Though for decades women were advised not to exercise during pregnancy, these days it is not only considered safe but extremely important to remain active throughout pregnancy. There are some considerations for making sure you and baby remain safe, so be sure you talk to your doctor about the exercises you want to do.
Benefits of Prenatal Exercise
Exercising during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, shorten labour time, reduce stress, and help stave off excess weight gain. Staying active throughout your pregnancy will also aid in getting you back to your pre-baby shape after your baby arrives. Choosing the right exercises throughout your pregnancy can boost the benefits you feel and help make sure you and baby stay safe.
Exercises to Focus On
In your first trimester, exercise is a great way to alleviate early pregnancy symptoms and keep your energy levels up. Generally, it is safe to continue doing any exercise you were already doing prior to pregnancy once you find out you’re bundle of joy is coming soon. Any exercise that helps reduce your symptoms is a great way to go. Try going for walks or light jogs, swimming, or yoga to stay active and help get you through the first few tough months.
The second trimester is usually the most energetic and exciting for women. Your baby bump begins to show through your clothes and you should see a significant reduction in early pregnancy symptoms. This is a great time to focus on some light strength training to help keep your weight gain to a minimum and keep your muscles strong. Remember to never work yourself to a state of exhaustion. Continue any cardio exercises that you are still comfortable doing.
For the third trimester, you have some further safety considerations. Because your baby belly is growing significantly, widening your hips, and throwing your balance a little off, it is important to stick to exercises that are lower impact. Continue doing only exercises you feel stable and comfortable performing. You may also want to consider adding in exercises that can help prepare you for labor like yoga or other light stretching exercises.
Remember that only you and your doctor can determine what the right amount of exercise looks like for your pregnancy. A quality fitness regimen throughout your pregnancy can help alleviate symptoms, reduce risks, and help you return to your pre-pregnancy shape more quickly. Focus on what makes you feel your best and keeps you and your baby healthy.