Pregnancy may seem like the best time to just relax while you wait for the baby. With the additional weight (thanks to your baby bump), you’ll feel more tired than usual and everything in your body will ache.
But unless you’re experiencing complications, being pregnant isn’t a pass for not exercising. In fact, pregnancy is the best time to get up and be active. Exercise is good for both mom and baby. Plus, the right moves can ease common pregnancy-related discomforts like sleep troubles and back pain.
Some moms can run the distance, working with professionals that have aCertificate IV in Fitness online to create custom HIIT workouts. But if you’re not that type of mom-to-be, that’s OK, too! There are pregnancy-friendly exercises you can try.
Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?
If your pregnancy is healthy and normal, you may be able to do regular physical activity. However, you should still consult with your doctor during your early prenatal visits. If your obstetrician says you can exercise, ask them about the activities you can or cannot do to minimize risks.
There are certain conditions that can make exercise unsafe for pregnant women. If you have one (or more) of the following complications or conditions, exercise may not be safe for you:
- Being pregnant with twins or triplets. Exercise increases your risk for preterm labor
- Severe anemia
- Placenta problems
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (aka pre-eclampsia)
- Certain types of lung and heart diseases
- Persistent vaginal bleeding
Pacing it for Pregnancy: Exercise Done Right
You don’t have to do hour-long workouts to get in shape while you’re pregnant. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises at least three to four days a week should be OK.
Start your physical routine with a good walk. Walking is a great exercise for beginners since it conditions your body without stressing out your joints. You can also try cycling on a stationary bike, swimming or low-impact aerobics. If you want to do weights, that’s OK, too. Just stick to low weights.
A healthy workout includes a warm-up, stretching and cool-down. Also, during your workout, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You must also avoid working out too much. A rule of thumb is if you can’t talk while exercising, you’re going beyond your limits.
Other reminders for exercising while pregnant:
- If you exercised actively before your pregnancy, you can still continue the same level of intensity while you’re pregnant – as long as your obstetrician gives you the OK.
- If you haven’t exercised for a while, start with at least 10 minutes of exercise. Once you feel more comfortable, add more minutes to your current routine until you reach 30 minutes.
How Can a Mommy-To-Be Stay Motivated?
Pregnant or not, there will be days when you don’t want to get up and exercise, especially if your baby bump is making you tired. But if you stick with an exercise plan, you are most likely to stick with your physical routine.
Consider the following tips:
- Start small. You don’t need expensive workout clothes or a gym membership to get moving. Just start with what you can. Walk around the neighborhood during your free time. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs (while you still can).
- Workout with a buddy. Working out is better when you’re with someone. It’s more interesting when you can chat with a friend or a family member while doing some physical activity.
- Find a class. If you don’t know where to start, enroll yourself in a class. Many hospitals and fitness centers offer prenatal exercises designed for pregnant women.
- Don’t forget to recover after every workout. Practice cooling down. Give your body some TLC, too. Apply some eucalyptamint ointment,which can relieve discomfort.
What are the Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy?
Regular exercise during pregnancy offers many benefits for you and your baby. It can also help you manage the symptoms of your pregnancy, as well as improve your confidence. After all, you’re doing this for your unborn child.
Some benefits of exercising during your pregnancy include:
- Stress relief
- Improved fitness
- Better energy levels
- Reduced pelvic and back pain
- Improved circulation
- Improved posture
- Reduced risks of depression and anxiety
- Improved management of insomnia
- Gain the right amount of weight
- Prepare your body for labor and birth
Regular exercise is good for mommies-to-be. Although it’s tempting to lie and sleep all day, it’s better to get up and get going, so you and the baby can stay healthy.