The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

pregnancy fitnessExercise during pregnancy benefits both mother and child, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Since exercise increases fitness, it is associated with healthier babies, limited discomfort and weight gain, and an easier labor. Exercise during pregnancy also provides many psychological benefits.

Reduced Physical Discomfort

When you are pregnant, the discomfort of backache, constipation, fatigue, and swelling may become a nuisance. Being active during your pregnancy can reduce the physical pain you experience. Exercising improves circulation, which leads to reduced swelling and better nutrient digestion, absorption, and utilization. In addition, good circulation will lessen your risk of developing varicose veins.

Decreased labor length

While labor length is always variable, research has shown that women who exercise often at moderate to high intensity have labors that are 1/3 shorter than the deliveries of women who don't exercise. Dr. James Clapp, author of Exercising through Your Pregnancy ,has pioneered studies showing that exercise leads to an easier pregnancy and delivery. His study of 500 pregnant women established that pregnant women who exercised found time spent in labor was shortened by one third, with 65% of women delivering in four hours or less.

Reduced Stress

Exercise provides you with a great stress release. The endorphins released during exercise provide positive psychological effects, reducing stress and improving your mood, says Molly Kimball, registered dietitian and board certified specialist in sports dietetics. Exercise can also improve your self-image and help you sleep better.

Increased Energy

When you are nauseated and fatigued it is normal to lack the motivation and drive to exercise. Gradually beginning an exercise program is likely to improve these symptoms. Exercising boosts your energy and improves endurance, which may help you manage pain during labor.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Obstetric Practice recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day for pregnant women. Nonetheless, consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

ADVERTISEMENT

What do you think?

The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Tell us what you think!

13 comments

  1. Moyo says:

    I need the motivation to go back to it.

  2. LIZ says:

    i love exercise i did t when i was pregnant and helps me a lot

  3. Marilyn says:

    I need to exercise more!

  4. i walked when ever i could

  5. Crystal says:

    I’m trying to exercise more

  6. Jkmarote says:

    Good advice, more walking for me and baby…

  7. verochka31 says:

    Great article!! at 28 weeks I still jog, walk and do other light exercises to stay fit and keep my weight under control……………

  8. Sara says:

    I had been walking on the treadmill at least 4 nights a week for at least 30 minutes because I know it’s good for me and baby, but these last few wks or so I have been so exhaustedi haven’t been keeping up…

  9. I try to do some aqua aerobics and use the eliptical machine at the gym at least twice a week. but i eat at least 4times more so theres really no maintaining weight but just staying physically active.

  10. vicki says:

    I really need to work on exercising more…

  11. i love to keep fit. and i go to the Y for a yago class…love it!!

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend