When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time you may not know what your body’s limits are and whether or not you can exercise like you used to.
You may be worried to do any work-outs for fear of straining your body, putting pressure on your baby, or any complications.
Good news though, you can exercise and it is best to do so if you were already doing some of these things as your body is already used to it.
You might not be able to go hit it hard at the gym but you can certainly still tackle some more low-impact exercises that will strengthen your core and keep you healthy.
We recommend; Yoga, swimming, walking and running.
Even if you were a full-on athlete before your pregnancy, you can’t go above and beyond during your second trimester so it’s best to keep it simple and monitor how your body reacts.
Make sure that you are staying safe and keep an eye on anything that could be problematic. Keep an eye out for;
- Nausea. Stop if you feel like you might be sick.
- Too hot. Stop and rest if you feel too hot, you may be overdoing it.
- Dehydrated. Pregnant or not you MUST stay hydrated when you exercise, even more so when pregnant as you’re staying watered for two. Keep that water bottle close!
- Any Vaginal Discharge, bleeding, or any pain or discomfort in your abdominal or pelvic area.
If you find yourself in any pain during your exercising, stop straight away. Only exercise if you feel up to it and if you feel like you are in pain or cannot go on, stop, even if you are only halfway through or if you just started.
Yoga is good for strength and health at any time in your life and it can certainly help you during pregnancy, there are even some things that dedicate certain yoga poses to pregnancy and even certain trimesters.
It can reduce your blood pressure, any back pain- which we know you will be thankful for, and it can also serve you well during labor and birth. It can also help you stretch and strengthen your muscles which will bring you relief throughout your pregnancy and your recovery too.
We recommend staying away from poses such as, the tree pose, during which you could fall. If you do want to do standing poses, make sure both feet are kept on the ground. If you do worry about this then don’t be afraid to get someone to help you or supervise you while you do this.
Also, avoid poses where you’re on your back or where your feet are above your head. These are a big NO!
We recommend a few poses that you should try;
Puppy Pose - Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands at shoulder-width apart on a wall slightly above the height of your hips.
Walk your feet back until your torso is parallel with the floor. Contract the muscles in your thighs and lengthen your tailbone back and you reach forward with your head.
Goddess Pose - Stand with your feet a little bit wider than your shoulders, rotate your hips outward so your feet are turned 45 degrees and your knees face the second toe of each foot.
Keep your spine erect and gaze forward as you inhale. Bend your knees toward a 90-degree angle or as far as you can go. Exhale as you press to standing to use your thighs to straighten and you may also use your core here.
Hip Circle (you can do this in your third trimester too!) Start on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart.
Circle your hips slightly around in one direction while keeping a slight bend in your knees. Do this slowly and enjoy doing several circles in each direction.
A bit simpler is walking, walking is good for the body as it keeps the blood pumping and your mind fresh. You will be able to walk up until the hours or minutes before birthing.
Consider going for enjoyable walks with friends, family, or your partner. We don’t recommend being too exuberant with your walking and suggest around half an hour a day of enjoyable walking, for three or five days a week will be enough.
If you were a runner before then there is no need to stop this activity. However, if you were not a runner before your pregnancy do not take it up now as you can easily strain or damage yourself.
If you are running then take a miss on woodland trails, cracked sidewalks, and any other bumpy, untrustworthy terrain. Stick to flat surfaces such as a running track or a treadmill with safety bars. Make sure you do not fall, this is the only major concern with running.
If you are running and you feel any joint or back pain, or notice anything is not feeling right, stop immediately. Trust your body and your instincts and know when your body is telling you it’s had enough. Be sure to stay well hydrated as well.
You see it in the movies, you see it on TV. Swimming and water aerobics during pregnancy are a women’s favorite and the reason is- there is no chance that you will fall.
Some pools may even have water aerobics sessions for pregnant women, which is a fantastic idea. If you weren’t that active before your pregnancy and decided that you wanted to get in shape for labor and birthing, this is probably the best option for you as it is low-impact, soothing, and will help to strengthen your core muscles without having to twist your abdomen.
Swimming is fantastic for your health and fitness both during pregnancy and otherwise. It is also very safe and a very viable option for women to want to help strengthen the muscles that will help them in labor and birth.
If you are new to swimming or water aerobics during this time, it is wise to get a coach so that you do not go overboard and stay safe in the water.