You see a double line for the first time, and of course, you are ecstatic. You wanted to jump for joy, but you hesitate for a moment.  You ask yourself if it is safe for you to jump?”  If you are pregnant for the first time, you probably have many questions in mind, and do not worry; it is normal. 

Your body will undergo a huge transformation as the baby grows in the next nine months.  And so, it is right for you to understand the changes and know how to take care of yourself and your baby.

During your pregnancy, you will experience extra weight gain as your baby grows.  You may experience fatigue, backaches, or constipation.  The good news is that prenatal exercises can ease up these discomforts. Furthermore, there are other benefits you can gain from a regular exercise routine.

Benefits of Pregnancy Exercises

Exercises for pregnant women can

·       Lower the risk of Gestational Diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, and Caesarian Delivery

·       Help with ensuring healthy weight gain

·       Build stamina to prepare the body from the demands of childbirth

·       Relieve stress and anxiety

·       Decrease morning sickness

·       Improve sleep quality

·       Decrease the likelihood of constipation and hemorrhoids

We are sure you are excited to start a prenatal exercise routine after learning all the benefits.  Generally, women with a normal pregnancy can start their prenatal exercise.  But if you have an existing medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease or experiencing pregnancy complications, please refrain from exercising without your doctor’s approval.

Prenatal Exercises for a Healthy Pregnancy

pregnant woman doing ball exercise

If you are used to exercising and working before being pregnant, you should be able to continue with your regular exercise routine with caution and moderation.  It would be best to avoid any physical activities that may put you at risk of falling or injuring yourself.  Here are the low-impact exercises that are recommended for pregnant women.

1.    Walking

Regardless of your fitness level, walking is a workout that will suit you.  If you have just started walking, begin with 10-15 minutes walk on a flat surface.  Make sure to rest after walking.  You may begin walking three times a week and gradually increase the duration as you feel ready and up for it. 

If you are an active or an experienced jogger, you may begin with a longer duration and higher frequency. You can start walking for 20 – 30 minutes, 4 to 5 days a week. You may increase the time and frequency as well. 

While you walk, ensure to swing your arms also to strengthen your upper body.  

2.     Running

If you run before getting pregnant, you can continue with your routine as long as you feel fit and comfortable.  But if you don’t run, you need to hold off running at least until you give birth.

3.     Yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to workout and bond with your fellow moms-to-be.  If you are new to Yoga, you can expect a yoga session to consist of breathing exercises, stretching, posture, and cooldown.

The breathing exercises help you focus on your breath.  Learning the breathing technique may help you during your labor and delivery. 

The gentle stretching and postures will help you move your body to a full range of motions. The session will have positions that will require you to stand, sit, or lay on the yoga mat. These movements may help you stretch and strengthen your muscles. While doing these exercises, your breathing serves as an anchor to keep your balance and release tension in your body. 

There are different types of Yoga.  For pregnant women, it is safe to attend Prenatal Yoga, Hatha yoga, and Restorative Yoga.  If you are unfamiliar with the yoga types, it’s best to consult with the yoga instructor for proper advice.

4.     Pilates

Pilates has a set of movements and positions that strengthen your muscles and improve your balance, flexibility, and posture.  Like Yoga, deep breathing and relaxation play an essential role during the practice. 

Pilates may be done on a mat. There is also specific equipment being used depending on the targeted muscles during the workout.

If you decide to enroll in a Pilates class, ensure to inform your instructor about your condition before signing up.  Also, avoid overstretching or overexertion while doing Pilates. 

5.    Swimming

Swimming for around 30 days minutes per session can help ease foot and ankle swelling and back pain. It is best to swim in well-chlorinated pools to avoid any water-borne illnesses.  Also, you have to be extra cautious about walking on slippery surfaces and remember to tread carefully.

If you find lap swimming boring, you can look for the pools that offer aerobic water classes. 

6.    Cycling

Cycling is an excellent example of a low-impact exercise.  However, it would be best if you were extra cautious as your growing belly affects your balance. 

If you are a cyclist, you can continue, but it’s best to shift to a stationary bike to reduce falling risk.

Tips for a Happy and Safe Pregnancy Exercise Session

tips in tiles

Follow these tips for an enjoyable and safe pregnancy exercise session.

·       Use comfortable clothing.

·       Wear sports underwear to support your breasts.

·       Keep yourself hydrated. Drink water before, during, and following your session.

·       Always warm-up before a workout and cool down after the session.

·       Do not overexert or overstretch.

·       Avoid exercising in hot weather to avoid overheating.

Safety Precautions During Pregnancy

pregnant woman suffering from headache

For you and your baby’s safety, monitor how your body reacts to your physical activity.  Stop your workout if you feel any of these symptoms.

·       Feel weak, dizzy, or lightheaded

·       Headache

·       Experience pains in the chest, abdomen, or pelvis

·       Decrease of lack of fetal movement

·       Spotting or bleeding

·       Experience fluid leak

·       Sudden and irregular change in the heart rate

·       Swelling in your face, ankles, hands, or calf

·       Difficulty in breathing

·       Difficulty in walking

·       Regular and painful contractions.  Contractions happen when your uterus muscles tighten and relax.  It helps push out the baby during childbirth.

We hope this article helps you plan and kick-off your pregnancy exercise routine.  We hope you have a joyful and healthy pregnancy!

If you want to share your experience exercising during pregnancy or any comments, please send us your feedback in the comments section below. 

Tiny Steps

We play, grow and learn with children. 

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