For fitness buffs out there, exercise is their lifeline. They live, eat, and breathe fitness!
But what happens when you’re pregnant?
Your body is going through so many changes at once — so the million-dollar question is, can you exercise when you’re pregnant?
The good news is yes, but the intensity of exercise depends on your fitness levels and the advice given to you by your doctor on whether you can undertake an intensive workout.
There are plenty of benefits of exercising during pregnancy if you do it the right way:
- Exercise can help minimize aches and pains related to pregnancy.
- It can help ease constipation which might be caused frequently because of pregnancy.
- It can help you sleep better.
- It can also lower your risk of gestational diabetes.
- What’s better is that exercise releases happy hormones, aka ‘endorphins’, which means it will help keep your mood sunny, even during the difficult parts of pregnancy.
- Research studies also prove that the first stage of labor is shorter for women who exercise on a regular basis and may also reduce the need for a C-section.
Will exercising during pregnancy harm my baby?
Many pregnant women worry about exercising because of all the misinformation about how exercise can lead to a miscarriage. Pregnant women feel out of breath and get tired more often than normal people do when they exercise. This is not because you’re out of shape, but it is just because you’re breathing for two people, you and your baby.
Exercise will not harm your baby or debilitate your health in any way, but it’s just that exercise tires you out quicker than it did pre-pregnancy.
Here are a few workouts you can safely do when you’re pregnant:
6 Safe Workout for Pregnancy
1) Low intensity weight training
Doctors generally approve of doing low intensity weight training in the first trimester of pregnancy. A home gym set can help you train at your own pace, and because of the COVID19 pandemic, it is safer than going to a gym.
But when you’re training with free weights, you’ll have to use a dumbbell pair that is lighter in weight than you’re used to.
Having a home fitness set with a variety of weights or having a variety of strength machines can be especially beneficial when you want to work out in the comfort of your home during the pandemic.
Incorporating yoga into your workout routine can have immense benefits because it not only helps you stay fit but it encourages mindfulness skills.
Mindfulness skills like breathing and meditation can help with a variety of pregnancy problems like cramps and mood swings.
People who are already accustomed to doing yoga can continue with their usual yoga routine even when they are pregnant.
You can also opt for prenatal yoga, which will help strengthen your core and improve flexibility. This form of yoga is for pregnant women and emphasizes breathing techniques, meditation, calming practices, and gentle moments.
A little cardio can help you not only burn calories but also uplift your mood. Here are the types of cardio you can do while you’re pregnant:
Investing in a cardio machine like a treadmill is ideal for pregnant women since you can control how slow or fast you want to jog according to your comfort level.
Stationary cycling is an excellent form of cardio if you’re pregnant and worried about safety.
Stationary cycling takes the pressure off your joints and helps you adjust the tension on the bike if you want to make it easier or harder.
Though an elliptical trainer is great for those looking for intense cardio, it places a lot of stress on your joints. So be careful about the intensity and time period of doing this when you’re pregnant.
CrossFit is thought to be a bit dangerous when you’re pregnant, but a supervised way to use CrossFit equipment when pregnant can really be a gamechanger for your fitness levels. If you have a normal pregnancy and you want to continue your CrossFit routine of squats, deadlifts, and running, you should definitely do so under the supervision of a doctor.
Swimming is also a great pregnancy workout, because it burns calories and has a feel-good factor attached to it. Floating in water can take the stress off your joints and ligaments and help you feel rejuvenated.
Swimming is also a great full-body exercise that helps tone your legs, arms, back, and chest. It also has multiple health benefits like improving lung capacity and strengthening your heart. However, if you’re still apprehensive about swimming laps in the pool, water aerobics is a great option.
Pilates is great for core workouts, so they are instrumental when you’re pregnant. A strong core will help support your growing belly and minimize back pain.
Since lying on your back might be a bit uncomfortable after the first trimester, use an angled foam spine support that will keep your head higher than your belly during your Pilates session.
There are many benefits of regular exercise but while pregnant make sure to take advice of a professional trainer. It’s important to note that you should always seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider if you’re going to continue or start a new fitness routine during your pregnancy. Also, when you’re exercising, remember it’s essential to stay hydrated, not overexert yourself, and it is most important to have fun while you work out!
Sancket Kamdar, a certified weightlifting coach, and a successful entrepreneur founded SF HealthTech with a single goal in mind – to bring high quality, international standard exercise equipment to help fitness enthusiasts and athletes reach the next level of fitness. When he’s not working on new equipment ideas and designs, he loves to create educational content about health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He also writes to help budding entrepreneurs on running and growing a business, based on his experience.