Prenatal exercise offers numerous health benefits. Before you lace up your sneakers and hit the park, however, make a quick pit stop at your practitioner's office to get the green light on workouts. You'll most likely get it, of course – with most practitioners not only permitting but also encouraging expectant moms to stick to their usual workouts for as long as it is practical and safe.
What is considered a “practical” or “safe” workout routine when you’re pregnant, though? The official advice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says to aim for 30 minutes of some sort of physical activity for at least five days of the week – for a total of 150 minutes per week – throughout the entire duration of your pregnancy. If that sounds daunting, keep in mind that activities, like walking around the neighborhood, can count towards your goal.
With your doctor’s okay and a few extra precautions, you can reap the perks of exercise during pregnancy – no matter what your workout habits were like before conceiving. Here are the major benefits of exercising during pregnancy for both mom and baby:
How you benefit from working out while pregnant:
• Reduced incidence of lower back pain
• Diminished risk of gestational diabetes
• Lessened likelihood of an unplanned cesarian
• Decreased change and/or severity of postpartum depression
• Decline in weight gain during pregnancy
• Lower risk of urinary incontinence
• Cut down on constipation during pregnancy
• Subsided tiredness and grogginess
• Potentially shorter labor
How your baby benefits from you working out while pregnant:
• A healthier heart
• Normal birth weight
• Quicker neurological development
• Reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome
• Better immune system development
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