Good and not so good pregnancy exercises

Expecting mothers who exercise to feel better. Some activities are more suitable than others. Find your own sport and move at a moderate tempo!

4 min read

Good and not so good pregnancy exercises
Photo: Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Training and exercising regularly during pregnancy has proven to be good, not only for the general health but also for decreasing the risk of depression. In addition, your delivery might be easier if you are in good shape, have practiced relaxation, and can control your breathing. Whatever you decide to do, you should always adapt the training to what you can manage. When you’re pregnant, performance is not the main goal, it’s to exercise to feel good, both in body and mind. 

Some things to keep in mind, in general, are drinking plenty of water and eating properly. Avoid exercising on your back after the first trimester if you get high blood pressure or other health problems. You’ll go a long way with just daily walks, preferably out in the great outdoors. It could be a lovely and well-needed break from everything. If you work out in a group, let them know you are pregnant and ask the instructor to tailor some exercises to suit you.

One of the best exercise formats for pregnant women is swimming. You feel free and weightless in the water and the load on your body is at a minimum. Alternate breaststrokes and freestyle and remember to not let your heartbeat go up too high. If you suffer from pelvic girdle pain, backstroke is a great option. Water aerobics for pregnant women can also be wonderful, as you maintain and increase your mobility without any additional load. On land, much of your energy is consumed by carrying your heavy belly. In the pool, the risk of injury is less and you can use your strength to extend your movements. 

Tai-chi and qigong, yoga, and pilates can also be good training before the delivery, provided the instructors are certified and know what the pregnant body can manage and feel good from. At pregnancy yoga you focus on relaxation and breathing, strengthening the back muscles. At pregnancy pilates, you train strength and stability. Pregnancy training is also a way to meet other expecting mothers, and that can be both fun and inspiring.

If you like to go to the gym, you should train the backside of your body, as the center of gravity is gradually moving forward when you’re pregnant. Use lighter weights and increase the number of repetitions instead. Focus on the back, pelvic floor, and core strength, but remember your body is softer during the pregnancy due to hormone changes, so be careful and don’t push your limits. Dance can also be a wonderful exercise format during pregnancy. However, you should avoid dancing aerobics as this is too strenuous on your joints, breasts, and pelvis.

If you prefer to be outside, you can jog carefully, but after week 23 the belly probably feels too heavy; take a brisk walk instead. Start slowly and then increase the tempo and the length of the walk, but don’t exceed 150 heartbeats per minute. Make sure you have good shoes and a good bra, preferably with wide shoulder straps. If you are an experienced runner, take it easy by training just pure running – every running step you take adds a load of your weight x 7 to your body!

Bike-riding is another option but remembers your posture. If you lean forward too much it could stress the pelvis. Avoid standing up on the pedals, as doing so affects the knees. This also includes spinning, where it might be easy to get carried away and reach a heart rate that’s too high.

Skiing is not a very good idea right now, neither downhill nor cross-country. Your balance is affected and the body’s center of gravity is shifting forward, so better to give skiing a pass due to the risk of falling. Ball games, racket sports, and martial arts should be avoided for the same reason.

Do what you like, what you think is fun and comfortable. Moderate intensity is when you have slight shortness of breath, get a bit sweaty, and can maintain a conversation. Listen to your body! It usually knows what it likes and what it can manage. 

Preggers

Reviewed by Preggers