(Be sure to obtain clearance from your physician first! While exercise is healthy for most pregnant women, it is not appropriate for all!)
1. Less fat deposition during pregnancy and less fat retention post-partum (3).
2. Women who exercise during pregnancy experience less discomfort throughout their pregnancy (3, 29).
3. Studies have found that exercising during pregnancy leads to better moods, more energy, less fatigue, and a better body image (3, 29).
4. Labor is often shorter in women who exercise (3, 40, 41).
5. Lower risk of complications, including cesarean delivery in first-time mothers (43).
6. Faster emotional and physical recovery after pregnancy when exercise is continued post-partum (3, 29).
7. Quicker return to normal urinary control post-partum (3, 29).
8. It is speculated, but not studied, that pregnant women who exercise experience a lower incidence of colds, flu, sinusitis, and bronchitis (3).
9. The risk of gestational diabetes is reduced with exercise throughout pregnancy (29, 44).
10.Decreased risk of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia) (27, 28, 29).
11. Maximum aerobic capacity has been found to increase between 5 to 10% during the year following birth; whereas those who do not exercise during pregnancy experience a decline of 10% (3, 20).