Pregnancy definitely isn't an excuse to be sedentary. Regular exercise during pregnancy can help improve your health, as well as make it easier for you to give birth.
There are a number of specific exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles that help you push and the perineal muscles for faster healing after childbirth. But there are also those that are great for your general health, which will help improve your mood and your physical endurance.
If you have any health conditions or history of miscarriage, however, make sure to run through your exercise plan with your doctor. Also, if you want to start a new exercise routine during your pregnancy, you’d best take it slow.
Walking is a great exercise for most pregnant women. It’s also super convenient. You don’t need any special equipment to do it, and you can do it pretty much anywhere! It’s also a wonderful way to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
Some soon-to-be moms find that they now easily get tired so you might want to plan your route so that you get to rest every ten minutes or so. If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s bursting with energy during your pregnancy, however, you can go on for as long as comfortable, although you still don’t want to overexert yourself.
Dancing is fun and exciting. It’s also another wonderful exercise for the pregnant mom! If you weren’t dancing much prior to your pregnancy, you might want to stick with the basics. You don’t want to try anything too complicated, lose balance and fall on your pregnant belly!
Try looking for a dance studio in your area that offers lessons or practice sessions. Some dance studios will even offer exercises especially for pregnant moms! If you don’t have time or access to any, however, you can also opt to follow dancing videos that are available online.
Swimming may not seem like the intuitive perfect pregnancy sport, but it is! Moms who enjoyed swimming before their pregnancy are going to be happy to know that they will be able to continue their favorite sport! Just make sure that the pool water isn’t too warm so that you don’t risk overheating.
For the most part, it isn’t too difficult to adjust to the changes in your weight balance as the water has a buoyant force that counters the effects of gravity. In fact, you might find that being underwater relieves you of the aches and pains of your changing center of gravity!
If aerobics is your thing, choose low-impact routines so that you don’t strain yourself or risk losing your balance. If you’ve been doing high-impact aerobics for some time before your pregnancy, you may be able to continue it although you should check with your doctor first. Aerobics is a great way to increase your stamina and improve your cardiovascular health.
Your best bet for aerobics is to look for exercises or practice sessions at a local gym. If these are not available, try to follow routines that are specifically tailored for pregnancy.
Running is another form of exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment, locations or even lessons. As with any other exercise listed here, the key is not to overexert yourself. Also, you must remember to try to run with proper runner’s posture, with a balanced center of gravity. Leaning over too far may cause you to trip over, as your belly might be heavier during the latter part of your pregnancy.
Make sure to drink plenty of water for your run. If you can, bring along a water bottle so that you don’t get dehydrated during the process.
A stationary bike is an excellent form of aerobic exercise during pregnancy. It carries with it all the benefits of biking, but is much safer as there is practically no risk of you falling off. With regular biking, you might be able to continue it if you’ve been doing it for some time before your pregnancy. However, you must be extra careful to protect yourself against falls.
As with other exercises, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated and to pace yourself while doing this exercise. If you can’t bike as far as you used to, don’t get too upset. Pregnancy just naturally makes some women a bit more tired than useful.
9 Weight Training
Weight training is a bit tricky. It’s a great way to stay fit during pregnancy. However, there are also plenty of precautions you must follow to ensure that you keep safe. It’s useful to have an instructor who is well-versed with these precautions so that you have someone to guide you through the process.
If, however, you’ve only just decided to begin weight training during your pregnancy, you might want to wait until you’ve given birth as your body may find the routine a bit abrupt.
8 Water Aerobics
Want to get the best of both swimming and aerobics? Water aerobics may be just for you. It’s safer than aerobics since you’ll feel lighter underwater and so aren’t at too big of a risk for falls. Just make sure you don’t slip on the slippery side of the swimming pool! You might also want to avoid certain routines that can strain your back. A program geared towards pregnant women will be ideal for you.
Otherwise, this is a great exercise that you can start during pregnancy as long as you have your doctor’s clearance.
Yoga is a great way to both exercise your body and practice deep breathing in preparation for childbirth. Also, pregnancy yoga classes are highly accessible in most cities so you shouldn’t have much problem looking for a program. However, many instructional videos specifically for pregnancy are also available online and are usually safe to follow.
If you’ve been doing yoga for some time before your pregnancy, make sure to tell your instructor that you’re pregnant so that she can leave out some of the pregnancy-unfriendly poses.
You might have been into sports well before your pregnancy. In this case, you might want to check if it’s safe to train for your sport of choice even while pregnant. As a general rule, sports that are rough or that may put you off balance are best avoided. You don’t want your tummy to be injured for any reason during your pregnancy.
Tennis and badminton may be good choices, but this is probably not the time to attempt heroic dives to score. Performing martial arts exhibition routines are fine, but combat is obviously out of the question!
5 Tailor Sitting
Tailor sitting exercises strengthen the muscles of your thighs and perineum, helping you heal faster after childbirth. Some moms also say that it’s a great way to relieve lower back pain.
Tailor sitting is basically just sitting on the floor or a yoga mat with your ankles crossed and your feet as close to your body as possible. You may then either rock forward or bring your knees to the floor. You should be able to feel the muscles of your thigh and perineum stretch a bit.
4 Kegel Exercises
The famous Kegel exercises are a great way to tone the muscles that are used during childbirth. It will also help you have better control of your bladder and bowels after childbirth.
It is simply tightening the muscles of your perineum, as if you were trying to stop your urine flow. It’s a wonderful exercise because you can do it pretty much anywhere! It’s so discreet that you can do Kegels while waiting in line at the grocery or while sitting at the café waiting for a friend.
Squats are great way to exercise your hip and pelvic floor muscles. Doing this regularly can help you recover faster after childbirth. When you squat, make sure that you’re doing what is called the Asian squat. That is, your feet should be flat on the floor for greater balance. You shouldn’t be standing on your tiptoes, as this puts extra strain on your feet and back.
Squatting is also actually a great exercise that you can use during the process of labor. It helps open up the bones of your hips and so doing it might help your baby descend through your birth canal much faster.
2 Pelvic Tilt
The pelvic tilt is another great pregnancy exercise which strengthens the muscles of your abdomen. It also helps relieve the pressure of gravity on your back. To do the pelvic tilt, balance yourself on your hands and knees. Slowly arch your back as if you were a cat stretching out, all while still maintaining your balance. Do this again a few more times.
The pelvic tilt can also be done while standing or sitting down. The key is simply to feel your pelvis rolling forwards and backwards during the process.
Finally, you should be able to do plenty of stretching, whether on its own or to cool down after your workout. Regular stretching can help you out with all those pregnancy aches and pains, loosening the muscles and increasing blood circulation. Pregnant moms particularly find stretching the back and neck muscles to be particularly useful, although you might also want to try hip and leg stretches as well.
When you’re doing stretches of any sort, make sure that your entire body is well-balanced. Make sure also to hold the stretch for a few seconds before returning to the neutral position.