April 02, 2021

Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a woman’s life. You are literally growing a human inside your body. Pretty amazing and miraculous if you ask me! Maintaining your exercise routine may be the farthest thing from your mind as you deal with morning sickness, mood swings, and other fun elements of pregnancy but you should definitely make it a priority (assuming your doctor gives you the go-ahead!) Exercising during pregnancy can help you manage your pregnancy weight gain and keeps your body healthy for you and your baby. It stimulates blood flow, decreases your chance of getting gestational diabetes, and even eases morning sickness. If that wasn’t enough, exercising during pregnancy helps prepare your body for labor and even helps you have an easier and shorter delivery (yes, please!).

How To Exercise Throughout Pregnancy (and why you should)

Exercising throughout your pregnancy is obviously the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby, but you have to be smart about it. Keep reading for tips on how to exercise throughout pregnancy (and why you should).

First Trimester

If you were active before pregnancy you can continue with the same intensity as before. If you were not active before, consult with your doctor and start slowly, perhaps with short walks. No matter your fitness level, you should listen to your body and don’t push yourself as hard as you normally would.

At this point, it is still safe to lay on your back for abdominal workouts. Starting a daily squat routine is a great way to prepare your pelvis for delivery. If you were not super active before, start with 15 squats a day and increase as your pregnancy progresses.

Second Trimester

As your bump begins to grow you may notice your center of gravity changing. Pay attention to your body to avoid falling. Laying on your back is still considered acceptable at this point, but if you start to feel lightheaded you should stop.

Keep your exercises to low impact movements such as walking, yoga, and swimming, and aim for at least three days a week. Your squat routine should still be part of your daily routine.

As your body is beginning to change more rapidly, it’s more important than ever to listen to your body.

How To Exercise Throughout Pregnancy (and why you should)

Third Trimester

At this point in your pregnancy, it is probably time to think about slowing down your exercise routine. It is vitally important that you listen to your body and do what is safest for you and your baby.

Definitely avoid laying on your back (kind of hard at this point anyway, huh?). Low-intensity workouts such as walking, riding a stationary bike, yoga, and swimming are still fantastic ways to get a workout in without being hard on your body.

Continuing your squat routine is more important than ever at this point. Your body is preparing itself for delivery and doing squats will help get it there.

Best Exercises To Do

Every woman’s body is different and should be treated as such. Your level of fitness before your pregnancy will determine what exercises are best for your body. If you were highly active before, you can continue with the same intensity, at least at first.

Certain exercises are considered safe and healthy for women throughout their whole pregnancy. Walking is a phenomenal low-key exercise to keep your blood flowing. Prenatal yoga is a great way to keep your muscles and joints flexible and prepare your body for delivery. If you’re looking for a great low-impact workout to keep your body moving during pregnancy, swimming is easy on your joints.

How To Exercise Throughout Pregnancy (and why you should)

What To Avoid

There are certain activities during pregnancy that you should stay away from. Obviously, any activities with a risk of falling or getting hit in the belly should be avoided entirely. These exercises may include sports such as soccer, baseball, and other contact sports.

Traditional ab exercises, certain yoga poses, and dancing are advised against because of the risk of falling and possible twisting of your abdomen. High-intensity exercises such as HIIT workouts and kickboxing and hot yoga also need to be on your no-go list during pregnancy because of the risk of overheating and overexertion. Remember, your body is already working extra hard growing another human. Your stamina is lower than normal and you can overdo it without realizing it.

Also, this should go without saying, but you should never go scuba diving or skydiving while pregnant.

Many women ask if weight lifting during pregnancy is a good idea. While you should definitely avoid any heavy lifting, anything less than fifteen pounds is safe for pregnant women. If you are unsure of what you should be lifting during pregnancy, consult with your doctor for more customized advice.

Safety Tips

Since you are carrying precious cargo, you must stay safe while exercising during pregnancy.

First and foremost, you should always consult with your doctor throughout your pregnancy about your exercise routines. Your body is continuously changing and your doctor will know what will keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy.

If you were not very active before pregnancy you should definitely start exercising slowly and gradually build to more. Try taking short walks at first then increase the duration as your body adjusts.

How To Exercise Throughout Pregnancy (and why you should)

No matter your fitness level it is vital to your health and your baby’s to stay hydrated and don’t let your body overheat. If you ever become lightheaded, nauseous, begin bleeding, or have chest pains you should stop immediately and contact your doctor.

During pregnancy, your ligaments are much looser than normal so they are more susceptible to being damaged during exercise. Because of this, you must spend extra time warming up and cooling down from exercise.

Even if you can’t do the recommended thirty minutes a day, five days a week of exercise you should still do something. Do what you can when you can- just do something! The sooner you start exercising during your pregnancy the better it will be for you and your baby.

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