So you’re hoping to stay away from sloth-status this pregnancy, and perhaps burn the extra bowl (or five) of ice-cream the baby’s been craving on a regular basis. Staying active will benefit you far beyond just keeping the scales in your favour; regular exercise will help relieve some the aches and pains that accompany the shifts and changes in your body, it will improve your mood (who couldn’t use a little extra dopamine?), and it’s even associated with faster labor (yes, please!).
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Keep doing what you’re doing. With safety always in mind, the general rule is: if an exercise regime has been a regular part of your routine for 6 months+, it’s probably safe to continue. Diving for volleyballs or mountain biking should be crossed off your list for a while, but most activities can be continued if you’re body is familiar with a certain level and form of exercise.
Swimming. Now is the time to channel your inner fish. Especially in the later stages of pregnancy, buoyancy will become your best friend. Aqua fit or lane laps are both great choices for low-impact, gentle fitness, and the weightlessness of the water will feel oh.so.good.
Yoga. If you’ve been a practiced yogi for some time, you may be comfortable adapting your regular yoga practice for your pregnant body. If yoga is new to you, or you are looking for something specific to your growing shape, a prenatal yoga class can be a great place to stretch and prepare your body for labor, practice your calm, focused, slow breath, and as a bonus - it’s a great place to meet other moms that are about to enter the same stage of life as you are.
Walking. It seems so simple, but a brisk walk is one of the best low-impact, heart-healthy exercises you can do in pregnancy. Walking is gentle on your joints, will get your heart-rate going, and you can do it just about anywhere at anytime. If the weather is blistery, hop on a treadmill and add a bit of incline for a challenge (don’t forget the safety strap - this that time in your life you’ll actually want to use it!)
Weight Training: This isn’t the time to train as a heavy-weight champion, but there are definitely advantages to adding some resistance and weight training exercises to your routine. Weight training will help strengthen your joints, add to your cardio routine, and prepare your body (especially your arms) for all the baby holding that will be putting extra strain on you very soon.
* These suggestions are not meant to give advice or replace the recommendations of your doctor or midwife. Always consult with your care-provider to ensure that your activity choices are safe and suitable for you and your pregnancy.*