You’re aching and you can’t sleep and your back is killing you and your ankles are swelling and you’re constipated and bloated and you’re passing more gas than a busload of high school football players . In other words , you’re pregnant . Now only if there were something you could do that might minimize the aches and pains and unpleasant side effects of pregnancy .
Actually, there is, and it’ll take just minutes (make that 30 minutes ) a day: exercise. Thought pregnancy was a time to take it easy ? Not anymore. Lucky for you (or unlucky, if you’re a member of the couch potato club ) , the official advice of ACOG reads like a personal trainer’s pep talk : Women with normal pregnancies should get 30 minutes or more a day of moderate exercise on most ( if not all ) days .
More women than ever are taking that advice, making fitness a part of there daily – or almost daily-routine . And barring any red light from your practitioner, you can, too . It does’nt matter whether you started out as an iron women in peak physical condition or a sofa slacker who hasn’t laced up sneakers since your last high school gym class (except as a fashion statement ) . There are plenty of health perks to exercising for two.
The Benefits Of Exercise
So what’s in it for you? Regular exercise can help:
1.Your stamina. It seems paradoxical, but sometimes getting too much rest can actually make you feel more tired. A little exercise can go a long way when it comes to giving your energy level the boost it needs.
2.Your sleep. Many pregnant women have a hard time falling asleep (not to mention staying asleep), but those who exercise consistently often sleep better and wake up feeling more rested.
3.Your health. Exercise may prevent gestational diabetes, a growing problem among pregnant women.
4.Your mood. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, those feel – good chemicals that give you a natural high – improving your mood, diminishing stress and anxiety.
5.Your back. A strong set of abs is the best defense against back pain, which plagues many pregnant women. But even exercise that’s not directly targeting the tummy can also relive back pain and pressure.
6.Your (tense) muscles. Stretching does your body good – especially a pregnant body, which is more prone to muscle cramps in the legs (and elsewhere). Stretching can help you uncover little pockets of tension, warding off sore muscles. Plus you can do it anywhere, anytime – even if you spend most of your day sitting down – and you don’t even have to break a sweat.
7.Your bowels. An active body encourages active bowels. Even a 10 – minutes stroll helps get things going.
8.Your labor. Though exercise during pregnancy can’t guarantee that you’ll race through childbirth, moms who exercise tend to have shorter labors and are less likely to need labor and delivery intervention (including C-section).
9.Your postpartum recovery. The more fit you stay during pregnancy, the faster you’ll recover physically after childbirth ( and the sooner you’ll be zipping up those prepregnancy jeans again).
What’s in it for baby? Plenty. Researchers theorize that changes in heart rate ad oxygen levels in exercising moms-to-be stimulate their babies. Babies are also stimulated by the sounds and vibrations they experience in the womb during workouts. Exercise regularly during pregnancy, and your baby might end up being:
10.More fit. Babies of moms who exercise during pregnancy are born at healthier weights, are better able to weather labor and delivery (they’re less stressed by it), and recover from the stresses of birth more quickly.
11.Smarter. Believe it or not, research show that babies of moms who exercise throughout pregnancy score higher, on average, on general intelligence test by age 5 (meaning that your workout may boost both your muscle power and baby’s brain power!).
12.Easier. Babies of pregnant exercisers tend to sleep through the night sooner, are less prone to colic, and are better able to soothe themselves.