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8 Pregnancy-Friendly Workouts

January 2, 2017

Backaches, constipation, swelling, fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, excessive weight gain, weakness, and lack of energy. If you’re pregnant, those ailments probably sound all-too familiar. But we have some good news for you. There is a panacea of sorts that can relieve these and several other health problems: exercise. That’s right, according to the Mayo Clinic, exercising during pregnancy can reduce your backaches, improve digestion, help you sleep better, improve your mood and energy levels, prevent excessive weight gain, and improve your strength and endurance.

If you were previously hesitant to add “exercise” to your list of New Year’s Resolutions, get your pen back out and consider taking up one of these 8 pregnancy-friendly workouts to help you stay fit during your pregnancy.

*Note: Be sure to talk to your doctor about your exercise goals during pregnancy before starting an exercise plan.

1.      Prenatal Yoga

Yoga is an amazing form of exercise that can be done at home or through organized classes at a gym. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the benefits of yoga include reduced blood pressure, improved digestion, better posture, increased strength and flexibility, and improved balance. Of course, there are several other benefits, but to a pregnant woman, those are pretty important. And because yoga has so many benefits specific to pregnant women, prenatal yoga has become very popular and are usually taught by certified instructors who use modified poses that are safe during pregnancy.

As you consider starting yoga, keep in mind that the ACOG discourages hot yoga and any exercises that involve lying on your back.

2.      Water Aerobics

Swimming, in general, is a fantastic workout during pregnancy. You’ll feel light as a feather and it can be a great relief from back, hip pain and swelling. If you prefer a more structured workout, look up a water aerobics class in your area. You may even find a prenatal-specific water aerobics class. These classes are usually low-impact and held in shallow water.

Tip: If you can’t find a prenatal water aerobics class in your area, a senior’s water aerobics class may also be a good, low-impact alternative.

3.      Walking

Yes, as simple as it sounds, walking has numerous health benefits, especially to those who are with-child. Health benefits of walking include helping to maintain a healthy weight, lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones and muscles, managing stress, improving balance, and stabilizing mood. However the more consistent you are and intense you make your walks, the more benefits you will see.

4.      Instagram Trainers

There are many women who are passionate about pregnancy fitness and have dedicated their lives to helping other pregnant women stay healthy. Thanks to social media, you can access the best of the best from all over the world, right from your smartphone. If the gym isn’t really your thing but you still want to find new ways to exercise while pregnant, check out these Instagram accounts of pre/postnatal trainers with lots of workouts and information to help you stay fit during your pregnancy:

  • @ActivewithD
  • @Mamalionstrong
  • @jamieeasonmiddleton
  • @ourfitfamilylife
  • @fit.mammas

5.      Strength training

Keep in mind as you check out various exercise programs that strength training is okay during pregnancy, but with caution. Especially if you were weight lifting before you got pregnant, it is usually perfectly okay to continue during your pregnancy. However, ACSM recommends modifying resistance training so that you use a lower weight with more reps, rest longer between sets, and focus on adequate breathing as you work out.download film Goosebumps

6.      Stationary Cycling

The ACOG warns that regular biking can be dangerous during pregnancy because your growing belly and changing anatomy can affect your balance, increasing your likelihood of falling and injuring yourself.  Stationary bikes, however, are a great alternative to those who love cycling. You can get a good sweat on those bikes without heavy impact to your joints. Join a class or pull up your favorite show to watch while you pump those legs and get that heartbeat going.

7.      Low-impact Aerobics

If you’re a big Zumba fan, step-aerobics lover or danceaholic, pregnancy doesn’t have to interfere with your favorite activities. Low-impact aerobics are great workouts for the expecting mom, and a great way to get out, socialize, get some endorphins pumping and sweat out all of your worries. Just make sure to stay hydrated and avoid too much bouncing movement.

8.      Belly Dancing

Believe it or not, it’s said that belly dancing was originally intended for pregnant women to strengthen the pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles in preparation for childbirth. A simple Google search will yield several belly-dancing workout DVDs and classes all for pregnant women. Some of them even claim to help move baby into the correct position for birth, and several other benefits that will help you have an easier labor. If dancing appeals to you and you’re looking for a fun way to get your heart beating, look up some belly dancing classes in your area or just find some videos online to get you moving in your own living room.

 

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Avatar for Angela Silva

Angela Silva

Angela graduated with her B.S. in Exercise and Wellness and is a NASM certified personal trainer who specializes in postpartum fitness and recovery. She enjoys writing, cracking jokes, and spending time with her family, preferably while fishing. She shares many of her life adventures on Instagram as @angelagrams

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