Our friend Jennifer at The Mindfulness Mama, has got you covered for the New Year, with a great selection of ways to work out in the New Year!
As a wise doctor I know once said, “The idea that there’s a universal ban on exercising while pregnant is just a lie some women tell themselves to excuse being lazy.” Okay, maybe she’s wise. Maybe she’s harsh. But she said it and, oh boy, did she mean it.
It’s true that some women shouldn’t work out while pregnant due to complications or health risks specific to their pregnancy. However, if your pregnancy is considered low-risk, then you’re free to pick from a range of equally low-risk workouts for a fit and healthy pregnancy.
Looking for the most beneficial exercises for you and your growing bump? Here are 7 of the best ways to work out while pregnant.
If this sounds like a no-brainer, that’s because it is. Walking requires no extra equipment or training. You don’t have to sign up for an expensive class or buy new gear. You can customize the length and speed of your workout. Plus, your burgeoning belly is less likely to cause fall-inducing balance issues at a walk compared to a run.
- Pelvic Prep
Any exercises that focus on your pelvic floor and abdominals should move to the top of your list
. Exercise routines like Ready, Set, Push
are designed to strengthen key muscles to make for a healthier you and an easier labor and delivery. That’s right, easier labor and delivery. Is that music to a mama-to-be’s ears or what?
In fact, there are plenty of ways you can build your core muscles in preparation for the big push. Yoga is a wonderful, low-impact workout for anyone, but it offers unique benefits to those who are expecting
. In addition to strengthening muscles for delivery, yoga can help instill breathing techniques and mental techniques that can help keep you centered and calm during delivery.
Like with yoga, you can find prenatal Pilates classes. These specialized classes take into consideration women’s unique and ever-changing pregnant bodies, and can focus on moves that are most beneficial to expecting mothers. Pilates’ focus on core and pelvic floor is rumored to help both with labor and delivery. There are also whispers it can help your body recover post-birth as well
. Whether that’s accurate or not, it’s certainly worth a try, no?
While your baby bump is a beautiful thing, there’s no denying the strain extra weight can put on your body. That extra weight can make you feel less confident and less coordinated. And you’re lying if you say you enjoy the third-trimester waddle. Therein lies the beauty of water workouts. The buoyancy of water can reduce your body weight by up to 90 percent
. That may sound like a fun but meaningless factoid, but think of it this way — that’s up to 90 percent of the strain taken off your back, hips, ankles and other aching joints.
- Stationary Bikes
You may have to say sayonara to mountain biking for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good pedal in. Stationary bikes remove the risk of falling while keeping the cardio benefits of biking. Plus, you can catch up on your favorite TV shows while you get a workout in. You can’t do that on a mountain bike. Or at least, you really shouldn’t do that on a mountain bike.
- Strength Training
Never done strength training before? Now’s not the time to try for a bodybuilding title. However, there are plenty of light, pregnancy safe strength training routines
that can help tone your muscles and get your arms ready for carrying that bundle of joy around.
Things to Keep in Mind When You Exercise
To further ensure your safety and happiness, here are a few bonus tips:
- Always, always, always ask and defer to your OBGYN. They’re the ones personally overseeing your care. Most of these exercises should be fine for low-risk pregnancies, but every woman and every pregnancy is different. Give your doctor’s advice more weight than you do articles you find on the internet.
- Avoid fall risks. You may love to ride a horse, play touch football or jump on the trampoline, but those should wait until baby.
- Avoid lying on your back for workouts. This can reduce blood flow to you and baby.
- Remember that you’re going through a lot of changes. Your heart is working harder already, your lungs are getting squished by a growing baby, your weight and balance are ever-changing. All of these concerns can and will affect how you exercise.
- You’re providing oxygen and blood flow to baby, so if a workout leaves you out of breath, it’s a sign you should dial back the intensity.
- Your. Kegels. If you do no other exercising while pregnant — Do. Your. Kegels. No time like the present.
Stay Healthy Through Your Pregnancy Just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day will help you feel better and stronger through the end of your pregnancy. You’ll definitely need that strength to help you through the coming sleepless nights with that completely adorable bundle of joy.