What if we told you that the secret to feeling better is through exercise? Yes, you heard us right. Lounging all day and sitting on the couch can actually make you feel worse at times. As tempting as it is, getting that blood moving can offer many benefits, for you and your baby.
It may seem contradictory, but exercising during your pregnancy is perfectly safe. As long as you get the green light from your healthcare practitioner before attempting a new or familiar workout routine, you should be unstoppable. Of course, some exercises will require specific modifications.
Before embarking on an exercise routine you should always consult your doctor. Here are a few exercises to discuss.
What are the benefits of pregnancy workouts?
Just as your health and body benefit from any form of exercise, pregnancy workouts will help you feel so much better.
Here are a few ways they’ll help you through your 9 months:
- Reduces back pain
- Eases constipation
- Can help decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery.
- Facilitates a healthy weight gain
- Improves your overall general fitness and strengthens your heart and blood vessels
- A quicker postpartum recovery
- Boosts your mood
Experts recommend moving for about 30 minutes or more, doing low to moderate exercise per day or most days of the week – ensuring that you move enough to raise your heart rate and start sweating. According to the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) aiming for 150 minutes every week is ideal.
Cardio workouts are a good way to increase blood circulation, muscle tone, and endurance. Here are some ideas to get you moving!
- Swimming: You’ll need to be careful when walking on the slippery tiles but once you get in the water, you’ll feel amazing. A dip in the pool may relieve nausea, sciatic pain, puffy ankles and take relieve you of the weight you carry. Gentle on your loosening joints and ligaments – don’t worry, this is your body’s natural response to pregnancy – it’s a hit!
- Walking: This exercise wins in terms of convenience. Have a few minutes to spare before running errands? Just put your shoes on and you’re ready to go! This is a workout that you can do until your delivery date and is an excellent way to let out some of the stress and anxiety you may feel.
- Biking: Easy on the joints, biking lets you breathe in some fresh air and take your mind off your pregnancy. Just make sure that you talk to your doctor before hopping on your bike. The extra weight of your baby can affect your balance, and we want to take the necessary precautions to avoid any accidents.
Strength and flexibility workouts
Strength workouts are a great way to maintain your muscles and avoid atrophy. The stronger, and more flexible you are, the easier it will be for you to bear the pregnancy weight gain. It will help you maintain a good posture, and protect your joints from injuries.
- Pilates: Pilates is an amazing low-impact form of exercise that will help you strengthen your muscles, elongate them and work on your flexibility. It is often said to ease backaches and improve posture and has a lot of room to modify movements.
- Weight lifting: If you’ve been seeing pregnant women lift weights in the gym and wonder why they do it, we’re here to answer your question. Lifting weights can be as low impact as you want it to be and promotes muscle tone. Ask your practitioner, and a trainer if you can, help you modify the exercises, and make sure that you maintain good form.
- Yoga: Prenatal yoga is ideal for future moms. Through deep-breathing and focused exercises, you have the opportunity to relax and improve your flexibility. We recommend asking your instructor for the best poses that will benefit your pregnancy. Slow and steady, your workout session is guaranteed to help you feel grounded and let go of any stress you may have.
Don’t compare yourself to others, and treat this time as a part of your self-care routine. Your present and future self will thank you! Start slow, go at your own pace and stop if you feel like something is wrong. Above all else, talk to your doctor before engaging in any exercises. As good as moving will make you feel, we want you to take all the precautions necessary