I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and probably a million more times), staying active during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby (with Doctor's OK, of course)! Not only does it help control weight gain, make labor and delivery easier, lowers risk of gestational diabetes, decreases aches and pains, and help with constipation and swelling, but it gives you more energy afterwards and you feel so much better about yourself! It would seem like common sense, but pregnancy is difficult! And after a long day of work or looking after other kids, I totally get that the last thing on your mind is to get up and exercise but do it!! You will thank yourself for it later!!
During pregnancy it is recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. That’s about 30 minutes 5x a week! If you were sedentary prior to pregnancy, you can still begin now!! It’s recommended to start with 15 minutes, 3x a week and to progress from there!
My 1st and 2nd Trimester I was fortunate enough pretty much keep up with my normal exercise routines, but these last few months have been challenging with the extra weight on my joints and with exhaustion. If you’re in the same boat as me or if you’re just starting out with exercise and don’t know where to start, here are some good options:
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to keep teaching spin classes 2x a week throughout this pregnancy (I’m stopping at the end of my 8th month). The bike is awesome during pregnancy because it’s easy on the joints, it keeps your balanced (since sense of gravity shifts) and you can control the speed and tension! Plus it works your lower body muscles while also strengthening your lungs and heart! A sample 30 minute workout:
- 5 min warm up
- 1 min increased speed and tension (YOU decide where this is)
- 2 min decreased speed and tension
- (repeat these 2 intervals 7x)
- 5 min cool down
Recently I’ve fallen in love with walking! There have been a few times that walking is the only option I have for exercise due to doctor’s recommendations and it still leaves me feeling reenergized, refreshed, and refocused! Anyone can do it and it doesn’t require any equipment! I love turning on my favourite podcast and taking a break for a while. Either a 30 minute walk outside or on the treadmill will do the trick! A 30 minute incline walk (if you want to get your heart rate up more):
- 5 min warm up
- 5 min intervals all with 10% incline
- (switch between 2.5-3.5 mph for 4 intervals)
- 5 min cool down
Again, I’ve recently fallen in love with prenatal yoga and stretching! It just feels amazing during and after the exercises! It’s great for breathing, relaxing, and strengthening the pelvic floor (which all help during labor) and it’s proven to help women deal with the physical and emotional stress of pregnancy. I try to do prenatal yoga at least 1x a week and a deep stretch every day. Some of my current favourite prenatal yoga videos:
I actually haven’t done any of this during my pregnancy haha, but I want to! It’s more of a time issue but I’ve read how great it is for pregnant women! In water, we weigh 1/10th of what we do on land so not only does it take some of that pressure away, but it also boosts strength and flexibility while getting your heart rate up!
****Please remember that every pregnancy is different and can bring some complications. Check with your doctor first and foremost, and explain the type of exercise, length of time, and physical position your body will be in to get the assurance that it’s okay to continue with the activity. Then, listen to your body! If you need to dial it back a little bit, that’s okay! Ease up, catch your breath, and take it easy until you feel ready to bump it up again. Your body will tell you what is too much! Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout!