4 best (and safe) workouts for pregnant women

These light workouts will actually make your pregnancy better for you and your baby.

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  • Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you have to put away the dumbbells and tennis shoes for the next nine months. In fact, you'll have a better pregnancy if you keep using them.

  • Women tend to worry that exercising while pregnant might induce a miscarriage, but it's actually the other way around! Exercise soothes many of the aches and annoyances of the first trimester, and continuing to exercise throughout the pregnancy only benefits to you and your little one.

  • With just the right adjustments and safety precautions, you can keep sweating it out with your growing baby along for the ride. Throw on your best workout outfit and give these ago at the gym or at home.

  • 1. Swimming

  • Swimming laps and water aerobics are one of the best ways to stay fit while pregnant. Heavy bellies and swollen ankles aren't really a problem when you're submerged in water.

  • 2. Low impact cardio

  • Once your belly starts growing, you're probably not too keen on running. In fact, it's a smart idea to forgo the treadmill completely, as your joints are more prone to injury while pregnant. Instead, keep those knees and ankles safe and hop on one of the many low-impact cardio options at your local gym. From ellipticals to stationary bikes, you've got a lot of choices.

  • If you don't want pregnancy to get in your way of your love for running, don't give up hope. There are some helpful running guidelines you can follow to keep you and baby safe while jobbing.

  • 3. Weight lifting

  • Yep, lifting weights is still safe for expecting ladies as long as you make a few adjustments. Obviously your pre-pregnancy lifts won't be the same as your eight-months-along lifts. The safest way to continue lifting is to decrease your weight and add reps. And, of course, exercise extra caution handling those heavy objects.

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  • 4. Yoga

  • Yoga is another great, low impact option for moms-to-be. On top of the physical benefits, yoga can also reduce that stress your having about labor and becoming a mother. Of course, the bigger your belly grows the harder it'll become to stretch certain ways, so make adjustments to stay comfortable.

  • Exercises to avoid

  • According to WebMD, here are things that are dangerous for pregnant women:

    • Exercising to lose weight (you NEED to be putting weight on!)

    • Contact sports (like basketball, soccer and boxing).

    • Fall-prone activities (like skiing, horseback riding and biking).

    • Overdoing it (you should be able to sing one round of "Happy Birthday" while exercising without running out of breath)

    • Bouncing or jarring activities (like kickboxing or high-impact aerobics)

    • Lying on your back (like crunches and certain yoga poses)

    • High-altitude exercise (stay below 6000 feet)

  • As long as you take the right precautions and avoid dangerous activities, you can exercise until the last day or your pregnancy. Of course, talk to your doctor about proper exercise techniques and listen to your body - if you do these things, both you and your baby will have a happier, and more fit pregnancy.

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McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd.

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