Worried about pregnancy weight gain? You don’t have to! With regular exercise, you can keep fit and look your best despite carrying a baby.
Experts recommend physical activity to future moms. Strength training, swimming, and power walking are among the best choices. These activities benefit both the mom and her baby, leading to a healthy pregnancy.
Prenatal exercises support the mental development of your unborn child. Moreover, it improves cardiovascular function in adulthood.
Active moms have a 30 percent lower risk of gestational diabetes. They’re also less likely to develop depression, back pain, and urinary incontinence. Exercise can help you catch more Zzz’s and ward off fatigue.
Most prenatal workouts require no special gear. This allows you to work out anytime, anywhere. All you need is discipline and commitment.
Ready to give it a try? Check out these five essential prenatal exercises for a lean, healthy body:
Touted as the king of leg exercises, squats build lower body strength and shape your glutes. This movement prepares your body for labor and works the pelvic floor muscles. In the long run, it helps prevent back pain and opens your pelvis.
The squat targets nearly every muscle, including your core, back, and leg muscles. It also balances your hormone levels and speeds up your metabolism.
Experiment with squat variations, such as the wall squat, the sumo squat, and the goblet squat. For a more intense workout, use a barbell or dumbbells. Keep the weights low to avoid injury.
If your back hurts, you can still do squats. Simply use a lighter weight or your own body weight. Do front squats or Bulgarian squats instead of back squats.
To ease the pain, sleep on a special pillow that supports your back. Choose one designed for moms-to-be. The best pregnancy pillow will relieve aches and make exercise easier.
This basic exercise strengthens the core muscles, including the obliques and rectus abdominis. A strong core helps maintain your posture and reduces back pain.
Planks are safe during pregnancy since there is no pressure applied to your belly. The key is to keep your back straight and breathe deeply.
Besides standard planks, you can try vertical and side planks to keep your routine varied. Hold the pose for at least one minute to reap its benefits.
Compared to running and jogging, power walking puts less stress on your joints. It’s a perfect to keep fit and relieve stress.
This form of exercise improves heart function, boosts aerobic fitness, and burns calories. It may also ease labor pain and prevent weight gain while pregnant.
A daily power walk can lower your risk of diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and miscarriage. This activity prevents blood sugar spikes and high blood pressure, leading to better health.
The Lotus Pose
Padmasana, or the lotus pose, makes childbirth easier and relieves back pain. At the same time, it calms your mind and offsets the harmful effects of stress.
Expecting moms who practice this pose enjoy better digestion and improved sleep. They also have greater energy and wake up more refreshed. On top of that, yoga increases body awareness and restores emotional balance
Swimming reduces back strain from your expanding belly and strengthens your joints. It’s a safe, low-impact workout for all ages and fitness levels.
Research shows that swimming may relieve morning sickness and ease sciatica pain. It also improves circulation, which helps prevent ankle and foot swelling. Just make sure you choose a properly-chlorinated pool to avoid contamination.
Are Prenatal Exercises Safe?
Unless you have pregnancy complications, working out is perfectly safe. When combined with a balanced diet, its health benefits are even greater.
Ideally, opt for low-impact prenatal exercises, such as yoga and stretching. Strength training is a great choice too as long as you stick to low weights.
As a rule of thumb, avoid any exercises that pose a high risk of falling. Contact sports, hot yoga, and scuba diving are off limits during pregnancy. Stop working out if you experience chest pain, headaches, or vaginal bleeding.
How do you keep fit while pregnant? Share your favorite exercises below!