms of mood swings, and depression it can help us manage those unhelpful additions hormone swings bring.
- Manage Weight Gain: Increased appetite and cravings are common pregnancy symptoms. Burning calories through exercise helps manage the pounds so they don’t pile on too fast or too much, as well as aid in losing weight postpartum. (More tips for managing weight gain)
- Strengthened for Labor and Birth: Going through labor takes a lot of strength and energy. Having a healthy heart and strong muscles will help with labor.
- Get Bowels Moving: Lastly, I find it encouraging to know that when I’m plugged up, a little exercise can get things moving. I know I’m not alone in experiencing constipation. I think probably every pregnant woman will experience constipation at least a few times during their pregnancy.