~ Top 5 Exercise Tips For Pregnant Women ~Note: When exercising while pregnant, focus heavily on proper form and alignment. Take your time and always be safe.
1. Maintain an Active Lifestyle – Go for a walk everyday. It’s good for mental and physical health. Team up with a walking partner, or prepare a play list of music to keep you motivated. Babies love when you move and groove, so don’t sit still for too long. Get up and walk around frequently.
2. Aerobic Exercise and Weight Training - If you were a gym goer before pregnancy, the stationary bike, elliptical and treadmill can be appropriate ways of maintaining your cardio, but be sure to wear a heart rate monitor. Since your blood volume increases during pregnancy, your heart rate will also increase. You may need to go slower or do a little less. The key is to listen to your body, reduce intensity and stay within a safe exercise heart rate zone.
3. Core Strength – Core strength is essential in developing stability and strength to go along with the added baby weight. Strengthening the core (abs and back) can relieve back pain and improve posture. Slow controlled pilates exercises specific to pregnancy are great, as it’s important to focus on breathing, alignment and moving in a safe and comfortable range of motion. I recommend sitting on a large pilates ball throughout your pregnancy to strengthen the core. During delivery, to help you remain comfortable and even when the baby is born. In fact, many of my clients have had great success bouncing on the ball to sooth their new born babies.
4. Yoga – Yoga can be a great way to connect with your baby on a spiritual level, maintaining a sense of calm and relaxation. Being able to tap into the mindset can be very beneficial during birth. Be sure to choose an appropriate practice, as not all postures will be favorable for pregnancy.
5. Swimming – Swimming is great because it strengthens large muscle groups both in your upper and lower body. It can be a great form of low impact/low intensity cardiovascular exercise, and allows you to feel weightless during pregnancy, without any additional strain or stress on your joints and body.
- Avoid sleeping or lying on your back
- The optimal position for blood supply is lying on your left side
- Avoid exercises that include twisting or inversions
- Wear a heart rate monitor and keep your heart rate in your aerobic zone.
- Later in pregnancy, wear a “belly band” during exercise to take the pressure off the pubis bone
- Remember that a healthy diet and adequate sleep should never be neglected.