Saturday, September 20, 2008

Benefits of Running While Pregnant

I've been doing research (and by research I mean searching the web) about running while pregnant. Basically I just want to learn about the benefits of running and I'm looking for inspiration to continue training. Also, I want to have some ammunition when someone inevitably says, "Should you be doing that?" I can say, "Why, yes. You wouldn't believe what this does for the placenta! " Can you imagine that poor person's face?

Anyway, I found this great sight called Running Skirts. They have this great page devoted to pregnancy running with the best pictures of women running 5K's, half-marathons, and marathons, of course while pregnant. Very inspirational! I wanted to post the benefits, because I thought it was very interesting. I know this may be boring to most, but it is very encouraging to me. And as always, I encourage all of you to exercise...pregnant or not. The benefits far out way the difficulties. Here's what I found!

There is a lot of research about the safety and benefits of running during pregnancy for both mom and baby, some of these include:

Healthier Moms:
-Regular exercise during pregnancy builds stamina and prepares & strengthens muscles and body for delivery
-Running during pregnancy reduces fatigue, nausea and constipation 
-Maternity exercise has been proven to help prevent gestational diabetes
-Maternity fitness contributes to shorter labor & less delivery complications
-Fit mommies have fewer c-sections
-Running moms also experience less lower back pain
-Moms to be who exercise also have less swelling of extremities

Happier Moms:
-Regular exercise and/or running promotes well being a less postpartum depression
-Pregnancy fitness regimens lead to quick recoveries & return to pre-pregnancy weight
-A fit mom has less anxiety & stress related to pregnancy
-Better sleep, less insomnia

Yummy Mummies:
-Running during pregnancy prevents excessive weight gain
-Cardio exercise during pregnancy increases blood flow to skin = healthy glow
-Pregnant running improves posture & appearance
-It just makes you look & feel better!
-A regular moderate running program leads to increased energy in the first and second trimesters
-Maintaining fitness during pregnancy helps moms regain pre-pregnancy body quicker
-Running and other moderate impact exercise leads to less development of varicose veins

Happier Babies:
-A regular pregnancy fitness regimen better prepares baby for transition from womb
-Pregnancy running increases blood circulation & placental efficiency
-Running while pregnant also increases newborn baby's capacity to self calm & self quiet

Healthier Babies:
-Regular exercise decreases baby fat without decreasing normal growth
-Cardio fitness leads to increased blood flow from placenta which supplies nutrition & oxygen to the fetus

Smarter Babies:
-Mommies who run have increased fetal movements, which studies have shown leads to quicker development of oral skills

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