When pregnant, you can generally maintain the same level of activity as you had before being pregnant–that is, if you could jog two miles, it is fine to continue this. Even if you didn’t exercise before becoming pregnant, it is still safe and healthy to start now. Begin with 15 minutes of activity 3 times a week and increase it gradually to 30-minute sessions, 4 days a week–or every day if you can. Physical activity will give you more energy, will help you sleep, improve your mood, decrease annoying problems like constipation and back pain, and make childbirth easier. Importantly, activity is very good for development of your baby’s heart, lungs and brain.
Types of Exercise
Walking: Add 5-15 minutes walking wherever you can in your day–believe it or not, these minutes do add up! For example, take your dog out for a walk; if you have another child, walk them to daycare or school; walk around the block during your lunch break; or park a few blocks from your destination and walk. Remember, your goal is 30 minutes of activity, 4 days per week.
Indoor activity: Elliptical, stationary bicycle, rowing: These are low-impact ways to add activity at the gym when it’s cold outside–perhaps while catching up on Netflix or podcasts.
Swimming: Water exercises are great during pregnancy as you feel weightless underwater and can move more. If you know how to swim, go for regular swims. If not, go for a water aerobics class.
Yoga and Stretching: These are excellent ways to improve flexibility and strength. It is okay to do regular yoga classes while pregnant. Just talk to the instructor beforehand, and if something just doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Take the stairs: Instead using the elevator, you can get 1-5 minutes of activity! Stairs are great for core muscles and leg muscles.
Exercise your arms with everyday activities: Prepare your arms for the workout they’ll get when baby arrives by picking up heavier office and household items regularly–But protect your back from injury too! When picking up things like shopping bags or boxes, remember to bend at the knees, keep your core and tummy muscles tight and your back straight.
There’s an app for that…
Here are some FREE recommended apps based on good reviews and overall effectiveness at keeping women fit during pregnancy:
- Kegel Trainer
- Pregnancy Exercise: Weekly Workout
- Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Plan
- Pregnancy Workout Today
- Pregnant and FIT! ($2.99)
- Pregnancy Workout Advisor
- Prenatal Workouts
- Sculpt My Pregnancy