• How to Exercise When You're Expecting

  • While most women now know that exercising during pregnancy is safe, there are still fears that can keep women from being active enough to reap the benefits of regular prenatal workouts. The real danger lies in being sedentary, which can lead to excess weight gain, gestational diabetes, and a host of other pregnancy problems.

    And exercise is safe for both mom (to-be) and baby, according to a recent study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. For healthy women, moderate exercise during pregnancy poses no risks to fetal well-being, in terms of blood flow or heart rate. The findings were true for both regular exercisers and first-timers - and even high-intensity workouts are OK if you were already very active before you became pregnant.

    How to Exercise When You're Expecting The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends at least 30 minutes of some type of exercise on most, if not all, days. Walking, swimming, elliptical machines, and stationary cycling are all great choices. Here are nine benefits of working out when you're pregnant - one for each month:

    1. Exercise reduces your risk for pregnancy related complications such as preeclampsia, or excessively high blood pressure.
    2. Staying active can help prevent and treat gestational diabetes.
    3. Moving during the day will help you sleep better at night, which is essential to your well-being while you're pregnant.
    4. Common discomforts such as constipation, bloating, and swelling all benefit from exercise.
    5. You'll have more energy and may experience improved moods thanks to the endorphins your body releases during activity.
    6. You're less likely to experience backaches.
    7. Exercise will help keep your pregnancy weight gain - and your baby's weight - in check.
    8. You'll be more fit to face the physical demands of labor and delivery.
    9. Bouncing back to your pre-pregnancy shape will be easier.

    Always talk with your obstetrician before beginning or significantly changing your workout program.

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