5 Reasons To Exercise Your Way To A Better Pregnancy
1. Prenatal fitness may improve long term health of your baby
Knowing how prenatal fitness can improve my own health is one thing.
But knowing that it can also improve my baby’s health is plenty to get me off the couch and moving my body!
Exercise during pregnancy may reduce your baby’s risk of juvenile diabetes and reducing neonatal macrosomia which is babies being born too large. Continuing these healthy habits after the baby is born will also teach your children to live healthy lives!
More and more studies are showing that healthy moms during pregnancy give birth to healthy babies.
2. Your baby may grow up smarter
This is one of my biggest motivators for working out during pregnancy!
New studies show that children of mothers who exercise during pregnancy have better memories and higher scores on intelligence and language tests.
The placentas of women who exercise during pregnancy grow faster and function better than those of who are healthy but don’t exercise. (Clapp, 2002)
A new study out of the University of Montreal recently found that infants of active mothers had brain activity associated with what would be expected of a more mature brain. Fetal responses indicated that babies brains developed more rapidly in mothers who exercised than those of more sedentary mothers.
Exercise during pregnancy increases blood flow and nutrients to the placenta which can help the baby develop better.
All it took was 20 minutes of moderate exercise at least three days a week!
3. Prepare your baby for the demands of labor
Research has shown that babies of mothers who exercised during pregnancy are able to tolerate the stresses of labor, such as contractions, better than babies whose mothers did not exercise.
Studies also show that babies of mothers who exercised are also able to transition to life outside of the uterus better and tend to be more alert and easy to care for. (3)
4. You’re less likely to gain excess weight
This is a “no brainer” right? But what is considered “excess weight gain”?
Excess weight gain during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for several complications including diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean deliveries (ACOG, 2015)
A word of caution. Whether you are pregnant or not, what you eat has the greatest impact on your overall body weight.
While exercise does help you to burn excess calories, you still cannot out exercise a poor diet which means make sure you watch those pregnancy cravings!
5. Boost mood
Don’t be moody, move that booty!
Pregnancy is an amazing experience but it is also a time when your hormones and mood can run very hot and cold.
My third pregnancy was by far my moodiest!
Not feeling motivated to workout? You’re only one workout away from a better mood!
Exercise helps boost those “feel good” endorphins that can really help boost your mood and fight the hormonal emotional rollercoaster of pregnant.