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Reasons to Exercise During Pregnancy

You’re swamped. You’re exhausted. You have crib shopping to do. There are tons of excuses not to hit the gym while pregnant, so we rounded up some real motivators.
ByMeredith Franco Meyers
Contributing Writer
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Image: Getty Images

You’ll be less moody.

Pregnant and grumpy? Even a little bit of exercise goes a long way towards improving your mood. And there’s actual science behind this. When your heart gets pumping, blood flows to your brain and endorphins are triggered. Endorphins are known as the body’s happy chemicals, and they usually kick in after 30 minutes or more of exercise. The more endorphins, the merrier!

You’ll have a healthier baby.

Exercise is important in managing your weight gain, and in a Boston study, women who gained more weight during pregnancy increased their odds of delivering heavier babies. High birth weight predicts an increased body mass index later in life. In other words, exercise helps prevent weight issues for baby.

Complications are less likely.

Expectant moms who keep working out tend to have lower blood pressure and a lower chance of developing  gestational diabetes or getting preeclampsia, a scary medical condition that can mean bed restlabor induction and birth complications.

You may avoid tearing or a c-section.

Having a strong pelvic floor makes you more likely to be able to push baby out fast if needed — and avoid  tearing or needing an emergency cesarean.

You’ll have fewer aches and pains.

When you get your heart rate up, you’re actually improving your body’s circulation. And that means less pressure on your joints. So there’s hope for those swollen, stiff ankles. Ditto for varicose veins.

Labor will be easier and faster (yay!).

A New Zealand study reported that expectant moms who exercise for at least 40 minutes up to five times per week are more likely to have babies of normal birth weight, who are easier to push out. Plus, fit women are more flexible, exhibit better muscle control and breathe easier while pushing too.

You’ll be less, um, stopped up.

Moms who are more active are less likely to be constipated. Exercise such as walking or swimming at least three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes can get your bowels, you know, going. You’re welcome.

Plus, More from The Bump:

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