A fit pregnancy is ideal situation for most pregnant woman. For every expectant mother, there’s no greater joy than growing a healthy baby. But being pregnant is an amazing experience that, sadly, not every woman gets to enjoy, so you should cherish every moment. One of the best ways to make sure you do, and the best thing you can do for your budding little one, is to stay fit and healthy during this precious time. Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym, though – there are plenty of ways to move and keep you and your baby safe and healthy that you can do from home.
But what are the benefits of a fit pregnancy, what are safe exercises for pregnant women and how can you make your pregnancy workout routines fun and stress-free?
Let’s find out.
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What Are The Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy?
Throughout pregnancy, your body goes through an incredible number of changes to almost every system and structure in the body. In a really good way, you and your body will never be the same again. But those changes come with various physical and emotional challenges that can leave you feeling drained. Incorporating a fit pregnancy exercise routine can offer numerous benefits during this transformative time.
Not only can it help reduce pain and discomfort and boost your energy levels, but it can also boost mood and reduce the risks of pregnancy complications. Regular exercises for pregnant women can also prepare your body for delivery and labor, making the process smoother and shorter. So, by making an effort now to take care of your changing body with exercise during your pregnancy, you and your baby can reap the rewards of a healthier, happier pregnancy journey.
How to Achieve a Fit Pregnancy
- Get the Go-Ahead from Your OB/GYN: Always speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program during pregnancy. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming for the body if you haven’t exercised before. That’s why getting the go-ahead from your OB/GYN before you start is essential. Speaking with your doctor is crucial. By getting their stamp of approval, you can exercise confidently, knowing that you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep you and your baby safe. A physical therapist can guide you through and demonstrate the best exercises to do at home while pregnant.
- Stick to Light Cardio Workouts: Light cardio workouts are a great way to stay fit during pregnancy. Low-intensity exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling are gentle on the body and provide numerous benefits. These workouts promote cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and help manage weight gain during pregnancy. Light cardiovascular activity can also reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost energy levels.
- Stay Hydrated: Make sure you drink enough water when performing any physical activity during pregnancy to avoid dehydration. Water is the best drink you can have during this time to keep your body energized and refreshed. Dehydration can cause various problems, including headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and low blood pressure, which can affect your baby. So, keep a water bottle handy and sip regularly. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and regulate body temperature, making it essential for your and your baby’s health.
- Monitor Your Body Temperature: Avoid exercising in hot and humid conditions to prevent overheating, which can be dangerous for both you and your baby. As a mom-to-be, your health and safety and your baby’s should always be a top priority. This is especially true when exercising, particularly during the hot and humid months. While staying fit during pregnancy is important, keeping a close eye on your body temperature is equally important. Overheating can be a serious risk factor for you and your developing baby. So, stick to cooler indoor workouts or swim instead when the weather heats up.
- Don’t Overdo it: It’s important not to push yourself too hard while exercising while pregnant, as this could lead to complications. Exercising during pregnancy should be done in moderation and adjust to suit your needs. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, and overdoing it could strain your body, putting both you and the baby at risk. Keep a consistent routine that you are comfortable with to experience the maximum benefits of exercise without any complications. Listen to your body and listen to any pain signals or other symptoms that may occur.
How To Establish A Safe Pregnancy Workout Routine
Safety should always be your top priority when working out when you’re aiming for a fit pregnancy. Establishing a safe pregnancy workout routine reduces your risk of injury. It can also help you get better results in the long run. Working out while pregnant benefits you and your baby by providing positive gains in strength, flexibility, stamina, and lower back pain relief. Start with low impact, then add resistance training to strengthen your muscles further. Don’t forget to stretch at the end of each session so your movements are less restricted.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or expecting for the second (or third) time around, you can follow our guidelines to create a safe and efficient exercise routine for you and your growing baby.
- Start by setting goals and create a plan (ideally with the help of a physical therapist) that aligns with those goals.
- Warm up before you start working out, and remember to cool down afterward to prevent muscle strains and other injuries.
- Listen to your body and rest when necessary (very important during pregnancy).
What Are The Best Home Exercises For Pregnant Women?
- Low-Impact Exercises
So, we know that staying active during a fit pregnancy can help improve your health and prepare your body for childbirth. However, exercises for pregnant women can be daunting. That’s why it’s important to stick to low-impact exercises that don’t put too much strain on your body. Swimming, walking, Pilates, and yoga are great for expectant mothers.
- Swimming is a low-impact activity that is perfect for pregnant women because it relieves pressure on the joints and supports the weight of your growing belly.
- Walking is also an excellent low-impact exercise you can do anywhere and anytime. It’s great for pregnancy-related stress and anxiety, too. All you need to do is step out of your front door.
- Yoga can help improve flexibility and balance while easing stress and tension.
Strength and Resistance Training During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a special time in your life and can bring about several changes to your body. Weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings are just a few of the challenges we face when carrying a baby. But having a fit pregnancy during this time has numerous benefits for you and your baby, including improved mood, better sleep, and reduced risk of gestational diabetes. Strength and resistance training can be useful for preparing your body for childbirth and aiding postpartum recovery.
While many women may shy away from exercises for pregnant women, when done properly with the support of a physical therapist, they can be a safe and effective way to maintain strength and endurance throughout your pregnancy.
Stretching and Flexibility Exercises
Incorporating stretching and flexibility exercises into your pregnancy fitness routine can be a game changer, not only for your physical health but also for your mental well-being. Flexibility and mobility exercises can help to improve your range of motion and balance while stretching reduces the stiffness and soreness in your muscles that can accompany pregnancy. Stretching and working on your flexibility can also help you avoid injury and perform better during your workouts.
Plus, the relaxation and mindfulness that come with these exercises can boost your mood and leave you feeling more centered and calmer.
How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercising at home can be a challenge, especially when you’re pregnant. Your body can feel heavy. However, with a few simple tips, you can keep on track during your fit pregnancy and feel better for it.
First, set yourself goals to work towards and track your progress. Whether completing a certain number of reps or stationary cycling for a certain amount of time, seeing your progress gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you. Secondly, find ways to make your workouts fun. Listen to your favorite music, try out new workout routines, or even work virtually with a friend or personal trainer. Just remember to be kind to yourself, even more than usual, and keep going even if you do need to miss a workout.
Motivation comes with discipline and a fixed schedule. Find online resources such as tutorials and classes for a fit pregnancy, that give you that extra push when you need it.
Would you like help and support achieving a fit pregnancy? Book a free consultation, and we can help guide through some exercises for pregnant women.