As a woman who exercises frequently, I’ve seen prenatal yoga and Pilates classes available at a variety of gyms and studios. So when we added the Dancing thru Pregnancy program to the list of Physiquality vendors, I was curious to see the research about staying active through dance.

I’ve danced my entire life, minus some time out for rehab post-surgeries, so I’m well aware of the health benefits and enjoyment one gets while moving to music. But I also know that pregnancy completely changes your center of gravity, which is why I’ve been so impressed to watch my modern dance instructor, who’s currently 5 months pregnant with her second child, continue to move with agility and grace, even if her alignment is different than when I began studying with her.

The below article may be full of research proving that exercise is beneficial for both mother and child (if one takes into account the few positions to avoid); watching Rachel move as her pregnancy advances has been proof enough to me that dancing through pregnancy is a great way to stay healthy and happy.

Exercising while pregnant

Pregnancy is an exciting and challenging time for a woman. Along with her partner, she’s anticipating the addition of her child to her family. She’s reading constantly, trying to discern what advice to listen to and what to dismiss. She’s much more aware of her body, what she’s eating and how she takes care of it. Which often leads to the question: Should I exercise while I’m pregnant?

Women’s fitness expert Ann Cowlin and physical therapist Michael Fahmy say the answer is a definite yes — exercising while pregnant has been shown to benefit both mother and child.

According to Michael, babies born to women that exercised while pregnant have lower instances of “heart rate abnormalities, cord enlargement, and the presence of meconium and erythropoietin levels (all signs of hypoxia, or fetal distress).” Studies have also shown that exercise-exposed babies have healthier hearts and improved breathing movements in utero. Exercise enriches and enlarges the placenta, increasing the exchange of nutrients, oxygen and carbon dioxide with the fetus. And studies have shown that exercise during pregnancy leads to lower — and healthier — birth weights.

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