Exercises have various health benefits for pregnant moms. Particularly, it lowers the risk of excessive weight gain, cesarean birth, preterm birth and lower birth weight. Moreover, exercising during pregnancy helps the mother to manage the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, reduce lower back pain, improve postpartum recovery and maintain physical fitness. As such, below, we have highlighted some pregnancy-safe exercises that women can partake at home or the gym.
The First Three Months of Pregnancy
The first three months of pregnancy is when a mother starts to experience wild emotions. Hence, regular exercise routines are okay during this period. Some of the pregnancy-safe exercises you can partake during this time include;
This exercise is great for maintaining the strength of your abdominal muscles. To do it;
- Lie on your stomach and then slowly push up using your hands and knees rather than using your feet like in a normal pushup.
- Afterward, slowly lower your chest towards the ground as you inhale rhythmically with your movement
- Then, push back up as you slowly exhale.
This exercise is great for preparing your arms for holding and lifting the baby. To do it;
- Hold a dumbbell.
- Stand in a position where your feet are wide apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Afterward, slowly bend your elbows with the dumbbells towards your shoulder as you exhale.
- Lastly, lower the dumbbells back to the original elbow position.
Exercises during Three to Six Weeks
Pregnant women should alter the activities they engage in during this second phase. High-impact exercises such as jumping, running or lying on your back for extended periods are not friendly during this period.
Hip Flexor and Quadriceps Stretch
This exercise allows you to safely stretch during pregnancy.
- First, bend down to a half-kneeling position on the ground.
- Second, gently place your right knee on the ground and your left foot flat on the ground.
- Afterward, move your body forward towards your left foot until you feel a stretch at your right hip region.
- Maintain that pose for 30 seconds, ease off.
- Switch sides and repeat.
Side-Lying Leg Lifts
- Lie on your right side with both knees bent and tiered on top of one another.
- Then, lift your right side off of the floor slightly to create a tiny space between your waist and the floor.
- Stretch your left leg straight and slant it marginally in front of you.
- Afterward, rotate your hip so that your toes point down toward the floor.
- Lastly, make sure you do not lose that tiny space you created between your waist and the floor.
Six Months to Nine Months of Pregnancy
This is the period where your body is preparing for labor and childbirth. During this stage, you can only engage in cardiovascular exercises to help keep your upper and lower muscles strong. As such, you have to avoid exercise that increases your risk of falling.
Some of the exercises you can partake in include;
- Prenatal yoga.