Not all the weight you gain during pregnancy is stored in fat cells. In fact, some of this fat can end up in your bloodstream, which raises your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol during pregnancy can increase your risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. A recent study conducted by the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle found that during the first trimester, the most active women had the lowest cholesterol levels.
BabyFit Tip: Although this study looked at first trimester exercise, it's important to stay active throughout your pregnancy (unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider). Exercise helps break down the fats in the bloodstream, increases your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Aim for 20-60 minutes of exercise, 3-5 days per week, but always check with your health care provider before beginning (or changing) an exercise program.