10 benefits of antenatal exercise

Here's why exercising during pregnancy is a good idea!

  1. Helps prevent excess body fat (not weight, you will weigh more, due to the weight of your baby and an increase in the size of your bust).
  2. Keeps your core, pelvic and back muscles strong.
  3. Improves circulation, which benefits your baby and minimises water retention and varicose veins.
  4. Promotes feel-good hormones and helps keep self-esteem high.
  5. Fights off pregnancy fatigue.
  6. Speeds up postnatal recovery and helps get you back in shape.
  7. Can help aid a speedier labour.
  8. Helps ease constipation, which is common during pregnancy.
  9. Can help promote better sleep.
  10. Prevents poor posture.

ALSO SEE: Your guide to exercising during pregnancy

The benefits of antenatal exercise for your baby

Besides the benefits of exercise for pregnant women, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand discovered that regular aerobic activity is good for the developing foetus too, and may even help babies get a healthier start in life.
The researchers asked a group of women to exercise on a stationary bike for 40 minutes 4 – 5 times a week, from the 20th week of pregnancy, while the second group didn’t train. When the two groups had their babies’ weights compared after birth, those that cycled regularly, gave birth to babies who were around 150g lighter than their counterparts.
Although this might sound strange, it’s well documented that babies born at a slightly lower weight, but who are still healthy, are less prone to developing diabetes and obesity later on in life.

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