Exercising while pregnant can be a tricky subject- you want to stay fit, but you also want to make sure you won’t do anything to harm your baby. If done correctly, studies show that pregnant women who exercise suffer from less pregnancy symptoms. Exercising can result in less back pain, more energy, better mood and body image, and a faster recovery postpartum.
We’re here to help with a list of the best exercises you can do while pregnant and after giving birth! Doctors recommend fitting in 30 minutes of moderate exercise four to five times a week (which can be as simple as 2 fifteen-minute walks or even just 30 minutes of housework)! Remember to always check with your doctor before starting any new workout program.
Here’s a few suggestions:
- Brisk walking: Walking is probably the safest exercise, as you can do this right up until you give birth! This exercise can help you stick to a routine and burn extra calories. Just make sure it’s not too hot out- if it is, treadmills do the trick!
- Swimming: The water makes you feel lighter and lessens tension in the joints. It can also relieve other pregnancy symptoms, like nausea and bloating.
- Low-impact classes: Zumba lovers, rejoice! Low-impact aerobic classes are a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and build up strength for labor. Try to avoid any exercises that can change your center of gravity and cause you to lose your balance.
- Spinning: Indoor cycling takes the pressure off of your knees and joints. But unlike normal bike riding, you don’t run the risk of losing your balance and falling off the bike. If you decide to take a class, make sure your instructor knows you are pregnant and try to avoid sprints or jumps.
- Prenatal pilates and yoga: These exercises help with flexibility and strengthening your core- both are essential for a shorter labor time. Be mindful of overstretching and ask your instructor for modifications to poses that might strain your muscles.
After giving birth, walking is another great exercise for recovery. For the first couple of months after giving birth, you should rest and allow your body to recover. Approximately, 6-8 weeks after giving birth, you can focus more on toning specific areas of the body with these exercises (just make sure you check with your doctor first):
- Baby dancing: Dancing is great for cardio, and it improves balance and coordination. Holding your baby while you do it adds in extra resistance! Focus on keeping your abs drawn in during your routine for a better core workout.
- Kegels: Kegels target the pelvic muscles. To do this exercise, sit on a bench with you feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Contract your pelvic muscles, as if you’re trying to stop from urinating, and stand. Hold and return to bench, then release.
- Floor bridges: This exercise targets your hamstrings and butt. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides. Engage your core and squeeze to lift off the floor, pressing heels into the ground. Kegel at the top of the bridge, hold for three seconds, and slowly return to floor.
- Baby bench press: Bring some strength back into your arms with this exercise. Sit cross-legged, holding your baby in front of your chest with your elbows bent. Straighten your arms upward without locking your elbows. Pause, then lower your baby to the starting position.
Exercising before and after pregnancy should make your transition back to your pre-baby body easier. Try our silky liquid baby powder to avoid any skin irritations while working out, and pack our shampoo and body wash for a quick after-gym shower!