Pregnancy can be exhausting. When the fatigue, nausea, body aches, and other common symptoms begin to show, it can be tempting to just wrap yourself up in a blanket cocoon until baby arrives. While it is important to listen to your body and rest when you need to, exercising during pregnancy can help boost your mood and improve your quality of life.
If you were an active exerciser before your pregnancy, it is usually safe to continue with your normal routine as long as you talk to your doctor and follow the all-clear from your healthcare provider. If you weren’t, it is a good idea to start slowly and work your way up to the recommended amount of daily exercise.
Healthy pregnant women are encouraged to get 2 1/2 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. Aerobic activities are those that make you breathe faster and deeper, and raise your heart rate to about 110 to 120 beats per minute. A brisk walk is an example of this. You can tell if you are exerting yourself too much by using the “talk test.” If you cannot talk easily while exercising, it is too hard.
Walking, cycling, ellipticals and swimming are low-impact exercises that are safe for most pregnant women to do throughout their pregnancy. Other cardiovascular workouts, such as rowing and stair climbers, are also good options. If you like to take an aerobics or dance cardio class, talk to the instructor ahead of time and let them know that you are pregnant so they can modify the routine for you.
It is important to avoid bouncing or jumping exercises as these can cause your abdomen to tighten and compress. Likewise, it is best to skip high impact exercises that put too much strain on your joints and knees, such as running.
Core exercises that target the abdominal muscles, back and pelvic floor can help with balance and stability as your body changes during pregnancy. Exercises like crunches, leg lowers and squats are generally considered safe to do.
The hormones that make pregnancy possible can loosen the ligaments in your feet and legs, making you more prone to injury. For this reason, it’s a good idea to change up your workout routines and take frequent breaks while exercising.
If you want to keep up with your fitness level as your pregnancy progresses, it’s a good idea to invest in a pregnancy workout app. These apps can give you the guidance and motivation to stick with your workout plan while keeping up your fitness levels safely.
Knocked Up Fitness is a new app designed for expectant mothers that includes prenatal workouts and access to a trainer. If you sign up for a membership, you’ll get monthly small-group coaching calls and access to a supportive community. Check out the site for more details. You can also sign up for a free trial. Then you can try out the workouts and see which ones meet your needs. pregnancy fitness