5 Safe Ways to Exercise During Pregnancy
I’ll go ahead and preface this by stating the obvious… every pregnancy is different. What may be too much exercise for one may not be enough for another. And consulting with your doctor or midwife regarding what exercises will work with your pregnancy is always a good idea. But the ideas provided here can be a good baseline of where to start.
Now that that’s out of the way, here are five safe ways to exercise during pregnancy:
1. Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is a great way to center your body and your mind. When performed correctly, it can help improve sleep, reduce your anxiety and stress, strengthen your core muscles to aid with childbirth, and decrease lower back pain and other aches that accompany pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, avoid inverted poses, and stay within parameters that you’re comfortable with.
2. Indoor Cycling
Cycling is an effective way to work out without putting undue pressure on your knee and ankle joints. And you can pedal at your own pace, and not worry about falling. If you happen to be adept at outdoor cycling, consult with your doctor about whether or not it’s safe to continue to cycle outdoors, and when you should stop.
3. Swimming/Water Aerobics
When you’re pregnant, water can be your best friend. Because, in water, you weigh 1/10th of what you do on land. So, you’ll feel lighter and more able to perform exercises. Swimming can also help combat nausea, swollen ankles, and feet, as well as sciatic pain.
4. Brisk/Speed Walking
This is probably the easiest exercise to perform, as well as the least expensive. You can also briskly walk to induce contractions when you’re ready to deliver. If you decide to go hiking, avoid walking too briskly if you’re not acquainted with the uneven terrain.
5. Low-Impact Aerobics
Don’t be afraid to show up to a low-impact aerobics or dance class to elevate your heart rate and get the endorphins going. As you progress in your pregnancy, try to avoid activities or classes that require careful balance, unless you’re already an amazing balancer.
While exercising can be beneficial, there are some warning signs that will help you know if you’re overdoing it. You should stop exercising and consult your doctor/midwife immediately if you experience the following:
- Chest pain
- Persistent contractions
- A headache that doesn’t cease after rest and Tylenol
- If you feel faint, light-headed, dizzy or nauseous
- Experience a gush of fluid from your vagina or a trickle or steadily leaking fluid
- Have shortness of breath or sudden muscle weakness
- Notice an irregular or racing heartbeat
Did you exercise during your pregnancy? What are some of your favorite ways to exercise while pregnant?
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