5 Great Prenatal Workouts for Super Mum-to-Be7:14:00 PM
The midwife has confirmed that you're expecting, but your health and wellbeing is important to you. Gone are the days when pregnant women were expected to lounge about their homes. You are free to engage in a prenatal exercise routine! Midwives and obstetricians agree that an otherwise healthy pregnant woman may continue or begin a low- to moderate-intensity prenatal workout as long as she is comfortable.
If you are able to breathe well enough to speak while you exercise, ensure you're well hydrated, keep your heart rate below 130, and listen to your body, you can continue with a prenatal exercise program well into the late stages of your pregnancy.
Here are five safe prenatal exercises you may enjoy during each trimester of pregnancy.
1. Pilates and yogaPrenatal Pilates exercises are a great, low-impact way to relax your body through mindfulness and deep breathing as you strengthen key muscle groups. Some practitioners believe that pilates can actually improve balance, which could be a major help as your bump grows and your center of gravity changes. Prenatal Pilates exercises can be done in a group setting or in the privacy of your own home.
Yoga, an ancient set of spiritual, mental, and physical disciplines first originating in India, is a great low-impact workout that can easily be modified with your growing belly. Yoga differs from pilates in that it focuses on increasing joint flexibility as well as building strength.
Prenatal yoga classes can be taken in a group setting with other pregnant women and are taught by an instructor who has experience in exercising with pregnant women. Hot yoga, however, is not typically recommended as it can raise your core temperature. Practicing yoga is also a great option if you prefer to do your prenatal exercises at home as there is a myriad of yoga videos available on the web.
2. BootcampBootcamp workouts are typically alternate between intervals of strength training and cardio workouts, but a Mums and Bubs Bootcamp is specially designed for mums -to-be. There will likely be some modifications to the class to ensure your safety and comfort, but this prenatal exercise program can be a challenging way to stay fit as you build strength and stamina in anticipation of birth.
3. Water aerobicsWhatever the weather outside when you find yourself pregnant, diving into an indoor or outdoor pool for some water aerobics is a great prenatal workout. Water aerobics is already lauded for its strength training benefits (water has more than 10 times the resistance of air) and the ability to keep participants cool, but mums-to-be will find some other major benefits to water exercise, especially into the second and trimesters.
The water will help your growing belly float, which will relieve the strain on your low back and constant pressure on your bladder. The low-impact aspect of this prenatal exercise routine will also keep your feet and knees from aching after a workout. While you're in the pool, consider swimming a few laps as well.
Related Article: Shedding Pounds After Birth – The Truth
4. Indoor cyclingForget a long trip via road bike; hop on a stationary bike and pedal away. Cycling can be modified for each stage of pregnancy, allowing you to work out a little harder early on and slowly make adjustments as your pregnancy progresses. Because stationary bicycles are adjustable, you can move the handlebars as you need to, as well as change the seat height. And what other exercises have a seat just waiting to catch you if you need a quick breather?
5. RowingRowing is considered to be a great second-trimester workout. By the second trimester, many mums have found their energy has increased while any lingering nausea has decreased so the back and forth motion won't exacerbate morning sickness. Your belly likely won't be an obstacle, and rowing is done from a seated position—it's a win-win. Rowing is also a great way to build up the muscles you'll need to use for birth as it strengthens your whole body.
Whether you prefer your prenatal exercises at home or in the gym, working out while pregnant will go beyond maintaining your physical health. Safe prenatal exercises can also boost your energy, improve your mood, help prepare you for the rigors of childbirth, and help you sleep—a precious commodity as you prepare to give the gift of life.