Learn the truth about pregnancy exercise, including the many benefits it provides to mama’s physical and emotional well-being! Read more on this article if you want to know what are the best exercises during pregnancy!
Skip ahead to any section you find the most interesting!
What are the health benefits of pregnancy exercise?
How can you exercise safely during pregnancy?
When is it unsafe to exercise during pregnancy?
Types of safe pregnancy exercises
– First trimester pregnancy exercises
– Second trimester pregnancy exercises
– Third trimester pregnancy exercises
When should you stop exercising during pregnancy?
When you become pregnant, your family and friends are likely to become more concerned about your safety. They may, for example, show a tiny little bit of displeasure with your bad eating habits (well, there are some foods to avoid during pregnancy) or insist on you not taking that one flight of stairs.
While some of the concerns they pose are logical, others are pretty irrational—particularly when they say it’s dangerous to exercise while pregnant and that you should just rest, eat, take it easy, slow down, and rest some more.
Mama, if you ever come across someone who says anything like this to you, feel free to show them this article! This is because exercise is not only beneficial, but it is also recommended during pregnancy!
There’s no reason to be concerned at all, mama. In fact, a scientific study found that modern, high-intensity workouts are healthy for both fetus and the mother during normal pregnancies. Physical exercise does not raise the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as long as you are stable and have a healthy pregnancy.
You’ve come to the right place if you want to learn more about pregnancy exercises! We’ve compiled everything you need to know about it, from its incredible health benefits to the range of workouts you can do. Read ahead!
The Health Benefits of Pregnancy Exercise
Your workout goals may have revolved around maintaining your weight or building muscle before you got pregnant. However, when you’re pregnant, the focus changes to simply staying active and healthy.
Did you know that integrating pregnancy-safe workouts into your routine lowers your risk of gestational diabetes right away?
But how much physical activity should you get? Experts recommend that you partake in at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each day. Exercise should be performed at least three times a week, but preferably every day, according to the recommendations.
ACOG recommends that you exercise during your pregnancy for the following reasons:
- To reduce back pain
- To ease constipation
- To reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
- To promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy
- To improve overall fitness
- To strengthen the heart and blood vessels
- To help you to lose the baby weight after childbirth
However, the advantages of prenatal exercise go well beyond the physical. Since exercise raises serotonin levels in our brains, it’s also a perfect way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Pregnancy Exercise Safety Tips
Yes, exercising during pregnancy is safe, but you must first obtain permission from your obstetrician or healthcare provider before jumping in headfirst, even if you’ve been a fitness enthusiast for a long time. If you’re brand new to this and want to get more active, it’s still generally safe, but you’ll have to be more careful to prevent overexertion.
Before you go ahead and plan your prenatal exercise routine, here are a few things to remember to ensure your safety:
- Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion or beyond your current fitness level.
- Warm-up your muscles and joints before exercising. After exercising, cool down to minimize muscle soreness.
- Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration and overheating.
- Wear comfortable and light clothing. Also, opt for clothes that provide lots of support.
- Wear supportive, non-slip shoes.
- Avoid contact and competitive sports, and hot yoga.
- After the first trimester, avoid activities that require you to lay flat on your back for too long.
- Avoid exercises that require too much bouncing or leaping.
- Do not exercise in hot environments.
When Is It Unsafe to Exercise During Pregnancy?
Although physical exercise is encouraged for all pregnant women, a small percentage may be unable to do so due to medical restrictions. Those that may be affected by the following conditions are among them:
- Preeclampsia or high blood pressure
- Cervical problems
- Severe anaemia
- Lung or heart conditions
- Placenta previa
- Being pregnant with multiples
- Preterm labour
Best Exercises You Can Do During Pregnancy
Cardiovascular activities are, in general, the best and safest workouts to do during pregnancy. However, some strength training and weight lifting exercises can be performed safely when pregnant.
If you’re looking for a specific routine for each trimester, here are our recommendations on what you can do.
Keep in mind that some of the exercises can be performed at any time during the three trimesters. Just try to pay attention to your feelings and avoid taking unnecessary risks, mums.
Pregnancy Exercises in the First Trimester
Here are the safe exercises and workouts for the first trimester!
Jogging or Running
Since there is no baby bump to throw you off balance at the start of your pregnancy (though nausea can occur), jogging can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If you’re a runner, you may need to reduce your normal mileage and pace.
Low-intensity to moderate weightlifting
There’s no need to be afraid of weight lifting or strength training as long as you do it correctly. Lifting weights has been linked to a lower risk of caesarean delivery, preterm labour, and shorter productive labours, according to some reports. You can do exercises that target your back, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, quads, glutes, calves and core during the first trimester. While you have more flexibility in terms of the specific weightlifting exercises you can perform in the first trimester, as you progress through the second and third trimesters, you must avoid those movements. Core movements and moves that enable you to lie on your back for long periods of time are some of the many examples.
Is dancing considered an exercise? Yes, it does! Mums may get relief from pregnancy symptoms, increase their endurance, and speed up their postpartum recovery by dancing. But of course, routines that involve skipping, leaping, or twirling should be avoided.
Pregnancy Exercises in the Second Trimester
Here are some safe workouts to do in the second trimester!
While yoga can be started in the first trimester, some pregnant women experience morning sickness during this period. When the second trimester arrives, nausea may be gone, making it the ideal time to pick up a yoga mat!
Yoga, according to experts, is not only a fantastic way to build body strength, but it also teaches you skills like deep breathing and relaxation that you will need during labour. Yoga can still be practised until the third trimester, but you should avoid risky poses like headstands, backbends, abdominal twists, and other back-bending poses.
Kegel exercises, like the rest of the exercises in this article, can be performed as early as the first trimester. However, since most mothers don’t have the energy during the first trimester, starting in the second trimester is perfectly acceptable. It’s best to do it at least twice a week to reap the benefits, which include better bladder control, stronger pelvic muscles, and a lower chance of faecal incontinence. Even better, it’s great preparation for labour and birth!
Cycling or biking is a perfect type of exercise for pregnant mothers, according to the American Pregnancy Association, since it doesn’t bring too much stress on the body. While cycling outside is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, a stationary bike may be a safer option during pregnancy due to the reduced risk of falling.
There are special pilates classes for pregnant women, just as there are for yoga. Backaches will be relieved, your balance will improve, and your flexibility will improve with this type of pregnancy exercise.
Pregnancy Exercises in the Third Trimester
Here are the safest ways to get some exercise during the third trimester!
Walking is the easiest, most basic, and most realistic form of exercise for any pregnant woman. Brisk walking, according to ACOG, is already a total body exercise that is gentle on the muscles and joints. There is no need for special equipment; all that is needed is a good pair of shoes. What’s amazing about this is that it doesn’t seem like a workout because walking can be effortlessly incorporated into your daily routine. Walking is also a healthy form of exercise from the first to the third trimester.
Swimming or Water Aerobics
Swimming is an excellent way to fix these problems because it supports your weight while also providing relief from common pregnancy aches and pains.
When going for a swim, make sure you have a good swimsuit that suits well, have someone with you at all times, and watch your move. If you’re going for a dip in the pool, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen or a hat.
When Should You Stop Exercising During Pregnancy?
Not everything is in our control. If you experience any of the following symptoms, regardless of whether you’ve been exercising for a long time or just started, stop immediately and call your obstetrician:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shortness of breath before you start exercising
- Chest pain
- Painful contractions
- Fluid leaking from your vagina
- Calf pain
- Muscle weakness that puts you off balance
One of the most important things to remember as a mother when it comes to exercise during pregnancy is to listen to your body. Although science and studies have shown that pregnancy exercises are healthy, knowing your limits and knowing when to slow down is just as important.
If you’re feeling a little exhausted after your first session, Mama’s Choice Relaxing Massage Oil is always available to help you relax and unwind after your workout. Our massage oil is made entirely of natural ingredients and contains no chemical fragrances or preservatives, making it ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Its natural oil blend helps to relieve tension, calm the mind, and relax the body. You may purchase our Relaxing Massage Oil through our Shopee and Lazada platform okay, Mama!
Mama's Choice Team
The Mama's Choice MY team is consisted of 4 beautiful mamas who are strong and dedicated in being the support system that many mamas need these days. <3