Exercise during pregnancy is an important way to stay in shape, feel better and, perhaps, ease delivery. If you are already physically active when you become pregnant, listen to your body and adjust as needed. If you’re just getting started, go easy and talk with your healthcare provider for the a-ok. Looking for some good moves to try? These exercises are good for both newbies and the pros.
This compound exercise is important throughout the lifespan because it boosts metabolism, muscle tone, and functional fitness. Include squats in your pregnancy fitness regimen because they ease labor by opening the pelvic outlet. Form matters with squats so keep your torso upright and be sure your knees don’t go beyond your ankles. Start with two sets of 5 or 10 and increase to three sets of ten as you build strength and stamina.
This pose strengthens your pelvic floor and the muscles in your back and thighs. The butterfly pose also increases blood flow to the lower limbs, which helps delivery along. To do the butterfly pose lie on your back or sit on a yoga bolster with your back against a wall for support. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees splay out in a butterfly shape. Avoid bouncing the knees. Simply breathe into the stretch and hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
Get your heart pumping with some aerobic exercise. Try low or no impact options like swimming or biking. Walking is also a good choice because you can adjust your exertion level to match your energy level. It isn’t always how fast you go, instead, resolve just to get moving. Yoga is also a very good option.
Ultimately, the best kind of exercise is a safe one you enjoy and are likely to do regularly. Pregnancy brings so many physical and hormonal changes that can feel unpredictable and uncomfortable. Exercise is a powerful tool for managing back pain, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and even constipation. Even if you were not active prior to becoming pregnant, it isn’t too late to get started. Sign up for Pilates or yoga, head out for a stroll and throw in a few sets of squats each week. Staying active during pregnancy can help you look and feel your best during this special time.