There is no question that exercise, staying fit and toned, and maintaining a healthy weight can benefit you and your unborn child. Unfortunately, the CDC reports that 48 percent of women put on more weight than is recommended during pregnancy.
Working out can help!
It is suggested that healthy pregnant women should target at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (for example, 30 minutes, 5 days a week). This will help keep you on a path of wellness as your baby grows.
Is it OK to Start Exercising While Pregnant?
Decades ago, pregnant women were considered fragile and were advised to reduce their activity levels.
You should always consult with your healthcare professional before exercising during pregnancy. However, pregnant women that engage in exercises focusing on moderate-intensity activity can see overall health benefits.
Published research shows that engaging in movements like brisk walking and swimming can keep your heart and lungs healthy during pregnancy while also supporting a healthy weight.
Other significant advantages of training during these special nine months include:
- Boost your mood throughout pregnancy and reduce symptoms of postpartum depression after birth
- Improve sleep
- Promote muscle tone, strength, and endurance
- Reduce excessive weight gain during pregnancy
- Decrease the risk of gestational diabetes while pregnant
- Reduce the chance of a Cesarean section
Which Exercises Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
Safety is a priority when exercising during pregnancy. It is vital that you prevent injuries that may affect your baby’s health and your own wellness.
Keeping this in mind, it is best to avoid any exercises that pose a high risk of falling. This includes mountain biking, downhill skiing, in-line skating, gymnastics, skateboarding, and horseback riding. You will also want to steer clear of activities that could cause you to hit the water with great force, such as water skiing, surfing, and diving.
The great news is that many workouts are safe and will help make your pregnancy easier and more enjoyable.
What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?
Regular exercise can help you manage both the mental and physical changes of pregnancy and build stamina for the challenges ahead. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, use pregnancy as your motivation to begin.
Here are some safe exercises during pregnancy that will keep you fit:
- Walking can fit into your busy schedule, and it is a workout you can continue right up until you deliver your baby and after.
- Cardio machines like ellipticals, stair climbers, treadmills, and rowing machines are all safe to use while pregnant. Adjust your speed, incline, and tension to a comfortable level, and listen to your body. With stair climbers and treadmills, pay closer attention to where you step to avoid stumbles.
- Swimming and water aerobics are ideal. In the water, you’ll feel lighter and more agile while working out.
- Indoor cycling and spinning are also great options. You can keep pressure off your ankle and knee joints by pedaling at your own pace without the risk of falling.
- Pelvic floor exercises are some of the best movements you can do while expecting. Including these movements in your training routine helps increase your stamina and strengthen your pelvic floor, stomach, and core muscles, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. Pelvic exercises may even help labor go a little smoother.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may not be for every expecting woman. However, if you’ve been doing High-Intensity Interval Training for a while and get the green light from your practitioner, HIIT classes can be safe with modifications from a certified instructor.
- Weight and strength training is a safe and effective way to maintain and increase your muscle tone when you’re expecting. Just use lighter weights with multiple repetitions.
Regardless of which movements you choose, remember to drink lots of water and stop if you’re feeling out of breath.
The Bottom Line
Physicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals have concluded that exercise in pregnancy is safe for both mother and fetus, and may contribute to preventing pregnancy-related disorders.
Compelling studies confirm that exercise is beneficial and unrelated to an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Remember, a little physical activity is better than none, so do what you can.
At Fit Body Boot Camp (FBBC), our certified fitness coaches are trained to understand the unique needs of working out during pregnancy for future moms. A certified instructor leads every FBBC session to give you a safe exercise routine to meet your goals and stay injury free.
Our supportive and motivating small group workout classes will inspire you. In addition, you’ll get loads of positive reinforcement from others in the same classes that will keep you coming back.
Join us at Fit Body Boot Camp today and begin your journey to optimum health.