Exercising during pregnancy has tremendous benefits on the pregnant woman as well as the developing fetus.
Pregnancy workouts make the pregnancy more comfortable to the mother and help to build a healthier baby. They also contribute significantly to an easier delivery.
Some commonly recommended exercises during pregnancy include walking, swimming, stretches and yoga. All you need to do is give 30 minutes daily or maybe 5 times a week but with full devotion. Exercising daily will add to the benefits more than doing it 5 times a week.
Broadly, exercises or physical workouts require that your body muscles and tissues get exerted and ask for more oxygen. This makes the heart pump more so that more blood can reach the muscles and the various parts of the body. Along with oxygen, more nutrients also reach all the body parts.
The growing fetus in the uterus also receives more blood from the mother through the placenta.
During exercise, your breathing also becomes faster and deeper, lungs contract and expand more and the lungs draw in more oxygen from the atmosphere. So, your lungs are also exercised.
It is not just the receipt of the oxygen and the nutrients, more blood circulation also means that the carbon dioxide and other wastes are also removed from the blood, various organs and tissues of the mother and fetus in a more efficient manner.
All this contributes in a very positive fashion to the overall health of the muscles, tissues and the body organs of the mother and fetus making them stronger.
Read below the benefits of pregnancy workouts, which will convince you why you should exercise during pregnancy.
How do pregnancy exercises benefit the mother?
- Exercise strengthens your muscles and builds up your endurance and stamina, which helps to have an easier labor. It also helps to get back in shape faster after your delivery.
- Feeling of well-being. Exercising when pregnant gives you a feeling of well-being and improves your mood and appearance.
- Energy booster. Increases energy levels and decreases fatigue associated with pregnancy.
- Better sleep. Exercise helps you to get better sleep.
- Fights pregnancy pain. Decreases pregnancy symptoms such as backache by strengthening the back muscles
- Better circulation. It improves blood circulation, which helps to alleviate pregnancy symptoms like constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, leg cramps and swelling of feet.
- Stress reliever. Relieves stress, which is often associated with pregnancy and helps to prevent postpartum depression.
- Prevents complications. Exercise also helps to prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes (diabetes which onsets during pregnancy) preeclampsia.
- Better weight control. Maintains optimum weight and prevents excess weight gain. Read pregnancy and weight gain.
- Reduces risk of cesarean section. In women who develop gestational diabetes, there is an increased risk of such women delivering larger babies of higher weight (macrosomia).
- This can cause problems during labor and the rate of cesarean section in such cases is very high. But, in women who have regularly exercised during their pregnancy months, the risk of such women delivering macrosomic babies is reduced by 54% and a significant reduction of cesarean section deliveries.
How do pregnancy exercises benefit the baby?
A better heart. Your workouts benefit the cardiovascular system of your baby which help build a stronger heart and a better blood circulation.
Fetuses of mothers who exercised had stronger hearts than babies of mothers who did not.
Unborn babies of pregnant women who exercised during pregnancy had lower heart rates and more heart rate variability than their counterparts, which are signs of a healthier heart. These signs were present even one month after delivery in the infant.
A better nervous system. A study found that exercise during pregnancy helped to develop a better nervous system of the baby, including the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary functions such as beating of the heart, blood pressure, and breathing.