Future moms all have the same question – is it safe to exercise while pregnant?
Not only is working out while pregnant safe but it’s also desirable due to several health benefits and exercises that can help alleviate some of the back pain that is associated with pregnancy. That being said, caution is advised, and we recommend adjusting your workouts to fit your new state.
Even though the simple answer is yes, there are still a couple of things to consider before hitting the gym with full intensity. Today we’re going to discuss how much exercise is too much, and look into some safe and healthy exercises for pregnancy.
How Much Can You Work out While Pregnant?
Physical activity during pregnancy can be amazing for your overall health and can help you handle the inevitable symptoms that come with childbearing. However, a woman’s body goes through drastic weight and hormone changes that can affect when and how she exercises.
The amount of impact the aforementioned can have on your regular workout routine is individual due to every woman handling pregnancy differently. Some women might experience some symptoms more regularly and more intensely than others, which can hinder their ability to work out.
For example, some women feel nauseous in the morning, some in the evening, and some rarely ever experience it. Depending on when and how you handle nausea will determine the best time to exercise.
Also, the amount of body weight you gain can differ from case to case. The weight gain won’t be that significant in the first few months, but at one point, it will affect your ability to do cardio exercises like running or jogging.
So, how much exercise is too much? Generally speaking, in absence of contradictions, pregnant women are advised to get at least 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity activity on most, if not all, days of the week. If you have previously been very active, we suggest you tone down your workout routine and stick to medium intensity exercises which do not require sudden changes in direction.
Here are some of the exercises you can do at the gym or at your own home. Mix these with walking and swimming (if you are an experienced swimmer). If you feel fatigued, dizzy, or just need to lay down, stop exercising immediately and consult your physician.
Exercises to Do While Pregnant
- The Plie Squat
This exercise will significantly improve your balance and is terrific for firing up all your lower body (quads, hamstrings, and glutes) and core muscles. It is a very functional exercise, and it helps to open a woman’s hips in preparation for labor. It is considered a very safe exercise to perform throughout pregnancy because it keeps the pelvis in a stable position with weight equally distributed on both feet.
Start by assuming a standing position with your feet facing away from each other and slightly wider than hip-width apart. Slowly bend your knees and move to a squat position while keeping your inner core muscles active. Once you feel those quadriceps burning, slowly return to your starting position, that’s one rep.
Planking is a great stabilization exercise that will strengthen your core, shoulders, arms, and glutes.
To assume a planking position, you’ll need to lay down on your yoga mat and set your elbows under your shoulders. Then you’ll want to lift your knees and straighten your body to form a straight line from head to feet. Keep proper core engagement and neutral spine alignment the entire time while holding the position. Take a few breaths and return to your starting position.
Be ready to regress the exercise when you have difficulty engaging or you start struggling or breaking the form.
- Side-Lying Leg Lift
If you’re looking to strengthen your inner and outer thighs, then this is definitely the exercise for you.
Start by laying on the side with your supporting arm under your head, your top arm on your hip, and your top leg extended. Slowly raise your top leg in the air while keeping your hip steady and your back straight. Avoid sudden moves and rotations.
Try out these three exercises and let us know how they work for you. One final word, when exercising during pregnancy, the most important thing to remember is to always listen to your body!
If you need more advice on how to exercise in general or have any questions regarding fitness, reach out to our team at Peak Physique & Performance, today! We are happy to help!