Being pregnant, in most circumstances, is no reason to quit the exercise regime you were on before falling pregnant. In fact, even if you weren’t exercising before your pregnancy, it’s not a bad idea to engage in some light exercise as it can work wonders for both you and your soon to be born baby!
If you’d like to minimize some of the pains of pregnancy, such as swollen ankles, bloating, sore back muscles – then perhaps working out is your savior. Exercising whilst pregnant can offer a host of benefits such as an increase in mood and libido, more energy, less nausea and faster recovery post baby.
The ACOG, or American Congress of Obstetricians, recommends pregnant women to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, most days of the week.
Of course, make sure you get the okay first from you practioner, but here are a few that are generally okay to go!
Swimming seems to be great for just about anything. Some say it’s the perfect pregnancy workout, as in water, you weigh one tenth of what you do on land. It’s also great on the joints, sciatic pain and swollen ankles.
Just try and stay well clear of any rough surf or beaches!
Walking is the real no excuses exercise. You can do it outdoors, around the street, or if it’s raining, on a treadmill. All whilst watching your favourite show or listening to a podcast. Also, brisk walking can be done right up to your delivery date. All you need to do is whack on your shoes and hit the road.
If you choose to go hiking, just take it easy and avoid too much uneven terrain.
Feel the need, the need for speed?
Only seasoned runners should really keep running during pregnancy, but stick to flat surfaces such as treadmills, and never go overboard as your joints will be far more prone to injury.
Cycling is great as there is no pressure on your ankle or knee joints. Of course, cycle indoors on an exercise bike in case you fall off. Classes offer great motivation to cycle, but just let the instructor knows you’re expecting.
“If you’re an avid outdoor cycler, talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe to continue bicycling outdoors after getting pregnant (and if, at some point, you should stop). The extra weight of your baby belly can affect your balance, and you don’t want to risk toppling over when baby is on board.” // whattoexpect.com
The best way to keep lifting weights whilst pregnant is to go lighter and perform a higher rep range, such as 15 per set. Machines are also good as they limit your range of motion, lowering the chance of an injury.
Also, don’t forget to breathe!
Pregnancy approved Pilates classes can be great to strengthen your core and stretch your muscles, which in turn does wonders for your posture. The flexibility portion of Pilates will serve you well during labor!