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Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

Strengthening your muscles will help your body carry the extra weight.

Exercise can also increase your chance of maintaining a healthier weight throughout pregnancy. It will help your body cope during and after giving birth.

Being active for up to 30 minutes most days during pregnancy can:

  • help reduce backache, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • maintain your muscle strength and fitness
  • increase your energy levels
  • improve your mood and feeling of wellbeing
  • help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • help reduce high blood pressure
  • help reduce varicosities (enlarged veins) and swelling in the arms and legs
  • improve your posture
  • help you sleep better
  • help prepare you for labour and birth

Not being active during pregnancy may lead to:

  • loss of muscular and cardiovascular fitness
  • excessive weight gain
  • increased risk of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia
  • varicose veins
  • physical problems such as shortness of breath or lower back pain

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
Next review due: 20/11/2021