Pregnancy is no longer an excuse not to exercise. In fact, many medical experts suggest expecting mothers to stay active during their nine months, but there are still a lot of women who are unable to do so. "The percentage of women who meet the recommendations for exercise during pregnancy is very low," revealed María Perales, lead author of a Camilo José Cela University study. Her team's research found that 45 % of mothers-to-be started out their pregnancies overweight or nearly obese. Unhealthy lifestyle puts them at risk of getting lower back pain and urinary incontinence. Conversely, they found proof that exercising can lessen the chances of a premature birth and a child’s inheritance of genetic obesity.
In truth, you don’t necessarily have to partake in strenuous workouts. For example, you can take walks or do yoga. Being more active simply means not sitting or lying around for numerous hours. You have to keep your body strong and energised, especially since you’re also giving energy to your baby.
If that’s still not enough to convince you, here are 5 key reasons why you should stay active while pregnant.
1. Helps avoid excessive morning sickness
Morning sickness may be a common occurrence during pregnancy, but too much of it can be dangerous. The Daily Escape defined hyperemesis Gravidarum in a previous post as the excessive bouts of morning sickness experienced by 3.5% of pregnant women. It can lead to a substantial loss of nutrition for the mother and fetus, leading to extreme weight loss.
An active lifestyle during the prenatal period can minimise the health condition.
2. Comforts your body
Exercising keeps your muscles and bones strong, thereby reducing, or at least alleviating, the body aches during your nine months. Babycentre states that it eases back pains, improves your circulation, and gives you a strong core to hold your growing baby.
3. Induces quality sleep
Once your body is comfortable, you can sleep more naturally and prepare for the challenging nights after birth. Mommy blogger Lunch+Littles wrote on Leesa that you’re likely to lose a lot of sleep post-pregnancy. Since your baby is not yet crying almost every other hour, pregnancy is the best time to rest regularly. Exercising helps by releasing excess energy, so you’re less stimulated and more relaxed to fall asleep come nighttime.
4. Promotes emotionally stability
Sleep deprived people tend to be more emotional, and pregnancy does enough of that as it is. Aside from helping you sleep, fitness author Suzanne Schlosberg highlighted that exercising outdoors helps avoid pre-natal depression because sunlight has antidepressant effects. An active lifestyle may exclude you from the 12 % - 20 % of expecting women who experience depression during their pregnancy.
5. Makes delivery easier
Most importantly, exercise during pregnancy can contribute to an easier delivery. Although this isn’t 100% assured, the chances are increased given your stronger body and more resilient cardiovascular system. In fact, research found that pregnant women who regularly practiced water aerobics were 58% less in need of pain medication during labour.
Even though your body is going through multiple changes during your pregnancy, you don’t have to let things be all throughout the process. You still have control over your health and fitness even when you’re expecting. After all, the healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be.