Exercise and Pregnancy

Exercise has become a big part of my life for a long time since I was a young girl. So I was found out that I was expecting in 2004, I was determined to stay fit and  active throughout the entire pregnancy.

I did much reading and research and understand that it is important not to be a ‘couch potato’ when pregnant, unless you have certain physical limitations, conditions or under doctor’s specific supervision.

As the health experts suggest, adequate physical and emotional information is needed by a pregnant woman to prepare herself for delivery. Infact these are essential ingredients needed to keep herself and the baby healthy.

There are many benefits exercise can bring to pregnant women. The only important thing to remember is that before starting an exercise program, whether pregnant or not, it is best to consult your doctor. As they say, doctors know best!

Hence, for mothers or would-be mothers who are not yet aware why they should exert some effort in engaging into moderate, normal exercise, here is a list of some of its benefits so that you will be able to understand the reason why pregnant women have to exercise regularly:

1. Fights against fatigue
As muscle becomes fatigued, it produces less force. Tired muscles are both less efficient and less effective. Hence, this will just put more strain on the pregnant woman because of the weight that is continuously adding up each day. That is why tired muscles will usually result to leg cramps or sore muscles.

What every pregnant woman must know is that exercise improves the condition of the muscles and their ability to work longer without fatigue.

2. Reduce backaches
Even when you sit or stand, some muscles are working, and such relatively easy postures can tax some muscles and cause fatigue. The muscles of the lower back, for example, can be exhausted and worn out by the effort of keeping erect when a pregnant woman stand still for several hours. With exercise, a pregnant woman can correct this error by developing her posture.

3. Increase the amount of oxygen
Glycogen is a substance that is produced by the body from complex carbohydrates and stored muscles and liver. The supply of glycogen in the muscles determines and limits the duration of activity. Exercise depletes the glycogen in the muscles and leads to tiredness.

However, when glycogen is depleted by strenuous activity, it is replaced in quantities greater than before, as if the body recognized the need to lay in a larger supply of fuel.

Hence, oxidation is essential for converting glycogen to the energy that pregnant women need to wiggle a finger, flex a muscle, or practice the lungs and heart for some blowing action during normal delivery.