Working out during pregnancy can seem like a such a drag especially when all you may want to do is sprawl out on your couch and munch on your favorite cookies all day and night until baby is born.
Sound like a dream? Maybe. But the truth is that there are so many benefits to staying active while pregnant.
You’ll experience these benefits not only during pregnancy but also during childbirth and postpartum.
Need some extra motivation? No problem!
Here are 13 geniues reasons to get off the couch and workout during pregnancy!
**This post may contain affiliate links. I am NOT a licensed medical professional. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before doing anything you haven’t already been doing, including working out. Don’t start anything new if you have or suspect that you have a condition that may make it dangerous for you to workout. For my full disclosure policy click here.
Working out during pregnancy makes pushing baby out easier
Who wouldn’t want to have an easier and faster childbirth? Working out can make pushing baby out during labor much easier!
This study found that women who trained their pelvic floors had a shorter pushing stage during childbirth compared to women who didn’t.
I use this amazing doctor-recommended and designed kegel weight system to keep my pelvic floor nice and strong. It’s also safe for your during pregnancy.
Working this often neglected muscle will make your pelvic floor stronger, more flexible, and more efficient not only during labor but also during postpartum, so you don’t end up having to deal with things like postpartum incontinence.
You should also focus on working out your transverse abdominis (TA) muscle.
This muscle is quite like an internal corset which wraps around your entire abdomen.
During labor, all of these parts of your body along with your uterine contractions work together push baby out. The stronger your TA muscle, the more efficient it’ll be during labor.
Helps you sleep better
Getting good sleep during pregnancy is important! I think we can all agree that sleep is everything to pregnant mamas!
Working out during pregnancy is a great way to expend your energy. By the time bed time rolls around, you will probably already be fast asleep!
Try working out earlier during the day for a great sleep during pregnancy.
Can reduce the risk of preterm labor
Various studies have found that working out during pregnancy can reduce the risk of preterm labor.
This study found that staying fit while pregnant also contributes to healthier and more efficient placentas which is the organ that is key is sustaining a healthy pregnancy.
Decreases risk of pregnancy complications
Research shows that the rate of gestational diabetes (GD) is increasing in pregnant women around the world.
Not only does this pregnancy complication affect mom, it can also be detrimental for baby.
Studies have found that working out during pregnancy can help lower your risk of developing pregnancy complications which can be life threatening, such as: GD, high blood pressure, and pre-eclampsia.
Helps prevent excess weight gain
Working out during pregnancy along with enjoying healthy and wholesome foods will help prevent excess weight gain.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can be a problem not only for you but also for your baby.
Staying fit while pregnant can help lower the risk of GD, macrosomia (significantly larger than average baby), high blood pressure, c-section, and many other complications.
It can also help prevent complication during your postpartum recovery.
Working out during pregnancy is good for your heart
Not only is working out during pregnancy good for your heart, it’s also good for your baby’s!
Studies show that maternal exercise during pregnancy has a positive effect on baby’s heart health even after birth.
During pregnancy, your blood volume increase by a whopping 30-50%! So it is working much harder to sustain both you and your baby.
Exercising supports and boosts your cardiovascular health and helps keep your blood pressure at a healthy range.
Decreases risk of injury
That big ol’ bump your rocking has shifted your center of gravity forward.
The more the curve in your lower back is accentuated as your bump gets bigger, the more forward your center of gravity is shifted.
You’re also more at risk of falling during pregnancy due to the relaxin hormone relaxing the ligaments in your pelvis and causing instability in your joints.
Notice all that waddling you’re doing? You can thank relaxin for that!
This makes you more prone to accidents such as tripping and falling.
Working out during pregnancy will help improve your posture, reduce the stress on your lower back, and decrease your fall risk.
I also strengthens your body as a whole, improving your balance.
Decreases back pain
Back pain is no fun especially when your pregnant! I dealt with lower back pain during the later part of my pregnancies and it was terrible.
Going to see my chiropractor during pregnancy and exercising really helped me feel a lot better which is why I always encourage moms to do these things in preparation for childbirth.
Increase your core strength like we discussed earlier and doing pregnancy exercises such as cow tilts will help relax and take the pressure off your lower back, and also correct your posture.
Can help boost your immune system
Working out during pregnancy can help boost your immune system naturally.
According Dr. David Nieman, regular exercise increases blood and lymph flow as your muscles contract, it also increases the circulation of immune cells, making them roam the body at a higher rate and at higher numbers.
He says that, “regular moderate exercise lowers upper respiratory tract infection rates while improving immunosurveillance”.
Immunosurveillance is a fancy scientific term for the processes by which cells of the immune system detect and destroy foreign pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, or pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the body.
In this day and age, it’s important to take care of yourself especially during pregnancy!
Staying active will help you have an overall healthy pregnancy.
Improves mood and sense of well-being
When you work out, you look good. When you look good, you feel good!
Working out during pregnancy regularly to increase your “feel good hormones” which include: dopamine, seratonin, and endorphins.
These are all great for reducing stress during pregnancy and will help you be in a much healthier mental space when the time to give birth comes around.
Tones and sculpts your body
Speaking of looking and feeling good, working out during pregnancy will also help sculpt your body and tone your muscles.
Don’t put any pressure on yourself to be runway skinny, that’s absolutely not what it’s about.
It’s all about preventing excess weight gain and looking your best so you feel your best while pregnant!
Help relieve constipation
Constipation is something that many moms deal with during pregnancy due to an increase in the progesterone hormone which makes the digestive system more sluggish.
Working out regularly during pregnancy can in fact help with constipation since it can stimulate the bowels.
Can make postpartum easier
Last but certainly not least, working out during pregnancy can help you have an easier and more pleasant postpartum recovery.
We already know that it can help you have an overall better experience during pregnancy and childbirth.
So wouldn’t it be fair to say that it also make your postpartum recovery easier?
I’m not saying you’ll be rocking rock hard abs rick nor am I saying that you will be back in the gym squatting 100lbs in a week, but I believe that exercising can help you have a better physical sense of sense.
You may feel healthier, stronger, more energetic during postpartum.