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How Important Is Exercising During Pregnancy?

Written and reviewed by
Motherhood 86% (36 ratings)
Speciality Birthing Care
Gynaecologist, Bangalore  •  8 years experience
How Important Is Exercising During Pregnancy?

Exercising during pregnancy is beneficial not only for the expectant mother but also for the growing fetus. The effects of exercise at this time can be seen immediately and last a lifetime. Unless a woman suffers from a medical condition, she should have at least 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise a day when pregnant. Here are a few ways you can benefit from exercising when pregnant.

  1. Energy Boosts- Carrying a growing fetus can take away a lot of your energy leaving you feeling tired and listless. Exercising strengthens your cardiovascular system and circulatory system this giving you more energy to get through the day. It also strengthens and tones your muscles so that the effort needed for any activity is reduced.
  2. Improves your Sleep- Though exercise gives you a boost of energy, it also tires the muscles, thus making it easier to fall asleep at the end of the day. This is important, especially in the later stages of pregnancy where finding a comfortable position to sleep in becomes difficult.
  3. Lower the Risk of Pregnancy-related Complications- Regular exercise when pregnant can help reduce the risk of suffering from complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Even if you are suffering from these complications, regular exercise can help manage the condition and treat it.
  4. Reduce Discomfort- During pregnancy, your muscles shift and skin stretches to accommodate the growing fetus. Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles and reduce the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. While walking can improve circulation, swimming strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  5. Make Childbirth Easier- Childbirth is considered by many to be the most painful part of pregnancy. If you choose to have a natural delivery, it requires stamina, focus and determination. Exercise tones the muscles and build stamina thus making it easier to push the baby out. Exercise is also said to reduce the time taken for child birth.
  6. Fight Stress- Pregnancy plays with your hormones a lot can lead to mood swings and depression. Exercise boosts serotonin or happy hormone levels. This helps raise your spirits and fight stress.
  7. Get back into shape after childbirth- Pregnancy is characterized by weight gain that can be difficult to lose after child birth. However, if you exercise regularly when pregnant, this weight gain is restricted and the excess kilos are easier to lose. This is because your muscles have been toned throughout pregnancy and the weight gain is more muscle oriented than fat. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
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