Image source: iStock.com / jacoblund
In the past, pregnant women were told to take it easy when it came to exercise. However, now that there is more known about it, exercising while pregnant is shown to be good for both the mom and baby.
What are the Benefits?
- Not only does exercise benefit the body, but the brain, too! It increases the amount of blood flow, which leads the body to create more blood vessels. In turn, the brain is then given more access to oxygen and energy.
- The moms who exercise will usually be more physically fit and will potentially be less likely to have a C-section and possibly will recover more quickly after the baby arrives.
Cardio or Weights?
- Some of both is great, but if you are short on time, stick with the cardio. Aerobic exercise has a better effect on the brain. One great way to get a work out in is swimming. It works your entire body and the water helps by supporting your weight. Simply walking around in the pool will make you feel better, and your swollen ankles will, too! If you are more of a runner, that also totally works. The main thing is that you are getting some sort of exercise to better you and your baby’s health.
How hard should I push it?
- The number one tip is to simply listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and get some sweat dripping, but make sure to stay in tune with your body and know when it is time to lay off a bit. As the pregnancy goes on and you get closer to your due date, your body will probably be ready for a little easier workout, but it varies for every pregnant woman so that is why it is so important to listen to your body.
In the end, it is simply important to be active to help better your health and your baby’s. Remember to always check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise or physical activity.
Zero to Five by Tracy Cutchlow
LA DONNA WERTH, EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD
Peer Reviewed by Leanne Manning, Extension Educator, The Learning Child, Lisa Poppe, Extension Educator, The Learning Child, and Lynn DeVries, Extension Educator, The Learning Child
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