Exercises you can do during pregnancy
If you’re pregnant with your first bub and have no idea if it’s still OK to go for that run or lift those weights, you’re not alone.
Everyday thousands of new parents are asking the same questions, so in this edition of Booble Blog, we’re limbering up to talk about exercise, and what is safe and unsafe during pregnancy.
Exercise & Pregnancy
Love it or hate it, exercising when you're pregnant is super beneficial for your health - both physically and mentally.
It can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of premature birth, prepare your body for labor, and lower your chances of gestational diabetes or hypertensive disorders such as preeclampsia.
But knowing just how much exercise we can do, will be different for everyone.
If you’ve always exercised
If exercise has been an everyday event and you’re not considered a high-risk pregnancy, there aren’t a lot of things you need to give up entirely. The key is to modify and scale back where needed as your body changes.
If exercise isn’t your thing
If you haven’t been a regular exerciser, now isn’t the time to take up something that will shock your body, like sprinting or F45.
Try walking, yoga, and lighter workouts.
Which exercises are safe to do when you’re pregnant?
Every trimester will change the type of exercise your body will physically be able to do, so to help, we’ve broken it down by trimester.
The suggested amount of cardio you should do each week in these first 3 months is around 150 minutes with 2 to 3 days of strength training exercises that target the major muscle groups.
An easy one to do that will keep that back feeling fab! Simply tuck your hips so that you’re making an impression of your spine on the floor, then exhale and roll one vertebra at a time back down.
Also known as kegels, this is one exercise you’ll want to do to get those lady-parts ready for childbirth (and all the fun that follows… hello sneeze and bladder leakage).
This move targets core and upper body strengthening together and keeps those arms strong. As the name suggests, this is a pushup, just on your knees.
Bodyweight squats can be done throughout your entire pregnancy. If you’re not familiar with them, it’s like sitting down but you don’t quite touch the couch, then you get back up. Sounds easy but by squat 20, you’ll change your mind.
You’ll thank yourself later when your arms are strong enough to hold your baby 24/7, trust us! Try a lightweight first, then you can slowly build.
Many women say that by the second trimester they feel their energy return, if this is you, then now is the time to up your exercise game!
To keep those arms nice and strong, try doing your pushups on an inclined sturdy surface. If you’re at the gym, try a box. If you’re at home, the side of the couch will do!
Side-lying leg lifts
As the name suggests, with this one you lay on your side with both legs straight, then you simply raise the top leg up and down slowly.
Exercising in water is great during pregnancy. Try some water aerobics if you get the chance. The motion is low impact, and you can build strength and capacity at the same time.
If you love going for a run but felt too nauseous and tired to do it in your first trimester, now is the time to get those sneakers back on. Just make sure you take it easy, starting with a brisk walk, then building up to a pace that feels right for you.
By now you’ll really be starting to feel it. You’ll be uncomfortable, tired and most likely not feel as energetic as you did before. So rather than picking up some weights, use this time to focus on your mobility and abdominal strength by walking, swimming, trying some prenatal yoga, keeping up your pelvic floor exercises and bodyweight moves.
Tips for Exercising Safely
- Choose low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga.
- Start small and work up to 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times a week.
- If you can, work with a trainer who has expertise in pregnancy.
Things to consider before you get ahead of yourself
Get clearance from your doctor
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
- Wear supportive clothing such as a supportive active bra and leggings.
- Avoid becoming overheated, especially during the first trimester.
- Try not to lay flat on your back for too long, especially during the third trimester.
- Avoid contact sports and hot yoga.
Listen to your body
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what feels right for you. Just remember that this is a time of change and putting on a little extra weight is totally normal and nothing you should feel pressured to ‘work off’ once the baby is here.
Finding yourself Googling everything from boobs and bums to bubs and bibs? Visit our New Beginnings website, where you’ll find a range of helpful articles, products and tips for navigating this new chapter of your life - mummahood.