Pregnancy is a wonderful time in your life, but it also can be filled with worries. A common worry is whether or not it is safe to workout. Many women are active and exercise on a regular basis. Doctors all recommend continuing your exercise regime, with some adjustments for safety.
There are several great reasons to exercise while you are pregnant, and there is no reason to stop during any of the trimesters. While the focus of exercising during pregnancy will change, it can help decrease the amount of weight gained. Take a look at some of these benefits that you will gain from exercising while pregnant.
- Lowers the odds of delivery complications: Women who exercise are more likely to avoid macrosomic babies (weighing more than nine pounds). A baby who has a high weight can cause complications.
- Lower blood pressure: If you have a history of preeclampsia, you want to focus on staying active, even walking daily. Exercising on a regular basis can help keep your blood pressure from rising. This is very important!
- Ease back pain: Any pregnant woman can tell you back pains can be horrible. The baby bump adds pressure to your lower back and pelvic region, leading to a great deal of discomfort. Even if you feel like sitting on the couch all day, exercising during late pregnancy can help lessen the discomfort and pain, just as much as a pregnancy pillow can.
- More energy: Pregnancy has the tendency to suck any energy you have left. This is common in the first and third trimester. Combat the fatigue by working out on a regular basis, even when you just want to lounge on the couch with a movie.
- Better sleep: Surprisingly, sleeping during pregnancy can be just as hard as sleeping with a newborn in the house. However, women who exercise have an easier time falling asleep and the quality of sleep is better. This is important, especially with frequent fatigue.
- Relieve constipation: Pregnancy can do crazy things to your bowel movements, from constipation to diarrhea. It affects women differently. If you find yourself facing frequent constipation, try to get active each day, even if it’s just a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood each evening.
Six Great Workouts For Pregnant Women
You may be wondering what workouts are effective and safe for pregnancy, but still, will give you some of the great benefits listed above. It is important to remember you need to always warm up and stretch for at least 5 minutes prior to exercising.
Your ligaments loosen and stretch during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby bump. Failure to stretch can lead to a pulled muscle, which is no fun during pregnancy.
- Walking: The most obvious (and free) workout you can do while pregnant is walking daily. Brisk walking is a great way to get your heart pumping without overdoing it. If you didn’t exercise frequently pre-pregnancy, you want to start off easy. Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to get the whole family active; bring the other children along for a walk and observe nature!Walking is easy on the rest of your body as well. However, be safe and stay on flat surfaces. Your center of gravity will change over time, and bumpy surfaces could cause you to lose your balance.
- Cycling: Here is another option for a safe exercise option for women who didn’t exercise before pregnant. Cycling is easy to change and adapt as your belly grows. However, you will get your blood pumping, while avoiding the danger of traditional bicycling.
- Yoga: Prenatal yoga is a popular exercise choice for many women. It helps keep your joints limber and flexible while stimulating your blood circulation. One of the best benefits of yoga is it helps relieve stress. Everyone knows pregnant women tend to have a higher amount of stress, but this can increase your blood pressure.If you struggle with higher blood pressure, try these safe yoga poses daily and see how your body responds.
- Pushups: You can continue to do typical pushups during pregnancy until it becomes too uncomfortable. At some time during your third trimester, your belly will make the process difficult. When that happens, it is a great idea to make some adjustments so you can do them safely, or just leave out the pushups altogether.Whether you do them as the norm or a modified version, it helps your arm and abdominal muscles. Try to complete a few sets per day until you hit that belly block.
- Swimming: One of the best workouts, pregnant or not, is swimming. It has no risk of falling, and it benefits your entire body. You have a great range of motion while in the water. Your pelvis may even feel relieved because the water will reduce some of the pressure being applied. Swimming is safe in all of your trimesters as long as you do it properly.Pick a stroke you understand and feel comfortable swimming. While freestyle is one of the most popular, breaststroke requires no rotation of your belly, so it is particularly great for pregnancy. You can even use a kickboard to help swim laps to strengthen your legs.
- Bicep Curls: Before you know it, your little 7-pound newborn will be a 20-pound wiggling toddler. Begin to work out those arms now with some bicep curls. All you need is 2 weights, around 5 to 8 pounds. Try to do 4 sets of 20 curls throughout your day to maximum the benefits.
These six workouts are great for your body. There is no reason why you have to pick just one. Opt for one or two per day and alternate each day. Remember, it is very important for you to stretch before you exercise. Start off slow and walk each night for a while. You will feel better and your body will reap the many benefits that exercise comes with.