Pregnancy might require some life changes, but it doesn’t require
that women stop their lives altogether. If you enjoy staying active and
being fit, or if you want to start a new exercise routine, there’s
nothing to stop an expectant mother from enjoying the outdoors or hitting the gym.
All that you’ll need to do is make sure that if you’re doing
new exercises, you start slow and keep a conservative pace. If you already
have a set gym routine, you can replace more dangerous or demanding movements
with the exercises below. And whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it!
Staying active is as much mental as it is physical—doing what you
like will make sure you’ll keep doing it.
Swimming is one of the best activities an expectant mother can do. Swimming
is essentially a full-body resistance exercise that employs all large
muscle groups. This creates tone and strength all over the body, metabolizing
a great deal of fat in the meantime.
The best part about swimming is that it is an impact-free activity. There’s
very little stress on your joints, and the water is far more comfortable
for women than “dry” activities. While swimming, women can
enjoy the weight-free environment of the pool while strengthening their
Walking is another great, safe activity for expectant mothers—particularly
those who have little experience with exercise. This activity is also
easy on the joints, allowing people of all fitness levels or sizes to
enjoy it. Walking requires nothing but comfortable shoes, which makes
it the most affordable activity on this list.
The benefits of walking are mostly cardiovascular, but it has some mental
benefits as well. Walking is a highly social activity. Walk with friends
or neighbors, or join a local walking group—either way, it’s
a great way to get out of the house while staying healthy. It’s
a safe activity at any stage of your pregnancy as well—if you start
a walking routine, you could be walking the week before your child’s
birth and be back on the road only a week after delivery!
Dance classes are fairly common at local gyms, and they have plenty of
the same health benefits as walking. Dancing is easy on the joints, requires
few risky or demanding movements, burns a lot of calories, strengthens
important muscle groups for delivery, and develops highly toned muscles.
Dancing also helps pregnant women learn how to move gracefully and with
coordination while carrying extra weight. Also, because classes are naturally
social, it’s a good way to satisfy your need to see friends while
staying active together.
The most important dancing benefits are spiritual: dancing is good for
the soul! Listening to music with high beats per minute is a mood-booster,
and the physical exertion of dancing is also a mood booster. Together,
dancing could be every bit as good for your mind as meditation or yoga.
It requires very little thinking the more you do it—simply move
to the music.
#4: Light Weightlifting
Weightlifting is actually highly beneficial for pregnant women, despite
common misconceptions. Light, slow, and controlled movements can develop
important muscle strength needed to keep your back in good shape and prevent
aches and pains later in your pregnancy. It also keeps your metabolism
high, allowing you to recover from pregnancy more quickly.
#5: Indoor Cycling
Using a stationary bike is one of the best ways to keep up your cardiovascular
health while pregnant. It is no impact, it has easily adjustable intensity,
and it’s completely safe at nearly any stage in your baby’s
development. When running has become too difficult (or you simply want
to change up the routine), consider indoor cycling. Group classes are
a great way to establish a routine if you’re new to stationary bike fitness.
Yoga is so popular among expectant mothers that it almost doesn’t
bear repeating. Yoga is a staple for many fitness communities, with private
classes offered at gyms and fitness centers around Wilmington and throughout
Delaware. However, many local healthcare providers also offer yoga classes
that are safe for pregnant women— in fact, prenatal fitness classes
are designed specifically with pregnant women’s needs in mind.
The benefits of yoga for pregnant practitioners have been widely documented:
- Stress reduction
- Relieves muscle aches & pains
- Increases overall well-being
- Develops stability muscles (important for joints)
- Reduces headaches and shortness of breath
- Can relieve nausea
Sign Up for a New Fitness Class Today!
When you try a new activity, doing it in a class setting may help you stay
safe and practice good habits. Class instructors will also be able to
watch out for your health, making sure you don’t hurt yourself or
overwork your body. Besides, classes are more fun! If you’re looking
to stay active throughout your pregnancy, try any (or all) of the above
activities to develop good mental and physical health.
**Always consult with you doctor before changing your diet or starting
a new exercise routine.