What does that mean for your exercise routine? Thankfully, there are plenty of pregnancy workouts that can keep you fit and moving throughout your pregnancy. In fact, unless you're high risk, most doctors encourage a moderate level of exercise throughout your pregnancy. It has a number of benefits, including an easier labor and delivery, feeling like yourself again sooner after delivery, and even lowering your chances of some common pregnancy complications. If you're looking for a pregnancy workout that's suitable for you, there's hope! Whether you're early in your first trimester or late in your third, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Walking is the obvious choice for pregnancy exercise. After all, you're already doing it; what's a few more steps in your day? As you progress in your pregnancy, simply rolling out of bed can feel like an astronomical chore. Once you're on your feet, however, keep moving! Walking helps keep your blood flowing, and moderate exercise will help you feel more energetic during the day, help you sleep better at night, and lift your mood. If you're feeling particularly energetic, you can even keep up your usual running routine. It is, however, recommended that you kick it down a notch during pregnancy: running is hard on your joints at the best of times, and it's even harder when you're carrying around an extra bowling ball, and your balance is out of whack. Make sure you stay on level terrain or use a treadmill during your second and third trimesters.
If you happen to be in your third trimester in the middle of summer, take heart: there's an unexpected benefit! When you're in the water, you'll feel practically weightless. Much of the pressure your unborn child has put on your body will be lifted, and you'll feel lighter and freer than you have in months. While you might not feel as though you're swimming with your usual grace, swimming a few laps can be great exercise that won't make you feel as though you're working excessively hard.
There are some poses that you probably can't get into as your third trimester looms. Prenatal yoga, however, is designed specifically for your changing body. You won't just focus on increasing flexibility and mobility--both of which will be extremely useful as you come closer to delivery. You'll also practice healthy breathing techniques, center your mind, and improve your balance.
Many childbirth classes recommend performing plenty of squats in the months leading up to labor. In fact, squatting births are becoming more popular than ever! By performing squats, plies, and other movements that are designed to tone your thighs, you'll help make your delivery easier--especially when it comes time to push.
Light aerobic workouts are great for pregnancy. Dance workouts can add an element of fun without stressing your body excessively. You'll strengthen your body, improve your mood, and get ready for delivery all at the same time! Keep in mind that you should never continue any kind of exercise that causes you pain, but feel free to continue many of the aerobic exercises that you were performing before your pregnancy.
Staying in shape during pregnancy may seem impossible, but it doesn't have to be! Your goals shift when you're protecting another life inside you. Now, your goal is to stay as healthy, flexible, and mobile as possible. Before you know it, you'll have another pair of little feet to chase around the house--and that means your body needs to be up to the challenge!