10 Reasons Pregnant Women Should Exercise UPDATED

This blog post has been updated to reflect the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy.

1. Energy
One of the best ways to increase energy levels is to get moving.  Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.  This results in more energy for everyday tasks.  

2. Comfort
Most pregnancy aches and pains come from muscular imbalances, pressure of the growing uterus and a shifting of the spine and pelvis.  Regular exercise, especially muscular endurance, prenatal specific core work and stretching can help prevent and reduce these discomforts.

3. Improved Pelvic Floor Health
Regular pelvic floor work, giving equal focus to the contraction and the release, may help with urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, low back pain and even labour.

4. Decreased Digestive Discomforts
Regular exercise improved circulation, reducing nausea and constipation.

5. Mental Health
Exercise is a safe and accessible way to prevent and manage depression and anxiety.  It’s also a fantastic stress buster.

6. Healthy Weight Gain
Healthy weight gain helps to prevent pregnancy complications such a gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and an increase in labour interventions.  

7. Prevention of Gestational Diabetes, Gestational Hypertension and Preeclampsia
Regular cardiovascular exercise helps to prevent and manage gestational diabetes and maintain healthy blood pressure. This reduces the incidence of labour interventions and cesarean birth. 

8. Prevention of Swelling, Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids
Regular cardiovascular exercise promotes healthy circulation.

9. Stamina for Labour and Parenting
Ask any woman who has gone through labour and she will tell you that it was one of the most physically intense endeavors she has ever experienced.  Ask any parent of young children and they will assure you that parenting is seriously physical work.  Fact: Being strong, fit and healthy will help make parenting more manageable.

10. Decreased chance of caesarean birth, instrumental delivery, newborn complications

Now let’s talk about exercising safely through your pregnancy.

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