As a fitness-lover, one of the first questions I asked my doctor when I found out I was pregnant was if/how I should exercise. I think a lot of us women ask this question for a number of reasons. The thing is, most women can and should exercise when pregnant. Unless your pregnancy is high risk or you’ve been ordered by your doctor to stay in bed, there is no reason you can’t exercise while pregnant.

I know we sometimes get funny about studies, but they show that there are numerous benefits to exercising while pregnant. A few of them being improving energy levels, getting your blood pumping to your legs thus improving your circulation, and improving chances for a speedy recovery. In fact, most moms who worked out during pregnancy generally had shorter and easier labours. I can personally testify.

SO, what sort of exercise is safe and beneficial during pregnancy? Here are some generally good and safe exercises that are recommended:

#1 Walking

Walking is low impact but still gets one’s heart rate up and blood pumping. That’s what makes it the best overall exercise for pregnant mothers. It’s usually safe throughout the entire pregnancy.

walking

#2 Swimming

When it comes to pregnancy, swimming is the number one exercise. It’s also the safest!

Swimming alleviates the heaviness you feel from weight gain associated with pregnancy. It also provides you with optimal cardiovascular benefits and helps you feel light and refreshed.

pregnant-swimming2

#3 Yoga

Yoga can help you maintain your muscle tone and stretch out tight ligaments during pregnancy. Be sure you investigate a pre-natal yoga class if at all possible.

pregnant-yoga 

#4 Jogging

Jogging can be done safely if you are an experienced jogger. However, further along your pregnancy you should reduce your jogging regimen. They say if you are not able to have a conversation when jogging, then you are overdoing it.

jogging

#5 Weight Training

Weight training is a great way to maintain and build muscle during your pregnancy. Just as long as you avoid heavy weights and weight bearing exercises that require you to lie on your back

Pregnancy and fitness pos cover image2

#6 Swiss ball

The Swiss ball was my life saver during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. It strengthens the legs, back and core muscles. Apparently it also induces labour so great for exercise especially in the third trimester.

pregnant-swiss ball2

All this said, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor or physician before you start any exercise program. Most pregnant women are fine to work out particularly if they’ve been active before. However, if you’re just starting a new program, be sure to take it easy initially.

A few tips:

  • commit to exercising regularly. Generally 30 minutes of exercise 4-7 days per week is recommended.
  • Try and stay hydrated.
  • STOP any exercise if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded.

AVOID

  • embarking on any stringent exercise program you are unfamiliar with
  • getting your heart rate much over 140
  • overheating – it can be dangerous for your and your baby
  • running and other jarring activities unless you are a very experienced runner. Even then you should consult with your physician.

Also don’t forget the importance of warming up before any and all activity. Warm up reduces the likelihood of injury and it helps your heart rate return to normal.

If you’re pregnant, CONGRATULATIONS, and good luck. Have fun with exercise too!

Are you pregnant? Have you been pregnant OR Do you know someone who’s pregnant? Do the above sound correct? Would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Other posts to read:

5 reasons you should stay active

Health Benefits of Walking

 

 

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62 thoughts on “6 Must-Do Workouts For Pregnant Women

  1. I didn’t do a lot of exercises when I was pregnant however I did walk every day and I was in labour less than others. In fact, I had my daughter in less than an hour from when I knew I was in labour. I started having her in the elevator and never made it to the room.

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    • I can relate Terri. My little 1 was overdue and I remember taking a long walk on the day she was due to arrive. I recovered quickly after birth – in fact, I used to go make my own breakfast in hospital coz i wasn’t in much pain.

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  2. Good job staying fit while pregnant, you look great. I did not do very well with it when I was pregnant but that was 27 years ago and I have come a long way in my values and agendas on self care. I would do it all differently if I had it to do over again

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  3. With our kids, the key to working out was to continue what we were doing before the pregnancy. You can take a little break of the first trimester and back it off on the third, but the second trimester we were doing pretty much everything (low impact) that we were doing before.

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    • Way to go guys! I agree – first trimester is hard enough without exercise on top of it but once the morning sickness and all is gone, it’s easy to get into the normal routine so exercise is ok too.

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  4. These are great tips, Mother show know that they can continue to work out as long as they a comfortable. I continued my same physical training with the exception of sit ups and push ups through out my entire second pregnancy and I felt fantastic about myself.

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  5. It’s so great that women are so conscious about having a healthy pregnancy. These are great recommendations, pregnant or not. 😁 Thanks for sharing!

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    • Hehehe duffelbagspouse, I know what you mean! When I was pregnant I had a lot of people who haven’t been pregnant in more than 20years scream at me for a number of things, e.g fitness regime being one of them. They thought walking was enough, but even then, just a short walk. lol

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    • My understanding re UTI is the importance of passing urine frequently and properly to get rid of bacteria SO basically you need to drink lots of water to flush the bacteria out of the urethra. Exercise helps if it ultimately leads you to go to the bathroom.

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  6. I’ve never thought that there are a lot of exercises for pregnant women. It is important to stay fit while pregnant. I don’t have any plan of having another baby again but now I can give the right advice to pregnant friends. Thank you.

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  7. I have friends who have worked out up until it was time to give birth. They say it was really helpful when they actually have birth because it made the pushing of the baby easier to do? That’s a question because I’ve never given birth so not sure. But more than one friend has said that not to mention it was easier to get back into shape after 🙂

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    • I can relate! I had an easy birth and recovered quickly coz I stayed fit till birth. I was actually overdue but was taking walks and all that. I’d do it again with other pregnancies.

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