If you are pregnant, getting regular exercise is key to a healthy pregnancy. It can help alleviate the common aches and pains that come along with pregnancy, such as back pain, pelvic girdle pain, bladder leakage, and a heavier lower abdomen. And exercise can also prepare your body for labor and delivery by increasing the strength of your muscles and stamina.
Of course, every pregnancy is different, and you should always get the okay from your doctor before starting a new fitness routine. But once you have the green light, there are many pregnancy exercises that are safe to do through all three trimesters.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. This means that you should work hard enough to sweat and raise your heart rate, but not so hard that you can’t talk or sing. For example, a 20-minute walk is an easy, full-body cardio workout. Swimming is another great option because it supports your weight and reduces pressure on your joints.
For some people, though, this amount of exercise can be hard to achieve, especially for those who weren’t particularly active before pregnancy. If you are starting from scratch, it’s a good idea to start small and build up gradually.
And don’t forget to take it easy in hot or humid weather, and to make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workouts. Trying to exercise in excessive heat or humidity can lead to dehydration and, in severe cases, miscarriage.
A lot of women find that their capacity for exercising diminishes throughout their pregnancy, and that’s okay. Your doctor may suggest that you skip a workout or scale back the intensity on days when you feel fatigued or exhausted.
If you do decide to continue your regular exercise routine, it’s important to make sure that your clothes fit well and are comfortable. You’ll need a pair of comfy maternity yoga pants (we love this one that comes in plus sizes), and you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes. And don’t forget to use a support band or pillow for comfort and stability.
Having a supportive network of friends and family members can also keep you motivated to stick with your fitness regimen during pregnancy. Whether they are cheering you on from the sidelines or taking turns taking your place in class, having some folks to hold you accountable can be the difference between getting #UpNOut and skipping your workout altogether. pregnancy fitness