While pregnancy often requires rest, it doesn’t always mean you have to be bedridden for nine months. Studies suggest movement during pregnancy benefits the developing baby and mother in most cases. Unless your doctor forbids it, exercise while pregnant can be a great way to stay healthy and have fun.
However, you might need to modify your typical routine if you regularly engage in intensive workouts or contact sports. What should you do instead? Here are 10 easy ways to get exercise during pregnancy.
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10 Fun and Easy Exercises for Pregnant Women
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1 Iyengar Yoga
As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity shifts. Even if you once held dancer pose as gracefully as a ballerina, you could find yourself wobbly on your feet. Fortunately, you can find yoga forms that help you retain your balance.
Iyengar is an ideal form if you prefer a more vigorous yoga workout. Why? It relies on various props – like straps, chairs, blocks, and blankets – to maneuver your body into perfect alignment. That means you can use assistive devices to help you when you feel wobbly. It’s a good choice for you if Ashtanga or hot yoga was formerly your jam; you want to avoid temperature extremes during pregnancy.
2 Restorative Yoga
What if you want a less vigorous, more relaxing yoga experience that focuses on healing chronic aches and pains? If so, restorative yoga could be your pregnancy jam.
Regardless of the type of yoga you choose as an easy way to get exercise during pregnancy, you should get to your first class early. That way, you can discuss your condition with your guide, who can recommend modifications to keep your workout safe for you and your developing baby.
3 Ballroom Dance
Do you want an easy pregnancy workout that helps you bond with your baby’s other parent? If so, why not look to ballroom dancing? Unlike other dance-inspired activities, this one requires a partner.
Dancing is a great way to boost your mood and engage in fun, low-stress activity. Bringing your partner in on the fun will help strengthen your bond – an important priority for couples about to start a family together.
What if you’re a single mama? You don’t need a partner to boogie down in a Zumba class. This fun fitness form has you moving your body to the hottest international beats.
Pay attention to your knees if you choose this workout. All that twisting and shouting can put pressure on your knees, and your joints may already feel loosey-goosey thanks to pregnancy hormonal changes. A quality pair of sliders to wear over your sneakers will help you pivot without the plastic sticking to the floor and causing injury.
Spending time exercising in the great outdoors boosts your mood like few other activities. The combination of juicy endorphins, fresh air, and sunlight is a mental reset. You also blast your quads and hamstrings as you navigate hills.
The right footwear matters here, too. Look for a sturdy pair of hiking boots with ankle support to prevent twists and snakebites. Protect your skin and peepers with the right sunscreen and shades.
Cycling is a glorious exercise form for expectant mothers because it’s low-impact. You don’t place any additional pressure on already-sore joints, which is helpful if you have arthritis and had to quit your medication regimen during pregnancy.
If you don’t like the strain of pulling hills, consider an e-bike. The pedal assist will have you flying up steep grades without breaking too much of a sweat. Do you want to avoid traffic altogether? Invest in a stationary recumbent bike for maximum comfort while you stream your favorite shows or even an under-the-desk version to pedal while you work.
7 Weight Machines
Weight machines are a wise choice for expectant moms because they hold your body in perfect alignment. Although you don’t work as many complementary muscle groups to maintain your posture, you reduce your risk of injury. Given your shifting center of gravity, they could offer your best choice for a strength training workout during pregnancy.
You’ll probably have to join a gym unless you have a well-stocked home fitness center. When you do, please take advantage of the free personal training session many facilities offer as part of their membership package. You can get expert tips and tricks for staying fit throughout your pregnancy.
Here’s another option for mamas-to-be who struggle with chronic pain issues. Does moving about on land make your knees unbearably creaky? If so, take your aerobic workout to the water with an aquacise class.
The liquid’s buoyancy supports most of your body weight, making it possible for you to jog and jump. You’ll also use specialized water weights to tone muscles while submerged. Choose a facility with an indoor heated pool to maximize your comfort.
What if you don’t like the structure of a formal exercise class – or your work schedule prohibits attendance? If so, you can get your fitness in an aquatic setting by taking up swimming.
You can burn significant calories swimming laps of front crawl and breaststroke. Best of all, you’ll support your weight in the water, which eases pressure on your joints. Even if they aren’t ordinarily creaky, the added pounds you put on during pregnancy increase their load. You and your baby will feel safe and secure in your watery abode, and even walking laps in the pool burns calories and tones muscle, thanks to the liquid resistance.
Pilates originated in the 1920s, and people have flocked to this gentle exercise form ever since. If you have a gym membership, you can take a turn on the reformer machine designed to move your body through the different exercises while maintaining precise alignment.
However, you don’t need any equipment at all to get a great Pilates routine. You can even find workouts for free on YouTube that you can stream and do in the privacy of your living room. You can also take your pick from many of today’s hottest fitness apps that feature workouts of various lengths.
Easy Ways to Get Exercise During Pregnancy
Unless your doctor advises you otherwise, it’s fine to exercise during pregnancy. Doing so has multiple benefits for you and your baby and could make delivery less painful. Furthermore, exercise has many benefits for your mental health, so it can help fight any pregnancy stresses.
What should you do? Try one of the 10 easy ways above to get exercise during pregnancy. You’ll feel fit and be full of energy to nurture your little one.