Are you keen to keep working on your personal body goals while you’re pregnant? Perhaps you’re looking for a fun way to bond with other moms-to-be, or maybe you just want to stay fit and fabulous? Regardless of your motivation, we have all the information you want on safe, effective pregnancy exercise for everyone.
Swimming As a Pregnancy Exercise
With baby’s extra weight to carry around; buoyant, comforting water is a great way to relax and stay fit too. You’ll feel lean and lithe (not your typical pregnancy emotions), and be able to get in a surprisingly difficult workout hassle-free. It can also help relieve some typical pregnancy aches and pains.
What Can I Expect:
Aim to stick to sessions of 30 minutes or so, and work your way up there if you’re new. Always leave the pool feeling like you could do more. Warm up and cool down slowly, and remember to have lots of fun too! Alternate between floating backstrokes and a comfortable front stroke for best toning results.
What are the Benefits of Swimming in Pregnancy?
The weightless feeling will leave you feeling supported and relieve joint aches and pains. Swimming encourages the relief of swelling, keeps you cool, and can even help quell nausea. By boosting muscle tone and endurance, it can help make the labor experience better, too.
Can I Start Swimming if I’ve Never Done it Before?
Absolutely! Swimming is perfectly safe in pregnancy. While you should always check with your medical team, healthy pregnancy and swimming go together perfectly. The chlorine will not harm you or the baby. Always be mindful of the need to start very gently, and work up your strength over time.
When is the Ideal Time to Start Swimming When Pregnant?
You can swim from conception until the moment your water bursts.
Yoga as a Pregnancy Exercise
Yoga isn’t just about twisting yourself into a dramatic range of supple shapes to show off on Instagram! The mind-body-breath connection, coupled with gentle stretching, is key. There’s adapted yoga form for any fitness level, too. With the right modifications, it’s perfect to help you stay supple, fit and strong throughout your pregnancy.
What Can I Expect:
You’ll usually start out with a slow warm-up to get your muscles stretched. From there, you’ll proceed to the ‘asanas’, or postures, and wind up with a relaxation/guided meditation to leave you calm and refreshed. Aim for 60-90 minutes of practice.
What are the Benefits?
Yoga is a great way to synch up your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. It will help keep you flexible and improve lean muscle tone. It will also help you learn to stay calm, grounded and centered, and ease stiff muscles. Boosted circulation will also benefit you and baby.
Can I Start Yoga in Pregnancy if I’ve Never Done it Before?
Now is an ideal time to start yoga! Don’t rush into a hot power yoga class, however- it’s important you pick the right type of class. Beginner postures are nice and easy, and pregnancy-specific classes will be modified to specifically suit your changing body. Listen to your instructor (and your body)… the key here is stretch, not stress. No need to push hard (yet)! As always, make sure you are cleared by your medical team before starting any new activities.
When is the Ideal Time To Start Pregnancy Yoga?
Pregnancy yoga is perfect for the second trimester. Most instructors like newbies to be past the first trimester if they have never practiced yoga before. You’re less likely to feel nauseous and tired, too. If you’re already a yogini, then it’s ok to stay practicing throughout your pregnancy, but be careful to slow down and focus on gentle, meditative relaxation moves rather than hitting out power asanas.
Stability Balls for Pregnancy
Bobbing up and down on a stability ball may seem unusual- but it’s one of the best exercises around for mommies-to-be who want a challenging workout. Even better? They make an excellent group exercise class, too.
What Can I Expect:
To look a little silly, but get in a great workout! While these oversized bouncy balls may seem a little ridiculous, they’re a gentle but challenging workout ideally suited to supporting your changing body.
What are the Benefits of Stability Balls in Pregnancy?
Joining an exercise group for pregnant moms is a fantastic way to get emotional as well as physical support during this special time. It’s easy to feel socially and mentally isolated during the later stages of pregnancy. Being surrounded by a supportive group experiencing the same changes and emotions as you is invaluable.
Guided by a trained instructor, you’ll use the balls to strengthen your core, lower body, and back. You’ll also be able to stretch your back and relieve some general pregnancy pains while making new friends.
When is the Ideal Time to Start Stability Ball Exercises When Pregnant?
Take guidance from the group instructor as to what class will suit your current pregnancy stage. Stability ball exercises can be done throughout pregnancy, though many classes will start from the second trimester.
Working with a Personal Trainer During Pregnancy
If you’re already a gym lover and want something a little more like a traditional workout, then consider a personal trainer. Not just any trainer will do, however. It’s vitally important you opt for a personal trainer experienced in the unique needs of your pregnant body.
Personal trainers will work with you individually, assessing your unique body and physical condition. They will then devise a program tailored completely to those needs while keeping you and baby safe and injury-free.
No matter what you choose, it’s important to keep up a level of healthy, safe pregnancy exercise. Not only will it make the birthing process easier on your body, but it will also help keep you and baby fighting fit the entire time.