6 Exercises that are Safe for Expecting Moms
Exercising has many benefits for an expecting mother from lowering risks of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia to improving sleep and mood. Besides keeping your weight gain in check, working out also prepares your muscles for the high demands of pregnancy and postpartum period without much stress. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that healthy pregnant women should try to exercise with moderate intensity at least 20 to 30 minutes a day most days throughout the week.
Of course, before you start working out be sure to get the green light on what you can and cannot do from your doctors and be sure to listen to your body—don’t push yourself if it doesn’t seem right. Check out these 6 exercises expecting moms can do, but a quick reminder some of these may not be the best to do closer to your due date, be sure to check with your health care professionals to be sure.
Pull on those yoga pants and get stretching—an exercise you can even do at home! Stretching will loosen up your muscles and keep you limber. It can also ease out those aches and pains that usually happen during pregnancy. You should start every workout with a bit of stretching—pregnant or not—as it gets the heart pumping.
Walking is the easiest and the best way to get some cardio into your daily routine. It’s safe, something you can do all throughout your pregnancy and you can control the intensity of your work out easily. Whether you want a light run or job, it’s best to start slow and work up to a 30-minute run. It also gives you a reason to take a break and enjoy the outdoors for a second and the best part is it’s something you can do all throughout your pregnancy without fear. Always be sure to wear a pair of comfortable and supportive shoes!
Swimming is a great way to stay fit whether you are pregnant or not. Swimming works out your entire body, helps reduce back pain and is a great cardiovascular exercise to stay fit. For pregnant women it also helps reduce swelling and with all the extra weight on your body, it helps moms-to-be feel weightless.
4. Dancing or Aerobics
Dancing never feels like a workout, just blast your favorite song and get moving! Dancing is another work out you can do easily, anywhere and anytime. You can probably dance throughout your pregnancy as well, as long as you don’t take on any strenuous steps. Try to avoid steps like leaps, jumps, or twirls. The same rules apply to aerobics, both activities strengthen your heart, tones your body and helps you prep for managing weight loss post pregnancy as well.
You can even attend aerobics classes especially for pregnant women, having a class full of moms-to-be—and a professional—on hand will truly bring some positive, supportive energy into your day. You could even try something totally different like a pole dancing class for moms!
Yoga is a great way to maintain flexibility, something you’ll need a lot of during pregnancy and childbirth. It also is low impact on joints, however yoga alone is not enough, be sure to add on a cardio workout into your week as well.
6. Weight Training
Although you may not believe it, weight training during pregnancy actually helps prepare for the baby! It’s a great way to strengthen and tone muscles but this is a workout you may not be able to do your entire pregnancy. Use slow and controlled movements and light weights. Always have a partner on hand to help you out and be sure to take extra precautions to stay safe.
Don’t forget to check out your local gym and speak to your gym’s instructors for expert advice and classes specifically for pregnant women as well!