Safe Exercises During Pregnancy

Four pregnant women in workout clothes, holding their bellies

Indulging in exercise when you have a baby on board provides numerous health benefits. Prenatal exercises can improve sleep, control weight, improve mood, and strengthen muscles in preparation for birth, among others. However, consult your healthcare professional in case of pregnancy complications before indulging in any exercise. Here are some safe pregnancy exercises to get you moving;

1. Cardio Exercises

Walking

Brisk walking throughout pregnancy is an ideal and safe form of exercise with low risk of injury. It gives your heart a workout, and it’s easy on joints and muscles. You should walk for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

Swimming

The cooling water in the pool helps reduce discomfort and is a great way to relax and relieve pressure. It exercises your arms and legs and helps ease back pain. However, diving or jumping in should be off the list.

Dancing

Low impact aerobics and dancing is an excellent way to get your heart pumping. You can join a Zumba dance class or just dance at the comfort of your home. However, avoid styles that involve jumps, twists and changing direction suddenly.

Indoor cycling

This is so easy: pedal a stationary bike (or a recumbent bike) to boost your heart rate and improve leg muscle strength without any risk of falling.

2. Flexibility and Strength Exercises

Prenatal yoga

Pregnancy yoga is a great way to help you unwind, improve posture, maintain muscle tone, and flexibility. However, avoid intense yoga poses and those that involve lying on your back after the first trimester.

Stretching

Stretching helps increase blood flow and reduce back pain. Tailor stretches – such as the tailor sit and press – strengthen the pelvic, thigh, and hip muscles.

Kegels

You can do kegels anywhere by squeezing the pelvic muscles and holding for five seconds. Kegels helps prepare for labour and delivery by strengthening muscles that hold the uterus and bladder.

Pilates

Pilates exercises are ideal in improving posture and flexibility, easing back pains, and strengthening tummy and pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy-specific Pilates will boost your muscles to enable your body to recover faster during post pregnancy.

Weight training

If weights were part of your usual exercise routine, you may still continue but with a few modifications. Use light weights in slow and controlled movements to strengthen and tone your muscles.

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