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Exercise During Pregnancy: Types, Benefits, and Tips

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and keep a good posture. It is common to find people work out on weekends, or in the early hours of the day before work just to start their day on a good note.

Exercise during pregnancy may seem like a lot of hard work and stress, but there are many reasons why it is crucial. Think about it, when you are pregnant, your back aches, you have to deal with your ankles swelling, and you may even have problems sleeping (don’t also get me started with constipation and bloating part).

Almost every woman will jump at an opportunity to get rid of the pains and aches associated with pregnancy, and it turns out that exercise is the answer.

Exercising while pregnant comes with numerous health benefits. It reduces many pregnancy symptoms, helps to boost your mood, encourages easy bowel movements, and even helps with quicker postpartum recovery.

Here’s the funny part; a lot of women spend a large part of their pregnancy months as couch potatoes. When the topic of exercising comes up, women who are used to sofa slacking leave it to those who are used to working out.

However, it is never too late to start or too late to learn. You can get active immediately and have that sexy pregnancy body that you crave.

Hold on; not every exercise is healthy for pregnant women, so make sure to go through the guidelines below before embarking on any form of exercise, and also talk to your doctor about it.

How Much Exercise Should a Pregnant Woman get?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), expecting mothers should get a minimum of 30 minutes workout every day, or even more if they are motivated enough.

So, you may want to ask what counts towards that half-hour exercise. You do not have to do a long jog or over stress yourself. A mere 10 minutes’ walk, three times daily, is enough to get your heart working right and keep you feeling healthy and in a good mood. The simple 30 minutes’ walk is equal to 40 minutes on a bicycle or a treadmill.

Do you hate taking walks? Don’t worry, a simple home cleaning or gardening also counts towards your daily 30 minutes workout target.  Now that you know you don’t always have to tie your laces to stay fit during pregnancy, you have no excuse.

What are some fantastic cardio exercises for a pregnant woman?

Cardiovascular exercises are great for increasing blood circulation, endurance, and muscle tone. You will be glad you did some of the exercises featured in this segment when you finally have your baby.

Walking

Walking

Nobody likes to be stressed, but everybody wants to stay fit. The best way to win both ways is by walking. No matter how busy you are, you can always find an excuse to walk and meet your exercise target.

The great thing about walking is that you can do this exercise from the first day of your pregnancy to your delivery day without feeling like you are trying to meet a target. Also, you do not need any equipment asides your feet and the willingness to walk.

Swimming

Swimming

Swimming is just the best pregnancy exercise for people who love water as much as I do. But why should you work out in the water? Firstly, you must know how to swim so that you don’t risk drowning.

Secondly, exercising in the water is great because you do not weight as much as you would when you are on land, so you become more agile and feel lighter. Swimming will boost your mood, help relieve joint pains, and even ease nausea.

Caution: Do not jump or dive into the pool while pregnant as it is unsafe for the baby. It is best to step or slide in and enjoy your swim.

Also, you must be careful when walking along the poolside as it can get slippery.  If you do not know how to swim, pregnancy isn’t the best time to learn.

Running

Running

If you are a lover of speed, or you are used to running, then you can continue running while pregnant. However, you must be careful not to overdo this exercise and also run only on level ground.

Running is a great way to keep your heart healthy, improve blood circulation, and have your muscles toned.

Group dance or aerobics

I love to watch pregnant women dance. It is always a lovely sight and a great way to have fun while exercising. You can try Zumba as it will keep you moving and doesn’t require any great balancing skills.

You also must pay attention to your body if you feel any discomfort, and rest when you need to. If you decide to do some aerobics, go for the water version as it is safer for expectant mums.

Stair climbing

Most of the time, we want to use the elevator instead of taking the stairs, but that is not a way to workout. Taking the stairs is a great way to exercise, and everyone needs to do that one in a while.

Taking the stairs is great for your heart, and it is also a good way to boost your endurance level. However, you must be careful when taking the stairs. Try to take only one step at a time, and never run on the stairs so that you do not miss a step or trip.

Cycling

If you can do indoor cycling, then you should take advantage of it during pregnancy. Make sure that you have an instructor who is aware you are pregnant and make sure to pedal at your pace.

When you are cycling, make sure that you are up straight so that you do not hurt your back. Make sure to be very careful and avoid hill climbing.

Kickboxing

If you are a professional kickboxer, you will find out that you can’t be as fast or as graceful as before you took in, but it is still a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy. Do not get accidentally kicked in the belly.

Other things a pregnant woman can do to stay healthy

Eat healthily

Pregnancy is a very delicate period, and you can’t afford to starve or feed on an unhealthy diet. Make sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables, avoid junk food, and eat as often as you feel the need to. Talk to your doctor about any diet changes you want to make, and never skip a meal.

Rest

Yes, plenty of rest is needed if you are expecting. Do not overwork yourself, or over-exercise as you may be putting both yourself and the baby in danger.

Take supplements

If you feel like you lack a specific nutrient or vitamin, do well to talk to your doctor about ways to get it from the foods you eat, or the possibility of getting supplements. Every doctor should be able to check for symptoms of such deficiency before prescribing a supplement.

Try some outdoor sports

Some outdoor sports are great for pregnant women. Some of these sports include biking, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and ice skating. Before you do any of these exercises, make sure to seek your doctor’s approval.

Have sex

Sex is excellent for pregnant women. You can call it an exercise if you want, since it boosts your mood, promotes blood circulation, and helps you feel more connected to your partner. There are good sex positions for different stages of pregnancy.

Exercise during pregnancy is suitable for both mother and child. Do well to share this article with that pregnant friend or family member who needs to get rid of body aches, swelling, and needs to stay healthy.

You can ask us questions, leave an opinion, or contribute to this article by leaving a comment below.

This article is for informational/educational purposes only. Healthtian does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, read more.

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