Keeping a regular exercise routine while pregnant isn’t always easy, but it’s truly essential to your own physical and emotional well being, and now we know it’s just as beneficial to your unborn child’s lifelong health. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you can safely take part in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise every day, as long as your doctor hasn’t told you otherwise, and you can do it regardless of your prior fitness level.

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Here are 13 compelling benefits of getting the exercise you and your baby need for good health during your pregnancy:

  • Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight gain in pregnancy, which keeps you more comfortable, makes it easier to bounce back after the birth of your baby and is directly tied to preventing childhood obesity in your unborn child.
  • It builds and maintains muscle tone, helping you feel and look better.
  • Helps to prevent gestational diabetes.
  • Aids digestion, helping with the dreadful pregnancy heartburn.
  • Helps regulate blood pressure and can help to keep preeclampsia at bay.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety, maximizing the joy you get from your pregnancy.
  • Improves self-image, which pregnant women often struggle with as they watch their bodies change and grow.
  • Exercising your core will help prevent back and posture problems caused by your growing stomach.
  • Improves circulation and reduces swelling.
  • Stretching helps back pain and the general aches and pains associated with your growing body.
  • It releases endorphins, which in addition to boosting mood and reducing stress, help you sleep better.
  • Later in pregnancy, exercise encourages the baby to move into proper position for birth.
  • Builds stamina and endurance for labor and delivery.

There’s no denying the numerous benefits of keeping fit and active during your pregnancy. You can safety and easily fit exercise into your schedule – whether it’s prenatal yoga, walking, swimming or weight training – with a little advance planning and perhaps some help from UrbanSitter. Book a sitter to cover your childcare needs while you get your prescribed dose of physical fitness!  And, of course, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

What are your tips for getting in exercise while pregnant? Share them with us in the comments!