The Internet lit up with the image of expectant mother Natalie Portman hiking. When you’re expecting, it’s important to keep active. Why?
Pregnant women who exercise:
• Have more energy
• Less back pain
• Rebound to pre-pregnancy shape faster
• Have a better body image
• Experience less stress and depression.
The baby can also reap the benefit of mom’s activity. Researchers have found that a regular workout routine during pregnancy helped lower the heart rate of fetuses at 36 weeks. The follow-up of babies at one month found effects of mom’s exercising could still be seen in the babies’ heart rates after birth. Babies of active mothers are also more likely to have a reduced chance of diabetes and lower BMIs.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. If your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities, you may find that 20- to 30-minutes of a moderate activity can give you a great physical and mental boost. But before you start any exercise program, consult your doctor. Once cleared for activity, try starting with a simple walk around the block or light stretches. You’ll notice your mood improves, you sleep better and you may have an easier labor and quicker recover. So lace up those shoes and enjoy your own walk about town!