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Finding exercises for pregnant women does not have to be a hard task. In fact, there are many safe and effective exercises for pregnant women that will not harm the mother or the baby.
Before beginning any exercise, expectant mothers should consult their OB/GYN. Women that have cerclages, multiple pregnancies, high blood pressures, or those that are at risk for miscarriage should not exercise.
Depending on your pre-pregnancy fitness level your doctor will recommend that you continue with your current exercise or will recommend that you take it slow.
Exercises For Pregnant Women
Healthy pregnant women can benefit from exercise as long as it is in the guidelines set by her doctor. Exercising during pregnancy allows expectant mothers to build muscle, build the cardiovascular system, and increase stamina for the long hours of birth.
Even if a woman is scheduled to have a c-section, exercise can greatly assist in post-partum recovery. Exercising during pregnancy can positively affect a woman’s mood.
One of the common problems in pregnancy is gestational diabetes. Exercising during pregnancy can prevent it. Exercising during pregnancy can help keep the baby and the mother to have a healthier weight.
Here are exercises for pregnant women that are safe and beneficial.
Walking is an excellent exercise for most pregnant women. A pregnant woman can get a great cardiovascular workout without much strain and pull on her joints.
If a pregnant woman hasn’t been physically active for a while, then the doctor is more likely to recommend walking over other exercises.
A pregnant woman can safely walk during any trimester if she stays hydrated. Hydration is important in a workout, especially for a pregnant woman as dehydration can cause contractions.
Wearing running or walking shoes that protect the arches of the feet and ankle will provide added support. Pregnant women should avoid over exhaustion and poor posture while walking and inclines.
Water aerobics is among the safest exercises for pregnant women. The water gives pregnant women the feeling of weightlessness so it is very easy on the joints. There is no risk of falling, over exhaustion, and overheating.
The coolness of the water allows the body to maintain a healthy temperature. This exercise can be done safely throughout the pregnancy.
Water aerobics can be done for 30 minutes several times a week. One of the most effective water aerobic exercises that a pregnant woman can do is the dolphin kick.
A pregnant woman can execute this exercise by holding on to the edge of the pool and kick for 30 seconds and repeat as often as she can.
This is one of the best exercises for pregnant women because muscles are being worked out that normally can’t on the ground.
Another one of the best exercises for pregnant women in the water is performing low-impact aerobics. There are local classes that are taught by a fitness instructor.
These classes have exercises for pregnant women that will optimize their physical health.
Stretching is one of the safest toning exercises for pregnant women. These exercises can be done on the floor and slowly. It is important to note that a pregnant woman can overdo a stretching regimen due to the hormone relaxin.
The hormone relaxin allows the joints and muscles to soften a bit to prepare the body for labor and delivery.
Relaxin can sometimes give a pregnant woman greater flexibility, but you can tear a muscle if the pregnant woman is not careful. One of these stretching exercises is ideal to loosen up muscles and joints.
A pregnant woman can loosen up the muscles of her neck by bringing her chin down to her chest slowly and side to side in a circular motion. Rotate clockwise and counter clockwise.
This exercise can be done on the shoulders as well. Just bring the shoulders forward and then back. Leg stretches is one of the best exercises for pregnant women to obtain some muscle tone.
This exercise can be done by lying on either side and stretching the leg up and bringing it down. The mother can complete as many reps as she can without it hurting her.
Kegel exercise is another beneficial exercise for pregnant women that can strengthen the supporting muscles of the bladder. Also, it can strengthen the bowels and uterus.
Pregnant women can use Kegels to strengthen the perneal tissues used during birth; and will help these tissues heal faster post-partum. Many pregnant women complain about urinary incontinence Doing Kegel exercises can help with this problem .
Doing Kegel exercises are easy. To do Kegel exercises just hold in the muscles that releases urine for 5 seconds and release. A pregnant woman can do this several times throughout the day without anyone knowing.
Squats and Lunges
Squats and lunges are low-impact exercises for pregnant women that can strengthen and tone the muscles of the legs. This includes the quadriceps and buttocks.
Squats and lunges will prepare pregnant women for the active stage of labor.
As the pregnant woman continues to grow caution should be used as doing lots of squats and lunges could create wear and tear on her knees.
To avoid falling over these exercises can be done with while holding on the back of a chair.
Exercises to Avoid
While most exercises are completely safe there are exercises for pregnant women that are harmful for mom and baby. Pregnant women should avoid any exercises that will cause them to fall. This includes roller blading, and roller skating.
These exercises could actually cause injury to both the mother and the baby should she fall.
Jogging and running are not recommended exercises for pregnant women since every expectant mother is at different fitness levels.
This is also not one of the highly recommended exercises for pregnant women because it can cause overheating, dehydration and over exhaustion.
Exercises For Pregnant Women – The Conclusion
Exercises for pregnant women are safe and beneficial when done correctly. Choosing one of the many exercises for pregnant women will depend on the recommendation of a doctor.