There's no better time to really start focusing on your health as when you're expecting a child. While healthcare professionals warn against starting a new, vigorous workout routine during pregnancy, if you are having a healthy pregnancy, you'll be hard-pressed to find any doctor who'll tell you not to exercise at all.
Working out during pregnancy has many benefits for both mom and baby, including:
Benefits of Working out During Pregnancy for Mom
- Reduces swelling, constipation, bloating and back pain
- Promotes better sleep
- Can help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
- Increases energy
- Improves mood
- Improves endurance & strengthens the body, which has been shown to help women better cope with labour
- Makes achieving post-natal fitness goals easier
Benefits of Working out During Pregnancy for Baby
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy abound for baby too. A study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology revealed that mothers who exercised, particularly in their third trimester, had babies with less body fat than mothers who exercised very little or not at all.
Author of the study, Dana Dabelea, MD, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Public Health, explains, "Prenatal exercise may reduce the amount of glucose and fats mothers make available to their babies, helping them grow more optimally."
What's more, many experts also hold that babies born at healthy weights are less likely to become obese children or adults.
And another benefit of exercise during pregnancy for baby: it improves baby’s heart health, in much the same way it improves the heart health of the mother.
In case you need one more perk of pregnancy workouts for baby, another study shows that babies whose mothers engaged in at least 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises three days a week had babies with more advanced brains.
In other words, mama, if your doctor has given you the green light, get moving!
Here's a free workout for pregnant women from our wildly popular BodyRock Baby series.
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BodyRock Baby Workout for Pregnant Women