Exercise can be a good way to reduce stress and ease the discomfort felt during pregnancy. If you were physically active before you became pregnant, you can still exercise to stay fit during pregnancy and have more energy during the day.
You will have to consider low impact exercise, however. Even though the baby is protected in a cushiony layer, you should not participate in strenuous activities or in activities where you could injure yourself.
REASONS TO STAING FIT DURING PREGNANCY
In addition to reducing stress ,giving you more energy and stay fit during pregnancy, there are other reasons to exercise. These include the following:
- Help you have a shorter labor
- Will help you lose extra weight gained while pregnant
- May help with postpartum depression
- Reduce fatigue
- Will give you more energy when you go into labor
- May help lessen the pains felt during the pregnancy
- May reduce your chances of having a cesarean birth
With all of these reasons to exercise during pregnancy, it is important to talk with your care provider to determine how much exercise will be appropriate.
If you had trouble getting pregnant, then you may not be allowed to move around as much as you would like. Again, this will depend on many factors including:
- Prior health issues
- Circumstances of conception
- Issues during other pregnancies
- Emotional stress
But if you are having a healthy pregnancy so far, you should be able to take daily walks, and complete stretches in the morning and at nighttime.
The key is to find low impact exercises that will help you during each stage of your pregnancy.
During your last trimester, depending on the amount of weight you have gained, you may not be able to be as active as you were before.
Seeing how your body reacts is the best way to determine if you should continue exercising or not.
TOP 10 EXERCISES To STAY FIT DURING PREGNANCY
Below are the top ten exercises you can try while you are pregnant. You will find that exercising is a good way to feel more energized during the day. It will also improve your mood.
You should exercise three times a week. This can be altered depending on how you are feeling.
This is the best way for you to get some exercise while pregnant. Taking a short walk around the block or the neighborhood will work your leg, back, and thigh muscles and it will also get the blood flowing in a safe way.
Walking with other pregnant women or with friends and family are also ways to connect with others. You can talk while walking and be able to share interesting conversation while staying fit.
Stretching every morning will help reduce leg cramps and other cramping that you may begin to feel as you enter your second and third trimester.
Keeping the muscles limber will also help during labor. You should stretch before walking also so that your muscles will be relaxed and you will not be sore the next day.
If you have never practiced yoga before, you should consider it during your pregnancy.
There are beginner classes especially for pregnant women that will teach you simple poses that will help you when you are under stress, have feelings of anxiety or depression, or when you cannot sleep.
These stretches can be done at home once you are comfortable.
If you are joining a class that is not for pregnant women, it is best to tell the instructor, so that they can give you simple versions of the poses they are teaching.
If you want to learn some poses from a tape or DVD, buy one that is specifically for pregnant women.
There are some yoga poses that should be avoided during pregnancy. Poses that twist the abdomen or require you to balance your weight should be avoided.
If you are not comfortable practicing yoga, basic stretches when feeling anxious will help you to stay calm.
Free weights to stay fit during pregnancy
Another good low impact exercise is to use free weights that are three or five pounds to work your arms and back muscles.
These weights will tone your muscles, but will not give you the work out you may have been used to before you were pregnant.
Being in the water will help you relax and will also act as natural resistance when exercising in it.
Whether you are just swimming laps or working out with a class of other pregnant women, you will enjoy being in the water.
This is a low impact exercise that will keep you energized during your pregnancy.
If enjoy riding a bike, but you don’t want to risk falling on the pavement while pregnant, a stationary bike may be the answer.
As long as you don’t overdo it, you will be able to ride your bike for thirty minutes each day if you want to.
An elliptical trainer is a good way to build your leg muscles and thigh and hip muscles when pregnant.
These muscles will come in handy during labor and you will have less cramping in the meantime.
An elliptical trainer may be better for some pregnant women than a treadmill because there is less impact on the knees.
Treadmills are another way to exercise in a low impact way.
If it is raining outside or if you are feeling self conscious on certain days about your growing body, you can still fit your walk into your day by using a treadmill.
It is not recommended that you run on the treadmill while pregnant, just a nice walking pace will give you all the exercise you will need.
As long as you are not targeting your abs and working out for an hour or two a day, light aerobic exercises should be fine. You can target many muscle groups through aerobics.
This is a form of stretching that allows you to hold a stretch for a certain amount of time.
The goal is to lengthen the muscles so that you will be long and lean. When pregnant, some of these stretches will help relieve tension in certain muscle groups.
WARNING SIGNS WHEN EXERCISING
Staying in tune with your body will help you know when to continue exercising and when to stop.
If you begin feeling any of these symptoms when exercising, you should stop immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Intense fatigue
- Vaginal leaking or bleeding
Even if these symptoms disappear after you stop exercising, you should not exercise again until the next day.
If these symptoms continue, you should stop exercising, break up your exercise regimen into ten minute sessions during the day, consult your care provider, or find another exercise that is low impact.
Even though exercise is beneficial, it may not be for you.
When to stop exercise During Pregnancy
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you should not exercise during your pregnancy:
- Weight issues
- High blood pressure
- Previous miscarriages
- Lung issues
- Muscle issues
- Joint issues
- Heart issues
Ask your care provider if you can stretch or participate in other low impact exercises that will not influence blood pressure or trigger an asthma attack.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO STAY FIT DURING PREGNACY
If you are under doctor’s orders not to participate in exercise regimens while you are pregnant, there are small ways that you can stay fit during pregnancy. These include:
- Light house cleaning
- Wading into the shallow end of the swimming pool
- Walking around the house
- Basic stretches
- Carrying a book in each hand while walking around the house
- Grocery shopping
You should find daily activities and turn them into exercises. This will help you stay energized and reduce stress.
EXERCISES FOR THREE TRIMESTERS
During each trimester, you may find that is will become more difficult to exercise. This is for several reasons:
- Weight gain
- Increased fatigue
- Not enough time
- Balance issues
If you started out your pregnancy exercising each day, you may find that by the third trimester, you may not be exercising much at all. This is normal as the days draw closer to your due date.
It is during your first trimester where you may experience nausea, increased fatigue, and stress. Walking, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress will be the key. You should try to walk at least three times a week for thirty minutes if you can.
You can also join an evening yoga group if you experience nausea during the morning or vice versa.
Yoga will help settle your stomach and allow you to focus on your body for a while.
Depending on how you are feeling physically, you can participate in many low impact exercises that will help reduce nausea and cramps in the legs, back, and shoulders.
Many women claim that during their second trimester they feel more energetic because the nausea has ceased and their bodies are becoming more used to carrying a baby.
If you are experiencing the same feelings, take advantage by participating in low impact exercising including water aerobics, walking, and using exercise equipment.
You will be gaining weight during this time, so you will want to tone as much as you can in order to make losing the weight later on a little easier.
During your third trimester, you may be feeling sluggish, fatigued, and stressed because your baby will be arriving soon.
You may also gain a little more weight which could cause you to lose your balance or get stuck in smaller spaces.
When exercising, be aware of how your body is feeling. If you cannot lift weights without falling over, then switch to simple stretches, walking, or stick to light housework.
You may begin to feel like your pregnancy will never end, but don’t worry, you are getting closer to your due date.
After your baby is born, you will be busy caring for them, but you do not want to forget about yourself completely.
When your baby is napping, try to sneak in a few minutes of exercise a day. This will help you overcome your feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Leg exercises, free weights, stretching, and other low impact exercises will help and are quiet enough for you to do when your baby is sleeping.
When the weather is nice, you can take your baby for walks, which will also help you lost the extra weight.
Postpartum depression can happen for many reasons. Your hormone levels will be changing again, you will feel unattractive because of the excess weight, and you may be under stress because you now have a baby to care for.
Whatever the reason, exercise has helped many people overcome their emotional changes and stay fit during pregnancy.
Start out slow and work your way up to thirty minutes a day. You will be amazed how fast the weight will come off and how good you will feel afterwards.
If you have to work after having your baby, try to exercise at night. This will help you become more energetic and will also improve your mood.