Staying active during pregnancy is very important for your health and well-being. Regular exercise, two or three times a week, helps both you and your baby. Being active helps lessen the effects of pregnancy such as backaches, bloating and swelling. Exercise also gives you the stamina you need in your later trimester and also helps to prepare your body for the birth of your child.
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise can bring a lot of physical benefits to an expecting mother. Exercise can help you:
Feel stronger and healthier
Exercise helps boost your energy levels and helps circulate blood supply for a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy. Studies have shown that exercise may even lower a woman’s risk of complications, like preeclampsia1 and gestational diabetes2 and gestational hypertension3. Exercise during pregnancy:
Relieves backaches and improve your posture
Reduces constipation through movement
Improves mood and help better sleep by relieving the stress and anxiety
Reduces the likelihood of preeclampsia and pregnancy related diabetes
Prepare you and your body for birth
Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly ease labor and delivery. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage pain. And in the event of a lengthy labor, increased endurance can be a real help.
Manage weight gain
As your baby grows, so will you. However, weight gain is a natural part of the pregnancy journey that can be managed by exercise. The goal here would be to maintain one’s fitness level and not expect or try to lose weight through exercising.
Safe Exercises to Perform While Pregnant in all Trimesters
Experts agree these exercises are safest for pregnant women:
A brisk walk is one of the easiest and most effective exercises to perform while pregnant. Brisk walking for about 30 minutes gives your heart and joints the movement they need. It can also help decrease pregnancy weight gain and mental well-being.
Swimming and Water Workouts
Water workouts use many of the body’s muscles. Water is ideal because it helps support the belly and relieves pressure from the spine and pelvis. It contributes to fewer exercise-related injuries and muscle strains.
Aside in toning your body, lifting weights can help minimize aches and pains and give you strength throughout your pregnancy. It is advisable to steer clear of any machine with a pad that presses against your belly in later trimesters, such as the seated row machine or abdominal machines.
Modified Yoga and Modified Pilates
Prenatal yoga classes are a popular, gentle choice among expectant mothers. Yoga helps improve flexibility, encourages stretching and focused breathing. However, you should avoid poses that require you to be still or lie on your back for long periods.
1Exercise in Pregnancy – NHS. Accessed January 17, 2022.
2Exercise during Pregnancy – WebMD. Accessed January 17, 2022.
3Safe Pregnancy Workouts: Best Exercise by – Healthline Accessed January 17, 2022.
43 Myths about Exercise and Pregnancy – John Hopkins Accessed January 17, 2022.
5Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women – CDC Accessed January 17, 2022.
6Pregnancy and Exercise – Better Health Accessed January 18, 2022.
7Exercise tips for pregnancy – Medical News Today Accessed January 18, 2022.
8Prenatal Exercise – OnHealth. Accessed January 18, 2022.
9Exercise during Pregnancy – ACOG Accessed January 19, 2022.