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There are many benefits of continuing exercise during pregnancy. One thing to remember, though, is that you should have reasonable goals and expectations.

Why should I exercise when pregnant?

Pregnancy is NOT a time to try to reach peak fitness levels. But it is a time to maintain good fitness levels! Some of the benefits include:

  • Quicker postnatal recovery
  • Easier, shorter labours (apparently!)
  • Reduced weight gain
  • It helps prevent gestational diabetes
  • It improves glycemic control in women with gestational diabetes
  • It improves your body awareness
  • Your circulation improves, and you’re less likely to get leg cramps
  • Reduced oedema (swelling) and better self-image
  • Less insomnia, stress anxiety and depression.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommends that exercise sessions should be limited to 45 minutes in pregnancy. Most pregnancy-focused classes include a relaxation section, so they meet these guidelines.

What if I don’t exercise?

We all know exercise is important, but in pregnancy you might feel less inclined to start a new exercise regime. But it’s important to consider the possible effects of not exercising in pregnancy, including:

  • Loss of muscular and cardiovascular fitness (you’ll need muscle strength in labour!)
  • Excessive maternal weight gain
  • Raised risk of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia
  • Development of varicose veins
  • Increased incidence of physical complaints such as dyspnoea or lower back pain
  • Poor psychological adjustment to the physical changes of pregnancy.

Information provided by Fit 2 Drop

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