For decades society has believed that women should achew exercise during pregnancy. However, recent research shows that women who perform mild to moderate exercises during pregnancy experience a lot of benefits.

  1. Reduce pregnancy related complications
    Women who do exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting the uterus are found to experience less complications like ankle swelling, backaches, bloating and fatigue during pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) mild to moderate exercise can also prevent or treat gestational diabetes. Pregnant women are also better prepared for the rigors of childbirth, since their muscles are stronger and therefore better prepared.

  2. Reduce stress and improve body image
    Studies have shown that exercising reduces stress and also enhance body image, making mothers-to-be more relaxed and improving their self esteem. By remaining in shape throughout your pregnancy you can also reduce pregnancy related weight gain, helping you return to your normal body shape more quickly.

  3. You don’t have to make huge changes
    You should avoid making drastic changes to your exercise routine, and consult with your doctor before considering any really strenuous exercise. However, light aerobic activity such as swimming and walking paired with some flexibility and strengthening work like yoga can drastically increase your fitness level without overdoing it. 20 to 30 minutes of swimming or brisk walking 3 to 4 times a week is plenty, though if you are looking to minimize pregnancy related weight gain you should try and walk 4 to 5 times per week.

  4. Do exercise, but don’t overexert yourself
    The ACOG recommends mild to moderate exercise to avoid overexerting yourself. Overexertion can cause a dangerous reduction in blood flow to your fetus. To stay healthy without overexerting yourself stick to light activities like walking, swimming, cycling, and aerobics. Women who ran regularly before pregnancy are often able to continue running, but will likely have to modify their routine. Avoid exercises that involve jumping, or jarring motions as well as ones that involve quick changes in direction. During pregnancy hormones make your joints and ligaments more relaxed, making them more susceptible to injury. The extra weight at the front of your body also puts you off balance and places additional stress on your pelvis and back, making you less stable and more likely to fall. Stay aware of your exertion levels and rest whenever you feel tired. Before you make any significant changes to your exercise routine consult your obstetrician.

DreamBody specializes in customized fitness and diet routines to help with weight loss and muscle gain. For more information, or to book a consultation, contact us at 403.612.3538 and visit

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