Pregnancy and Exercise

Any woman striving for a healthy pregnancy will consider exercise as part of her daily regiment. Personally, when I was pregnant my husband would go play golf as a method of fitness and stress relief and used websites like to achieve his fitness goals because it is equally as important for men to be active and looking after themselves as well as the pregnant woman. However, there are other methods that can be utilized for exercise if you are going through pregnancy. To begin with, it can be challenging. It’s not a simple as getting some weights and just doing any old exercise but knowing what equipment and workout routine is best for you and your body type, especially while pregnant, can seem like a challenge at first. For example, as a pregnant woman, you’re trying to make sure everything is ready for the time your baby is born which leaves you with very little time. However, by getting stuff like your very own custom yoga mats, you can make it fit in with the décor in your house. This means you won’t have to take the time to keep getting the yoga mat out and then finding somewhere to put it when you’ve finished. Once the benefits become noticeable, it can become easier to continue. Welcome to pregnancy and exercise.

Reasons to Exercise During Pregnancy:

In addition to helping to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight, exercising during pregnancy can help a pregnant woman feel better physically and emotionally. Exercise can give a woman back some feeling of control over her body at a time when it seems that it’s no longer hers. Additionally, the endorphins produced by movement can help to elevate the mood while eliminating stress and anxiety.

Joints, which become loosened by the hormone relaxin, may benefit from regular exercise, particularly if the mom-to-be is experiencing hip or joint pain. Toning muscle groups can also help to take the strain off the lower back and other areas as the center of gravity begin to shift.

A strong body and good circulation can greatly aid labor, particularly in the case of a long labor, while a fit body will return to its pre-pregnant state at a faster rate.

Safe Pregnancy Exercises:

Every woman’s fitness level can be different. Therefore every woman’s safe pregnancy exercise routine may be different. Women that were runners before becoming pregnant can often continue their running while pregnant, with only some modifications to their basic routine. Women who were not active before becoming pregnant can still begin an exercise routine safely.

Swimming is an excellent exercise for pregnant women, as it is both aerobic and non-weight bearing, which can help take the strain off joints and the back. Prenatal yoga or yoga for pregnant women is offered at many hospitals and yoga studios and can help gently stretch and strengthen core muscle groups that take a great deal of strain during pregnancy.

Walking can be an exercise program started by anyone, no matter what their fitness level. Begin slowly, with five minutes of warm-up and five minutes of cool downtime for each walk, and add time gradually each week. The speed and length of time can be easily modified, making walking a great exercise at any time in pregnancy.

Light weight lifting is normally safe during pregnancy, but be careful not to lift more than 40lbs, and not to lay flat on the back after the first trimester of pregnancy. Avoid doing any weight lifting exercises which engage the abdominal muscles, as this can lead to problems as the muscles begin to stretch out.

Always be sure to speak to a doctor before beginning any exercise program while pregnant. While exercise may help with some pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, these problems may lead a doctor to curtail some exercises, so always defer to their judgment.

Staying healthy during pregnancy can go a long way toward making a safer birth, and easier recovery. Try incorporating some just 2-1/2 hours of exercise a week into the pregnancy routine and reap the benefits for months to come.

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