10 Fitness Exercises and Activities for The Pregnant Woman

I’ve often heard some old wives’ tales about pregnant women and what they should or should not do. In one case, I heard that exercising is dangerous for expectant mothers, that is added to their tiredness and could hurt the baby. Can anything be more wrong?

It’s almost as if some people stop fitness training along with other things like drinking alcohol and hanging around smokers. While pregnancy comes with important changes, it is the time to pay more attention to your fitness levels.

A regular exercise routine can ease general physical discomfort and help soon-to-be moms manage the extra demands of their body. A healthy diet is also good for replenishing lost minerals and vitamins that come with the stress of pregnancy.

As long as you manage your exercising and diet properly, you’ll experience a safer pregnancy and childbirth. Here are some fitness tips to try out:

See a doctor

This isn’t restricted to pregnant women alone. Before embarking on any physical activity such as a marathon, football game or hiking trip, it is always recommended that you see a physician for a clean bill of health. You will be checked for stamina and strength to ensure you can take whatever you are about to start.

If there are specific limits to maintain (or things to avoid), then abide by them. Otherwise, you are good to go. Another thing, keep your fitness instructor close.

  1. Yoga

It is common knowledge that yoga calms the mind. Pregnancy can come with certain levels of stress, the last thing you need is unnecessary pressure. In addition to relieving tension, it enhances your mood and promotes safe delivery. Take some minutes to practice yoga every day. Ensure you keep it simple.

Avoid poses that put you in uncomfortable situations or tend to twist your abdominal region. Desist from lying on your back too. Hot yoga is a definite no because it can strain you. Instead, keep your stretching light. Work on your upper body, thighs, and legs. Invest in quality yoga mats like the Spri Airex Mats for a more comfortable yoga session.

  1. Cycling and spinning

These two activities are great for cardio. Pedalling enhances blood circulation around the body, especially the legs. It also increases the quantity of oxygen and nutrients for your developing baby. Start by placing your bicycle in a comfortable position, lower the handlebars to reduce the strain on your lower back.

Your cycling activity shouldn’t make you leave the saddle suddenly. This means any sudden jump movements is out of the question. If you don’t feel comfortable spinning, stick to the stationary bikes on the gym floor- they provide a more relaxing exercise. Some people prefer to stay away from public gyms while pregnant, this is understandable. You can get your own home spinning or stationary bikes.

  1. Zumba

Zumba is awesome cardiovascular exercise. Since it tends to be quite vigorous, you can perform your own variation of the exercise. Instead of the intense jumping and twisting movement, you can keep it slow and steady. Inform your fitness instructor so you can do this on your own, instead of with the group.

The idea behind Zumba is to promote blood circulation through dance moves inspired Latin American culture. Alternate your rhythms fast and slow and watch your breathing too. You want to make sure it’s not too fast, so moderate your movements to a comfortable pace

  1. Water aerobics

Some people practice water immersion birthing. According to this study by researchers in Turkish-German Gynaecological Association, it has been known to shorten stages of labour and alleviate the pains. Water as an exercise medium can be relaxing. It has also been proven that women who practice water aerobics at least 3 times a week were less likely to request pain-relief medication during labour.

Like other exercise activities, it is necessary to limit your involvement. Reduce the length of time you stay in the pool. Make sure the temperature is perfect (room temperature), and always stick to the shallow end.

  1. Pilates

Pilate exercises during pregnancy are a great way to stay calm during delivery. Get out your gym mat and get working on the exercises to balance your core. The moves may appear simple but they require a good deal of precision and control, so ensure you put a check on how far you go.

Don’t try inversions, arm balances exercise or lying on your back. Some reformer classes have a jump board equipment, if you are in a similar class, avoid it altogether. In fact, it is best to perform Pilate exercises with a personal fitness trainer when are pregnant. This allows you to have more control over the exercise.

Now we have worked through the physical aspects of pregnancy exercising, let’s go into some lifestyle tips.

  1. Stay hydrated and maintain a routine

Exercising causes you to sweat and lose water, more so when pregnant. Be sure to replenish adequately; remember you are drinking for two.

While there are many suggestions about the ideal quantity of water to take, I’ll recommend drinking 1 pint (2 regular cups) of liquid prior to exercise and 1 cup every 20 minutes during your work out session. Regardless of whether you feel thirsty or not make sure you drink up during exercise. Wear breathable clothing to maintain temperature levels.

  1. Monitor your body

Although the doctor may provide you with sufficient information about your body and its limits, only you can understand your body that well. Listen up for strange aches or discomforts, it may be your body’s way of warning you. If you don’t feel up to it, take a break, or stop entirely. You live to exercise another day.

  1. Stock up on your fruit and veggies

Expectant moms must eat healthily to make sure they get the essential amount of nutrients they and their baby need. Foods like bananas, cereals, nuts, and whole grain contain enough vitamin B6 which are good for the major body organs.

The amount you consume is important, ensure you do not take more than the recommended daily dosage. For a detailed guide on how much you need, read it here. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, especially the purple ones. They help in bone cell formation. For your regular supply of calcium, eat spinach and salmon to facilitate bone growth during pregnancy.

  1. Always watch your temperature levels

Be wary of overdoing your exercises during a work-out session. It is also not advisable to jump into it without preparation. Start by preparing your joints and knuckles before you start. Breathe calmly, alternating between increasing and decreasing heat rates.

Don’t get right into strenuous exercises if you are not adequately warmed up. The variations in heart rate should get your temperature at the right level. Is the room well ventilated? This is also important.

  1. Rest and enjoy your pregnancy

Sufficient sleep can be a good form of workout, especially when you are pregnant. Include a proper sleep regimen in your workout routine. Your muscles need to relax, likewise your brain which uses this time to develop its cognitive abilities.

The anxiety, hormonal imbalance, stress and physical discomforts make sleep a must during pregnancy. You can take a 20-minute nap each day to recover and sustain your energy levels.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes and is NOT a substitute for medical advice.